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Joe Maneri was my teacher for many years. He lived eight blocks from me in Brooklyn but I met him through the composer Harold Branch. He, Joe and Harold Seleksky were studying with a European immigrant who come to the US to teach. They spent thirteen years with this man to complete his course! I did the work in seven years mainly because I was an advanced musician at that time.

I lived on Staten Island and met Joe at that time. I traveled to his Brooklyn home for weekly lessons. He taught me the "THEORY of HARMONY written by Arnold Schoenberg and also his Counterpoint course. This covered Species Counterpoint and up to composing Bach Fugues. Both were intense studies that I would never give up. I of course, went on to teach all these courses to my own private students.

I wish to express my gratitude to Joe for his wonderful and dedicated teaching. Without these studies I would not be the musician I am today. His personality was infectious and he imbued me with a life of dedication to composing and piano practice.

Joe passed away a few years ago.

May his legacy live on forever.



Ms. Ulehla was my teacher in theory and composition at Manhattan School of Music from 1955 to 1958. After my return to the US from Norway in 1972 I began more studies with her, privately. She had an encyclopedic knowledge of all periods of classical music and could play examples on the piano to demonstrate and back up her analyses.

The classes were designed to give the student a challenge by imitating each period or style, composing in the various forms; Song form (ABA), fugal (2-3-4 part counterpoint), passacaglias, and the sonata form which included the four-movement large form. This was rigorous and most demanding. She was a taskmistress of the highest order but was extremely patient with us. She always knew instinctively what was missing from from our work and would suggest the next step we should take. She always told us to trust our inner ear to guide us in our composing. It was this routine and discipline that helped me turn in good assignments. She would always compliment me in front of the class by saying, " now here's an example of an exercise that became real music". I was slightly embarrassed to be signaled out in front of my class mates but secretly bathed in the praise.

My Piano Sonata in D Minor became my term project and final work that I had to turn in to complete the requirements for my Masters Degree in Theory and Composition. This composition is now part of the repertoire that makes up my solo recital programs that I give throughout the US and Europe. I look on it as if it was composed by someone else, not me! This helps me to practice it as if it were a serious work by the Masters. The form is tight but not rigid and the style is my own all though one is able to clearly discern the influences of Schostakovich, Schumann, Bach, and Chopin and even some poly-tonal/quartal harmonic elements scattered throughout each movement.

I was honored to be blessed with contact with such a great musician and most of all a teacher devoted to the highest musical principles. She was a rare person, indeed.

I have recently finished reading a story about another great teacher, the legendary French composer and musicologist Nadia Boulanger. Her life, knowledge, and devotion to music and her students has a parallel in that of Ludmila Ulehla. I heartily recommend the book, "NADIA BOULANGER-- a Life in Music". It is an inspiring read and will bring you closer to the Ludmila Ulehla, the teacher I whose expertise I had first experienced here in the USA.

Jack Reilly's new Dave Brubeck harmony book is released...

As Published by Hal Leonard Music, Inc - As Jack Reilly did with Volumes 1 and 2 of The Harmony of Bill Evans books, he now explores the harmony of Dave Brubeck through extensive writings, music examples, and audio examples as well.

Fans of Brubeck and students of all jazz styles will find this in-depth exploration fascinating and informative.

Songs include: Blues for All * Brandenburg Gate * The Duke * Her Name Is Nancy * Marble Arch * Thank You (Dziekuje) * The Waltz * When I Was Young * and more.

Also includes CD with musical examples!

You can find it here at Hal Leonard Music!





THE HARMONY OF DAVE BRUBECK, By Jack Reilly. Hal Leonard, Inc.2013. 88 pp. $24.99.

plus CD of musical examples. Jack Reilly . (Find it easily right here at Hal Leonard Music
Classical, Jazz & Ballet Critic
Fanfare magazine

Jack Reilly is one of the most creative yet lesser-known jazz pianists. I’ve never quite understood the reasons for his lack of visibility, except perhaps that he, like jazz singer Sheila Jordan, maintains a low profile because he refuses to compromise his talent. He won’t play show tunes, modern pop, fusion, or for that matter anything that smacks of populism. He goes his own way, plays what he wants, writes what he wants, and occasionally produces fine educational books on jazz theory such as this one as well as The Harmony of Bill Evans. As a friend and admirer of Evans since the early 1950s as a pupil of Lennie Tristano, Reilly remains fascinated and deeply involved in chords and chord structures as the basis of all the music he plays and/or writes.

Thus this book, although a tribute to Brubeck (who died as Reilly was putting the finishing touches on it), begins in Lesson 1, Polytonal Studies, with examples from his own La-No-Tib suite for piano and an explanation of its basic underlying principles. Reilly not only explains polytonality as a mechanism but, more importantly, how polytonality can be used as a medium of expression in both composition and improvisation. Of course there is always the danger, especially with younger and/or less experienced pianists, of becoming hooked on polytonality as a gimmick, meaning that the cleverness of writing bitonally or polytonally becomes the raison d’être of the music’s existence. Ironically, there was little chance of this happening back in the 1950s when Reilly (and Evans) first emerged, for the simple reason that polytonal and bitonal music was little understood by the general public and, for the most part, shunned. It took forceful individuals like Miles Davis, George Russell, John Coltrane, and Charles Mingus to keep at it until such point as it became part of the everyday lexicon of jazz improvisation and composing; and it is not coincidental that all four of those musicians played and recorded with Bill Evans.
As for Brubeck, he gets his due beginning with the second and longer section of the book, titled The Music. I was exceptionally pleased to see a major jazz improviser and composer like Reilly devote so much time to breaking down the structure as well as the harmonic relationships of so many Brubeck pieces. Reilly was extremely fortunate to have Brubeck himself help him analyze these structures via numerous phone conversations during his last year on earth, but the mere fact that this book exists and gives so much theoretical and critical analysis of Brubeck’s music is a minor miracle in itself.

Throughout the years when the Dave Brubeck Quartet was active, Brubeck himself often came under criticism or, worse yet, was completely dismissed by many jazz musicians (I won’t name names, but they know who they are) as a jazz pianist. He was often considered to be bombastic, heavy-handed, and unswinging. Many were the jazzmen who raved about his alto saxist, Paul Desmond, while dismissing Brubeck as a second-rate jazz player (some even had the audacity to ask Desmond to leave the quartet). Thus Reilly’s book restores Dave Brubeck to the place of prominence that I, and thousands of other fans who did understand music and knew he was good, knew that he rightly deserved and still deserves.

Reilly begins his analysis of Brubeck’s music with his very first composition, I Weep No More, written in 1945 in celebration of VE Day. Among the other pieces analyzed here are When I Was Young, The Waltz (with chord voicings by Reilly), The Duke, In Your Own Sweet Way, One Moment Worth Years, Her Name is Nancy, and several themes from the Eurasia suite: Nomad (Afghanistan), Brandenburg Gate (Germany), Dziekuje (Poland), Calcutta Blues (India), and Watusi Drums (Africa). How well I remember the backlash to that album when it came out! “That’s not jazz, it’s classical music…Why doesn’t Brubeck just go write suites and leave jazz alone?” etc. etc. (Yes, I’m paraphrasing. You won’t find these actual quotes on the Internet. But I heard them bandied about all the time back in the early 1960s.) Perhaps one reason why we, like Reilly, can come to appreciate this music so much better today is, to be frank about it, there’s a much better understanding now of jazz-classical fusion and the deep relationship between classical structure, or at least jazz structure based on classical principles, and “real” jazz as improvisation that is also based on classical music. (For the same reasons, such unusual early pieces as Red Norvo’s Dance of the Octopus, Morton Gould’s Boogie Woogie Etude, and even parts of Duke Ellington’s Black, Brown and Beige Suite are now considered great and important milestones in jazz, whereas in their own time they were not merely misunderstood but actively condemned as not being jazz at all.)

One of the more interesting of Reilly’s comments comes on pp. 45-46, when discussing In Your Own Sweet Way. To quote: “We’re definitely on slippery slopes in this tune. Section A can be analyzed as all in G minor or all in B-flat major. If you accept the G minor analysis, then the Roman numerals will be: Gm: II IV | I etc. And if you accept the B-flat analysis: VII IIIx7 | IV, etc. Does it matter? Yes and no! Yes, if you are a composer and want to understand major keys, their relative minors, and the use of secondary dominants…No, if you’re not so inclined to the intellectual/theoretical elements behind Dave’s thinking. See if I care!”

Yet there are many little insights scattered throughout this handy volume, and not just by Reilly. There are many anecdotes and sidelights written by Brubeck himself (would that Reilly had been lucky enough to get input from Bill Evans before he died!) and, on p. 66, comments by Brubeck’s son Darius, mother Elizabeth, and brother Howard on the pieces from the Eurasia suite. To be honest, I found these comments to be some of the greatest treasures of this collection and thus of interest even to the non-professional musician. More to the point, one realizes in reading Brubeck’s own comments one of the reasons why, perhaps, he was undervalued for so long. He was extremely modest about his music and not prone to bragging about it, let alone arguing its merits with critics or fans with ears of stone. I was lucky, once, to be a guest on a jazz radio program where the host talked to Brubeck live via the phone. The man’s humility and graciousness always overrode his desire to be more widely liked or understood. Brubeck always felt that his music spoke for him much more eloquently than he could with words, thus he only spoke up when prodded. Now there is this book, and Jack Reilly’s superb analysis of his music, to rebuild Brubeck’s credentials as one of the finest jazz composers of his era.

The accompanying CD is instructive and fascinating, but not always easy to follow with the printed music for the simple reason that Reilly sometimes improvises beyond the end of the written music. Essentially, the scores reduce the music to its basics, with slow-moving chords so the ear can catch what is going on. There are no pauses of silence between most of the tracks, which sometimes confuses the ear, and in at least one case (Her Name is Nancy) a pause within the track. Sometimes, Reilly plays melody notes entirely different from what is in the score, for instance in Nomad (Afghanistan), where the opening bar is marked as four C-sharps in the right hand but Reilly plays C-sharp, A above, A, C-sharp, with different underlying chords on all four beats, not the single block chord held for four beats as notated. In the second bar he plays a melodic line of four quarter notes, B, G above, G above, B, not the notated eighth notes in the score. Thus you need to keep watching your CD player to figure out where you are. Well, he’s a jazz musician, not a Midi!

This is an excellent book for anyone who wishes to analyze Brubeck’s music harmonically or structurally in any way. For the intermediate jazz student it is even more valuable as a teaching and learning tool.

Harmony of Bill Evans Vol. 1 re-released, now with CD!

Jack Reilly's The Harmony of Bill Evans Vol. 1 has been re-released in its second edition by Hal Leonard.,Inc. The new version has a CD now included with the examples of the porrtions explained and notated in the text with a bonus: Jack has included, as track 26, an18- minute recording of himself playing Evans classics in a wonderful medley:

I Should Care, My Bells, Resurrection (by Jack Reilly) My Funny Valentine, Time Remembered and Peri's Scope.

The tunes were recorded in London at the Royal Academy of Music in 1990. You can order at HAL LEONARD MUSIC!


FOREWORD by Jan Stevens for "THE HARMONY OF BILL EVANS- VOL. 2" Book / CD package


“Though everything else may appear shallow and repulsive, even the smallest task in music is so absorbing, and carries us so far away from town, country, earth, and all worldly things, that it is truly a blessed gift of God.” -- Felix Mendelssohn

The incomparable pianistic innovations of Bill Evans (1929 – 1980) continue to be celebrated by jazz fans, and closely studied by serious musicians worldwide. During his over twenty-five year recording career, he changed the approach to the sound of the piano itself in jazz by his touch, and his attention to pedaling, phrasing and dynamics. His remarkable approach to the possibilities of interplay within the piano-bass-drums trio is well-documented from the late 1950s on. READ THE REST HERE


After the acclaim recived by VOL.1, Hal Leonard, Inc, (the world's largest music publisher) has the new, much talked-about book "THE HARMONY OF BILL EVANS VOL. 2" by master pianist -composer Jack Reilly (with Foreward by pianist Jan Stevens of the Bill Evans Webpages site). Bill Evans died in 1980 but the compositional legacy he left behind is still growing. This expansive study shows how and why.

In Jack Reilly's second volume, he provides a deeper appreciation and understanding of Evans' compositions. This book and CD package (only $29.99 USD) includes two important theory chapters (which stand out on their own merits, brilliantly) , plus ten of Evans’ most passionate and melodically gorgeous works. The voicing charts for all ten songs are more complex than in volume one and pianistically more demanding, yet always worth the effort. The subjects of modulation and key relationships that are discussed in each chapter will help the player memorize faster and improvise with more facility; not an easy task when performing Evans' music.

The "Lament for Bill" in chapter 13 is the author's tribute to the genius of this great artist.

The accompanying CD will add to the enjoyment, understanding, and appreciation of the written examples. This a powerhouse book that will a prove to be a deep and indispensible experience for pianists of all stylistic persuasions as well as serious Evans fans. There is much to learn and enjoy here!

Songs include: Your Story • Laurie • For Nenette • My Bells • Maxine • Song for Helen • Turn Out the Stars • Very Early • Waltz for Debby • and more!




In the eyes of anyone interested in the technical aspects of Bill Evans, this will make for fascinating reading and, hopefully, some challenging playing too. Reilly is the renowned teacher and performer whose students include such as Bill Charlap, and whose achievements have taken in albums as well as tours in the U.K. The fact that he also had an early acquaintance with Bill, long before the latter became famous, obviously lends weight to his intention in explain the inner mechanics of Evans’ music.

It’s worth noting though that this is basically a theoretical essay with examples, rather than just a series of charts linked by some “and-then-he-wrote” text. Of the many illustrations provided, only two seem to be Evans’ own arrangements of his originals, while another eight are Evans tunes arranged by Jack Reilly. Then there are three more pieces which are, in fact, Jack Reilly originals, marked as such, that somehow reflect the Evans style, and the Reilly thesis about how it worked.

The dense theoretical section occupying the first half of the folio may be tough reading for some, and some of the examples in this section are clearly intended to be illustrative, rather than pieces that make music in their own right. But they enhance appreciation of the Evans tunes, as do Reilly’s examples on the accompanying CD.

----Brian Priestley

CLICK HERE for a free MP3 of "Lament for Bill" by Jack Reilly!

JAZZ PIANO SOLOS book (revised) by Jack Reilly

This just- released book contains inventive, high quality piano arrangemments of well-known standards and some original pieces, and are for mid-intermediate and advanced piano students and players.

Hal Leonard, Inc. ($9.99)

In stores now, or more ordering info here

Series: Piano Solo Songbook
HL #00310159

Song List:

* All The Things You Are (two versions) * Body And Soul
* Clara's Bell * Halloween * Here's That Rainy Day* I Can't Get Started With You * I Concentrate On You * I Could Write A Book * I Thought About You * My Shining Hour * November * Raindrops Keep Fallin' On My Head * Ruby, My Dear * Spring Can Really Hang You Up The Most * Tenderly * Waltz For Fall


ForFor a touching tribute by JACK REILLY to the great musician HALL OVERTON go here

Check out Jack Reilly's new SHOWCASE page at Allaboutjazz.com - and download the FREE track from the "Innocence" CD!
While you're there, you can also read their exclusive interview with Jack.

" He's (Reilly) certainly a rare individual and plays and writes with utter conviction in styles ranging from free form improv through bebop and mainstream and even into classical music." --- Duncan Heining, Jazzwise (UK) magazine£

Check out Jack's complete
catalog of CD recordings:

See the CD PAGE for audio samples and more information.

You can now also purchase any of these CDs at cdbaby.com

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