Building Solo Lines from Cells is a practical method for developing the ability to create convincing jazz solos in a wide variety of playing situations.
It takes actual jazz lines recorded by master players and then slices them up into small “cells” that can be re-combined into longer lines to fit almost any harmonic situation.
This enables the player to improvise his or her own lines that sound just as interesting and melodic as the masters without resorting to simply copying others.
Some of the harmonic situations dealt with include:
- Fast-moving cycles such as the bridge of “Jordu”
- Chromatic II-V changes
- Turnarounds, including many that are useful for dealing with “rhythm changes”
- Jimmy Heath's “C.T.A.” changes
- John Coltrane's “Giant Steps” changes.
- In addition, slower moving II-Vs are covered, using various strategies for stringing together the short cells into long flowing lines.
There is a complete discussion of how to break out of diatonic-derived lines by using the cellular approach to create “side-slipping” and other intervallic lines — creating ultra-hip solo phrases in the style of modern masters such as Pat Metheny, Michael Brecker and Herbie Hancock.
Finally, the cell concept gets transcended as twelve tone rows in the style of Mike Stern and others are explored, as well as lines derived from “23rd chords” — for the adventurous that are interested in paving a way into the future.