Logic and Critical Thinking in Jazz Improvisation

by Vincent Herring


In this book, saxophone master Vincent Herring has created a unique and logical way to approach improvising — one which will give your musical development a solid footing you won't find anywhere else! It contains detailed explanations of crucial improvisation concepts, and then demonstrates them with transcriptions of recorded phrases, as well as complete solos (including C, Bb, Eb and bass clef versions), showing how these concepts are utilized in real-time musical settings.

This extremely well-organized book by Vincent Herring goes into just about everything you need to know in becoming a well-rounded professional musician.”
— Randy Brecker

If anyone should have a method book, its the great Vincent Herring! He's amassed a wealth of knowledge playing with the very best in this business, and he has become not only one of the most important voices in this music, but one of its most important and treasured educators!”
— Jeremy Pelt

Contents include:

  • In-depth look at Pentatonics - see first video below
  • Dissecting the Diminished Scale
  • Formulating Bebop Language - a new and more effective approach
  • A comprehensive collection of idiomatic cells, lines and patterns over all chord qualities
  • Over 100 transcribed phrases from Vincent and other master musicians demonstrating the various concepts of the book
  • Videos of Vincent playing ideas from the book, along with 7 transcription videos of Vincent's solos (see second video below)
  • For musicians of any skill level, on any instrument
  • Spiral-bound, 302 pages, $37 list price, $19 for full-color PDF version

This book is a gem! Vincent Herring is one of the foremost jazz musicians in the world, and his book gives us a look at how he approaches modern jazz harmony. I couldn't put it down and found myself going to the piano over and over to apply his concepts.This is a must have addition to any serious music theory collection.”
— Eric Alexander

It is great to be able to peer inside Vincent's mind to see how he approaches jazz improvising. He is an incredible musician and his book will help you find new sounds and ways of practicing.”
— Seamus Blake

Vincent Herring's YouTube Channel

Vincent Herring presents a thorough, informative and practical study for any improvising musician in his new publication. It quickly and efficiently takes the player through a broad range of useful melodic and harmonic information, thus providing any studious instrumentalist with an instant foundational understanding of what the musical language of modern jazz is all about. I highly recommend Mr. Herring's book and plan to utilize it in my own teaching.”
— Steve Davis

I have known Vincent Herring since he was 16 years old, around the mid 1970s. I have seen him develop into a world class musician. He is an extraordinarily talented saxophone player and composer. It is always my pleasure and honor to stand next to him on the band stand and make beautiful music.”
— Dr. Eddie Henderson

This extremely well-organized book by Vincent Herring goes into just about everything you need to know in becoming a well-rounded professional musician. Not only for harmonically challenged beginners, it's also going to be a 'go-to' book for players who want to broaden their already developed musical perspective and vocabularies. I first met Vincent when he sat-in at the Village Vanguard with a group I was co-leading with John Abercrombie around 40 or so years ago, and he just blew us away back then! His ensuing ideas have just expanded and flowed in the years following, and this book indeed reflects a lifetime of learning.”
— Randy Brecker

Master saxophonist Vincent Herring, has written a book that unlocks the building blocks of melody and harmony used for improvisation in a very clear and common-sense format. It's a masterful and detailed documentation of both classic and modern concepts combined with transcriptions to show how they're utilized in real time.”
— Mike LeDonne

As with most who venture to impart personal knowledge and experience into tangible, understandable ideas, the task becomes how to make it logical, useful and functional. Vincent Herring, as we all know, is a true jazz master with a sound and style unique to him. Having heard or played with some his students, I came to the conclusion that this cat's methodology works!! Well, now having had a look at his book, it's clear to me that he has a fundamental understanding of how to convey his ideas in a most comprehensive way that allows one to learn new concepts based in sound, proven musical logic.”
— Jesse Davis

This book is a gem! Vincent Herring is one of the foremost jazz musicians in the world, and his book gives us a look at how he approaches modern jazz harmony - from a variety of angles as well as unique, personal insights. I couldn't put it down and found myself going to the piano over and over to apply his concepts. It is written with such clarity that musicians of all levels will be able to make immediate use of the material. This is a 'must have' addition to any serious music theory collection. A great book!”
— Eric Alexander

I have known Vincent personally since our days playing in the Mingus big band together. It is great to be able to peer inside his mind to see how he approaches jazz improvising. He is an incredible musician and his book will help you find new sounds and ways of practicing.”
— Seamus Blake

I'm so excited that Vincent has released this wonderful book. His dedication to fostering and nurturing young saxophonists and musicians is unparalleled. Unlike many materials available on the market, the concepts here are explained in detail and very logically, enabling saxophonists to quickly apply the material to their own playing. A wonderful resource for all levels of saxophonist and musicians.”
— Cory Weeds

If anyone should have a method book, it's the great Vincent Herring! He's amassed a wealth of knowledge playing with the very best in this business, and he has become not only one of the most important voices in this music, but one of its most important and treasured educators!”
— Jeremy Pelt

I knew Vincent had all the qualities that would make him one of the important and influential players at an early age when I first heard him. Since then, I have watched him develop into the player he is today. Everything I thought has come to fruition. This book does an excellent job of showing the student, or anyone, how to approach the art of improvisation, harmony, technique, and concepts that he demonstrates so well. This information is valuable to any musician, no matter what the instrument. I highly recommend that you check it out. Musically yours,”
— Charles McPhearson

Saxophonist, band leader, and composer Vincent Herring, aside of being one of the leading voices in jazz of this generation, is also a great educator. His book is one of the best book about jazz improvisation I have read. He managed to explain, in an accessible way and yet detailed, the fundamentals of jazz improvisation.”
— Elio Villafranca

I've always enjoyed the clarity of Vincent's playing. He has been celebrated for his profound understanding of harmony, flawless execution, and unparalleled sound. This book is sure to be an invaluable resource for educators like myself, and for musicians looking to deepen their musical understanding while also gaining insight into Vincent's thought process.”
— Wayne Escoffery

This clearly-structured concept can help to fill in any theoretical blanks that may exist in your understanding.”
— Eric Scott Reed

The history and lineage of jazz rings true through Vincent's sound and vocabulary. In his new book he has broken down and given a clear, step-by-step explanation of how he developed his harmonic conception. You don't get to where he has gotten to by chance. Fortunate are you to have what is in essence cliff notes of his evolution. If you are a fan of improvised music you owe it to yourself to investigate the insights that he presents within its pages. Rest assured that these are tested and proven effective tactics to evolve your mind and ears...I mean, just listen to him. If that doesn't prove my point you might need to get your hearing checked.”
— Myron Walden

Embark on a transformative journey into the art of jazz improvisation with Vincent Herring's masterpiece, 'Logic and Critical Thinking in Jazz Improvisation.' As one of the world's premier master saxophonists, Herring generously shares his wealth of knowledge, offering readers a unique opportunity to glean insights and practice routines from the virtuoso himself.”
— Emmet Cohen

Explore the depths of harmony and the art of improvisation in the fascinating world of jazz with Vincent's book. With intriguing insights and clear exposition, he guides the reader through melodic and harmonic construction, offering a perspective on creating rich and engaging musical phrases. An enthralling journey into the heart of musical expression, this book is an essential resource for jazz musicians and those looking to refine their skills in the art of improvisation.”
— Rosario Giuliani

Vincent Herring, born November 19, 1964, is a celebrated American saxophonist, bandleader, and educator with a notable career spanning several decades. He gained prominence with the Horace Silver Quintet and Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers, followed by a pivotal stint with the Nat Adderley Quintet. Herring's solo career features over 25 albums and numerous collaborations with jazz greats. Additionally, he co-founded the Cannonball Adderley Legacy Band and is set to release a new album with his project "Something Else" in 2024. Herring is also a respected educator and author, contributing his extensive knowledge to the jazz community.