Randy Halberstadt,
Metaphors for the Musician:
Perspectives from a Jazz Pianist

(Sher Music, 2001)

With a quarter-century of experience teaching jazz piano, Randy Halberstadt approaches the subject of learning music (music in general, not merely jazz piano) sagely and philosophically.

While the book's kernels of wisdom can be of benefit to any music student, there does remain a focus that makes Metaphors for the Musician primarily a useful adjunct to the study of jazz piano. Halberstadt's personal remembrances framed to showcase lessons learned invite the reader to benefit from his experience. Through colorful, imaginary examples, he seeks to jumpstart the brain into degrees of freedom required for a successful jazz state of mind. Along the way of fun and prose come well thought-out examples.

Embedded in these sophisticated studies is the knowledge of years that makes practice more productive. Halberstadt's method moves away from the rote rehearsing of simple building blocks into shorter steps of logical progression that add variety to the learning process. To bring it all together, the volume includes sheet music for several tunes, among them "Embraceable You," "How Long Has This Been Going On?" and "My Foolish Heart."

From fast fingerings to proper professionalism, Metaphors is a cornucopia of talent catalysts.

[ by Tom Schulte ]
Rambles: 25 May 2002