When I published a blog post sharing clips of 20 Great Jazz Pianists – with the disclaimer that, “these aren’t necessarily the 20 greatest jazz pianists of all time” – I was hopeful that by exploring the included clips readers would get a glimpse of the length and breadth of the wonderful world of jazz piano.
But no sooner had I posted than I began musing over those many brilliant pianists who I hadn’t included, and in a jiffy the idea came to me – publish a follow-up post with another 20 pianists!
In the event this list was far more difficult to collate – and here I must thank my good friend Mark Polishook for pointing me in the direction of a few players I might otherwise have overlooked. And having covered some of the most obvious seminal players in my first list of 20 great jazz players, this post has offered a chance to explore some less predictable paths!
In the event, including everyone we both thought deserved a moment in the spotlight wasn’t possible. On the plus side the 20 I have selected include something for everyone, and once again show how immersive and varied the world of jazz playing is, from the stride of James P. Johnson to the beautiful and experimental introspection of Tord Gustavsen, and from the sophistication of George Shearing to the explosive force of nature that is Hiromi Uehara – it’s all here.
Or at least some if it is! Because there’s a whole world of amazing music out there waiting to explored.
So without further ado or comment, Welcome back to the world of the jazz pianist. Here are the clips – I hope that you enjoy them!
Continue reading Another 20 Great Jazz Pianists
World Exclusive Preview: Sheet Music Review
The rise and rise of EVC Music Publications as an exciting and innovative music publisher can’t have escaped the notice of any player or teacher active on social media, and like many I have watched their emergence over the last three years or so with growing interest.
I have previously praised a number of EVC Music’s publications. The Jevdet Hajiyev: Piano Collection 1 was particularly enterprising, and I am enthusiastic for Andrew Higgins’ excellent Birds: Études-Tableaux and the recent reissue of Graham Lynch’s wonderful Sound Sketches series. And I was delighted to report that the EVC Music Star Prize Event at the Royal Albert Hall last month was such a resounding success!
With the publication of Piano Tales for Alice – a brand new collection of easy pieces by acclaimed jazz performer and composer Nikki Iles – it seems to me that EVC Music has unequivocally arrived as a mature and significant force in music publishing.
Building on their activities thus far, with this publication EVC Music has hit the jackpot, bringing to market a genuine classic.
Let’s take a world exclusive preview look …
Continue reading Piano Tales for Alice
Jazz is caught, not taught!
So goes the cliché (although I believe this also applies to classical and other styles too). So much of the nuance, the energy, the essence and the inflection of piano music cannot be expressed away from the instrument, whether in words or using notation.
As I write this I am about to deliver a workshop entitled Introducing Jazz Piano for the Piano Teachers’ Course UK, where I am a guest tutor. And as I consider the point that listening to jazz piano playing must be our starting point, this raises the question, “where do we start?”
So to that end I’ve compiled this list of 20 seminal jazz pianists, with clips of their playing and a suggestion that you go on to more fully explore their recorded legacy.
Understand, these aren’t necessarily the 20 greatest jazz pianists of all time (and it isn’t, in any case, a competition!). However, they are all genuine greats, and between them they represent a wide range of styles and approaches within the very broad world of jazz music.
Dip in now, and keep coming back, because ongoing exposure to the genius of these players is the key to developing as a player and teacher of jazz music…
Continue reading 20 Great Jazz Pianists
Sheet Music Review
Mike Cornick has established a reputation as one of our leading composers of jazz piano music. Many of his previous works have been particularly warmly received in an educational context, with compositions such as his Blues in Two, Modulations and In the Groove featured in exam syllabi worldwide.
Mike’s enormous output includes more than sixty piano publications, brought to us by Universal Edition, the latest of which is his Six Jazz Piano Solos, written are written “for intermediate-level players and beyond”.
The collection comprises new, original piano solos which are around UK Grade 4-6 level. Each miniature explores different characteristics of jazz piano playing and style, and together they make a welcome addition to the repertoire for players at this level.
Continue reading Mike Cornick’s ‘Six Jazz Piano Solos’
Sheet Music Review
One of the highlights of last year, in my view, was the publication of Christopher Norton’s outstanding Eastern Preludes Collection, which I reviewed here.
Eastern Preludes continued a series of piano solo collections for the intermediate-to-advanced level pianist, which already included the best-selling Jazz Preludes, Country Preludes, Rock Preludes and Latin Preludes collections – so naturally I wondered what might come next.
And here it is: The Christopher Norton Pacific Preludes Collection, comprising 14 brand new compositions suitable for intermediate to advanced players (around UK Grades 6-8).
Publishers Boosey & Hawkes welcome us to:
“Embark on a voyage of discovery with this captivating collection of 14 new Pacific Preludes from the creator of Microjazz, inspired by traditional music from the shores of the world’s largest ocean.
Explore the rich and varied musical landscape of the Pacific Rim as each Prelude weaves together native themes from countries including Australia, China, Peru, New Zealand and the United States of America with Christopher Norton’s characteristically innovative popular musical styles.”
Continue reading Christopher Norton’s ‘Pacific Preludes’
Sheet Music Review
Wynn-Anne Rossi may well be a new name to UK readers, but in the US she is a well known as a composer and dynamic educator. Commissions include works sponsored by Minnesota Public Radio, the National Endowment for the Arts, the American Composers Forum and the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra. She has over 70 piano publications, as well as original repertoire including orchestral and vocal works.
Wynn-Anne’s passion for promoting creativity in young musicians is reflected in her choice of publications with Alfred Music, which include the ’Musica Latina’ series of four repertoire and four duet books.
Her latest publications with Alfred are a series of four new solo piano books under the title Jazzin’ Americana, the subject of this review.
Continue reading Jazzin’ Americana
Sheet Music Review
Tim Richards will be known to many readers as the best-selling author of the seminal Improvising Blues Piano, which set a new standard in jazz education publishing upon its first release back in 1997.
His follow up books Exploring Jazz Piano volumes 1 and 2, and Exploring Latin Piano (co-written with John Crawford de Cominges) have consolidated his place as a leading authority in the field of blues and jazz piano playing and teaching. Before proceeding, let me say that if you don’t already own Tim’s previous books, you owe it to yourself to buy copies right away.
Tim’s latest publication (once again brought to us by the forward-thinking Schott Music) is called Tim Richards Blues, Boogie and Gospel Collection – hereafter BBGC for short.
Continue reading Blues, Boogie & Gospel Collection