Trombone Improvisation Savvy has been published!

What has:

  • 175 pages
  • 114 written exercises
  • 43 solo transcriptions
  • 144 audio files containing 41/2 hours of music

Yes, my new book, Trombone Improvisation Savvy.

A book I’ve wanted to write and record for a long time, I was determined to finish it before the International Trombone Festival in Redlands, CA later this month.

When I first announced late last year that I would be writing this, someone on the trombone forum boards commented that the last thing the world needs is another book of scales and jazz patterns in every key. I replied that I couldn’t agree more.

I ended up doing pretty much the opposite.

Trombone Improvisation Savvy shows you how to build the connection between your mind’s ear and your trombone. A good portion of the book’s part one provides audio and written exercises that strengthen that relationship. I don’t believe authentic spontaneous music comes from running scales and patterns. They project a technical ability that may sound like musical phrases, but it’s not the essence of improvisation.

The book is full of play-along tracks. Some are the comping behind the standards and others are cool groves for exercises and anything creative you can think of. Play Rochut over them or just improvise.

Here’s an example from the book. It’s a background track called Crusin.


Part two of the book is a collection of individual chapters each dedicated to a specific song. Each chapter contains the lead sheet, rhythm track, exercises for the more challenging parts along with corresponding audio files, tips, and transcribed solos.

Part two songs:

  1. Bb Blues
  2. Rhythm Changes (Flintstones Theme)
  3. Bye Bye Blackbird
  4. All the Things You Are
  5. East of the Sun
  6. Hello Young Lovers
  7. UMMG
  8. Have you Met Miss Jones
  9. Peri’s Scope
  10. Dolphin Dance
  11. Pensativa
  12. Lament
  13. Along Came Betty
  14. Moment’s Notice
  15. Belizean Bliss (original)

The book also includes 45 quotes that came from Stravinsky,  Joni Mitchell, Chet Baker, Miles, B.B. King and J.J. Johnson. One of my favorites is:

“Once I could play what I heard inside me, that’s when I was born.”  – Charlie Parker

That quote sums up the essence of the book: hearing the music inside flow through the trombone.

I’ve created a preview containing a good number of pages so feel free to look through it and see if can help you unlock your improvisation savvy.

My good friend Barry Kierce worked on one of the book’s tune chapters for a song he was performing, and ended up surprising even himself with how well he ended up blowing over the difficult changes:

I really think that when this book gets into the hands of trombone players wanting to ‘crack the improvisation code,’  it will be a must have for all jazz trombone aficionados!”

Preview the book:



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