I've started reading Mark Levine's The Jazz Theory Book, and I have a couple questions about how he harmonizes the major scale. (Let's not even get started on the melodic minor!)
First, I'm confused about the choice of the sus♭9 chord for the 3rd degree of the scale. The ♭9 obviously makes sense, since that's what gives the Phrygian mode its distinct flavor. But why the sus? Actually, I think I've gotten confused about what sus actually means here. When I originally learned about sus chords, I learned that "the fourth replaces the third," but Levine calls this out as a "persistant myth." That seems to suggest I should think about the sus♭9 chord as a m11♭9. If that's the case, I guess extending the chord with the 11 makes some sense to me. However, Levine also says that this chord is usually played as 1, ♭9, 4, 5, 7, i.e. what I think of as a "true" sus chord. So I am a little lost.
The other thing I'm confused about is that Levine gives two different harmonizations of the V, either as a V7 or a Vsus. I guess the sus in Vsus implies a dominant seventh chord. I'm confused about why there are two different choices of harmony here and how to choose between them, and also have the same questions about the exact meaning of the sus chord here. Should I think about this as a 7add11 chord, or is something else going on here?