I'm reading Mark Levine's "The Jazz Theory Book". In it Levine states that all minor7 chords are ii chords, all dominant 7 chords are V chords, and all major7 chords are I chords.

As I understand, the iii chord is also a minor7 chord. So I'm a bit confused as to how Levine can state that all minor7 chords are the ii chord.

What am I missing here?
Since you mentioned the ii, V and I degrees, maybe it's in the context of a ii - V - I?

I don't have the book, but maybe the page you're reading is focussed on a chapter of ii - V - I progressions?
Last edited by mdc at Dec 7, 2011,
The only thing I can think of is what mdc is saying in a very limited context. If you're talking about a specific type of jazz progression which goes ii V I, ii V I, ii V I etc doing a circle of fifths thing, the quality of the chords pretty commonly would be minor 7th, dominant 7th and major 7th respectably. He could be claiming that specifically. That's not a catch-all statement though.

How about a quote of exactly what he says?
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Well, it is in fact in the context of a ii V I progression. But Levine doesn't specify that this rule is only applicable when you're dealing with a ii V I progression.

The quote is:

Minor 7th chords are all II chords
Dominant 7th chords are all V chords
Major 7th chords are all I chords

I guess I'm missing the fact that this only applies if we are dealing with a ii V I progression.
That book is heavy CST, works for some, not me. I don't remember exactly what he wrote but I'm pretty sure he's got a point somewhere, maybe a bad choice of words. All minor7 chords are not ii-chords.

If you do like the approach he has to improvising, good for you. What did work for me was relying on context and tonal centers instead of pretty much one scale/every imaginable chord as I got the feeling that his book recommends.
Honestly, all m7 chords are not ii chords.

But you can play over em LIKE they're ii chords - Mark's scale choice is the same on ii, iii and vi chords.

The other thing is that in lots of jazz, almost every m7 chord IS a ii chord.

Personally I can't tell if it's a brilliant simplification or a horrible misrepresentation. That said, guess who sells more books between the two of us?