For those of you not familiar with David Berkman, he is first of all one of the best jazz pianists of the post-Herbie generation. His records are great and he has developed far past them in the last few years. In short, he's the real deal, jazzwise. In addition, he is a very funny guy, a deep thinker and a great teacher, as those of you who have read his first book, "The Jazz Musician's Guide To Creative Practicing" know full well.
So when he told me he wanted to do a second book to help singers learn to become real musicians instead of just entertainers, I was thrilled to hear it. There are some good books for jazz singers already on the market, but nothing with the depth that David's book possesses. Any singer who goes through the program that David lays out here will be as well trained in the language of jazz as nine-tenths of the instrumentalists out there. Let's hope that it is a big success in that regard!
"The Jazz Singer's Guidebook" takes singers from step one, showing them basic jazz harmony on the keyboard, how to voice chords in several different ways, and how to use that knowledge to get inside their songs so that they can hear what changes should be on their lead sheets. It has them practicing singing lines using arpeggios and pieces of scales, practicing scatting using chromatic approach notes, practicing singing hip intervals, etc., etc. David told me that the course laid out in this book is in reality exactly the things every jazz player should know, since being able to sing a solo in your head is the first step to being able to create it on your instrument. A brilliant book from start to finish.
So if you are a jazz singer, or work with one, I highly recommend that you check "The Jazz Singer's Guidebook" out. Another classic from Sher Music Co.!