The “Oliver Nelson Lick” – TTT #5

The Oliver Nelson Lick is a pattern created by tenor saxophonist and arranger, Oliver Nelson. He is best known for his album “Blues and the Abstract Truth” (1961), and this pattern can be heard on the tune “Hoe-Down.” It is made up of triads moving down in a cycle of major thirds, each preceded by […]

Try This Bebop Lick in F-Major! – TTT #4

This bebop lick outlines the harmony of the key of F major. It includes some diminished 7th shapes moving through a 3-6-2-5-1 chord progression. Follow the chord changes and see where it takes you! Enjoy! CLICK HERE FOR THE NOTATION If you have questions or suggestions for a Lick Of The Week you would […]

These 4-Note Pentatonic Voicings Will Come in Handy! – TTT #2

These 4-note pentatonic voicings are made up of varying scale degrees from the C-minor pentatonic scale. Use them for comping over modal chord progressions, even over a 12-bar blues. CLICK HERE FOR THE NOTATION If you have questions or suggestions for a Lick Of The Week you would like us to do, please leave […]

Use This Diminished Lick for ANY Occasion! – TTT #1

This pattern goes up and down through the diminished “half-whole” scale. Use it over dominant chords for a hip sound creating lots of tension. Then, transpose it to any key and listen to the resulting effect! CLICK HERE FOR THE NOTATION If you have questions or suggestions for a Lick Of The Week you […]

Tete Montoliu’s Triplet Lines on “Manha de Carnival” (LOTW #237)

Tete Monotliu is an often undercelebrated jazz pianist from Catalonia, Spain. When notable jazz musicians such as Kenny Dorham, Ben Webster, and Dexter Gordon emigrated to Europe during their careers, Tete recorded with all of them. Here he is playing with KD on “Manha de Carnival,” more commonly known as “Black Orpheus.” CLICK HERE […]

Charlie Parker’s Opening Lick from “White Christmas” (LOTW #236)

Recorded live on Christmas Day at the Royal Roost in 1948, this version of the classic Christmas tune “White Christmas” has Charlie Parker’s trademark written all over it. Rather than the playing the tune in its usual ballad style, they decided to swing it. Boy, does this version swing! Check out his opening lick during […]

Vince Guaraldi’s “Skating” from a Charlie Brown Christmas (LOTW #235)

A Charlie Brown Christmas is a staple of American culture during the holiday season. Inspired by pianists like Bill Evans, Vince Guaraldi composed the soundtrack for this Christmas special and many tunes have become widely celebrated during the holiday season. This one, “Skating,” features a complex passage using parallel thirds in the right hand of […]

Bud Powell Blazes Through the Changes of “All God’s Chillun” (LOTW #234)

On one of his trademark recorded tunes, Bud Powell shows his true prowess as one of the originators of the bebop language. “ All God’s Chillun Got Rhythm” incorporates a sequence of several 2-5-1 progressions, and Bud executes them seamlessly on this rendition off of his album Jazz Giant (1950). CLICK HERE FOR THE […]

Oscar Peterson’s Ornamental Solo Break (LOTW #233)

Oscar Peterson is not only a master of playing changes, but also adept in his use of ornaments. He expresses his own unique style by utilizing chromatic neighbor tones, repeated notes, and enclosures which add an extra flair to his improvised lines. Check out this opening solo break from an early version of “I’ve Got […]

Hank Jones Trades Some Hot Lines with the Drums (LOTW #232)

As the oldest of the Jones Brothers, Hank Jones always seemed to be the knowledgable older brother. An accomplished solo pianist, sideman, and leader of his own groups, Hank’s artistry shined through in various settings. Here is an excerpt from a trading section with Kenny Clark on drums over his own composition “We’re All Together” […]

Jazz Piano School