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User-Friendly Jazz Improvisation

“Methods to Finding Yourself as a Soloist”

“…Alaadeen is a wise elder in this music we call jazz and young musicians would

do well to devour the practical wisdom he lays down in The Rest of the Story.”

- Willard Jenkins, Journalist / Broadcaster / Producer

 “(The Rest of the Story) is very specific but still leaves room for the user to discover

for themselves, their own paths to self expression using the information provided."

- Bobby Watson, Professor of Jazz Studies, University of Missouri – Kansas City

 “You can’t miss (The Rest of the Story) as an added teaching or learning tool.”

- Tom Alexios, Director of Education Outreach Programs for the Duke Ellington Family


Kansas City, MO USA - June 17, 2009 Do you have the desire to swing and make it your own thing?  If you are a jazz educator or soloist, then you should consider what Kansas City jazz master Ahmad Alaadeen has to say in the release of his first jazz improvisation and history manual.


Primarily known by his surname, Alaadeen, “The Rest of the Story” is presented in a simplified manner with easy to understand terms.  Alaadeen’s methods help guide intermediate to advanced artists in finding themselves as soloists, while laying down a foundation to the art of improvisation.  Written by a traditional musician, Alaadeen offers a performer’s perspective rather than that of a theorist who may not play on a regular basis.


What’s unique about Alaadeen’s jazz methods manual and approach is that it encourages creativity and playing like an individual.  “When I was coming up if you took a solo and sounded like anyone else, you would be booted off the stage,” said Alaadeen.  Written in old school script, one aim of the manual is to encourage music soloists to play with originality from their instincts and gut.


While the manual is not a step-by-step guide, it does contain lesson plans for jazz educators and soloists.  Included are stories and photos from Alaadeen’s life experience that are a part of our oral tradition.  This experience contains musical values, knowledge and lesson, surprising stories of struggle and great perseverance that should not be lost.


Music educators and soloists benefit from the manual in a couple of ways:  (1) Learn a basic knowledge of what came beforehand and build upon it.  (2)  Use their ability to hear and analyze.  (3)  Focus on technique, then harmony skills.  (4)  Learn to listen.  In order to be a good player, a musician must first be a good listener.  One example of this is learning to hear the distance between notes.


Perhaps Alaadeen’s most important contributions in the manual are his commentaries and written language.  Alaadeen believes soloists must understand them in order to get through the music.  “This is significant because it becomes easier if they listen to the language,” Alaadeen said.


One of Alaadeen’s favorite sections in the manual is the discovery section.  “It opens up your mind.  I think the students should discover themselves.  For example, take a chord or group of notes, then expand on it,” replied the master saxophonist, educator and composer.


Alaadeen and his manual “The Rest of the Story” play a small part in helping to keep jazz growing.  Together they clear up some things that may have been missing in jazz instruction.  “I am contributing to future generations in a way that keeps the music going,” he replied.  “The end result is always performance.  Passing jazz on to future performers is what education is all about, Alaadeen said.


About Alaadeen

Alaadeen has been formally recognized as both, a performing artist of the highest caliber, and as an important contributor to his community in many momentous ways.  A very significant educator, teaching jazz in both the school system and privately for 35 years, Alaadeen has been compiling his teaching methods since the 70s.  He was approached by the Missouri Folk Arts Program to apply for a grant to share his methods in a manual.  The program has already funded many students to study with Alaadeen.  This jazz master has made a strong international impression not only as a performer and educator, but also as a recording artist on his own ‘ASR label.  Alaadeen is the recipient of a dozen awards and has participated in six media documentaries.  He has performed with major industry icons such as Jay McShann, Miles Davis, Ella Fitzgerald, Stan Kenton, Lester Bowie, Billie Holliday, Duke Ellington Orchestra, The Count Basie Orchestra, The Tonight Show Band and countless others.


The Rest of the Story” is published by Fandeen Publishing Company and is available for purchase at  For large orders from educational institutions, please contact Victoria “Fanny” Dunfee for a pricing at or (913) 831-4396.
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