The Creativity of Jelly Roll Morton – “The Father of Jazz”

Sterling CozzaSolo Piano1 Comment

When people talk about the origins of jazz, the name on everyone’s mind is the creator of ragtime piano, Scott Joplin. With such standbys as “The Entertainer,” “Sugar Cane Rag,” and “Maple Leaf Rag,” he came up with the makings of blues and swing which would eventually become jazz as we know it today. But how did we get there? … Read More

Accompanying Singers – Hillary Kole “Duets”: How To Set Up A Solid Intro

Bijan TaghaviComping1 Comment

Hillary Kole’s You Are There (Duets) is a fascinating study in how to accompany a jazz singer in a vocal-piano duo setting. The record contains 13 vocal-piano duets with many different pianists, including Kenny Barron, Dave Brubeck, Benny Green, Hank Jones, Steve Kuhn, Freddy Cole, Cedar Walton, Alan Broadbent, Monty Alexander, Michel Legrand, and Mike Renzi. There are many challenges … Read More

Finding Your Voice with Voicings

Sterling CozzaVoicingLeave a Comment

Some people ask us jazz pianists:           “How do you know what notes to play?”          Other times, I am reading a lead sheet and they ask, “If there’s only one line on the page, where do the other notes come from?” This is where our secrets lay. With all but one note … Read More

Funk: The Infectious and Pungent Cousin of Jazz

Noah KellmanBeginner3 Comments

The great jazz educator and drummer Justin DiCioccio has one simple motto: “make everything in life feel like a groove.” This is actually a deceptively simple token of advice, commenting on finding peace and stability in the hardest of times. But, taken on a surface level, this philosophy also happens to be a pretty spot-on mission statement for another genre … Read More

Comping – What is it? Why is it important?

Sterling CozzaCompingLeave a Comment

People talk of the great jazz pianists: Bill Evans, Chick Corea, Brad Mehldau, and what do they remember? Most often it is their lines and soloing ability.   What most people don’t think about when it comes to these great musicians is their ability to accompany or play within a group.     What is good comping? Good comping is … Read More

8 Ways Bebop Revolutionized Jazz Forever

Noah KellmanImprovisationLeave a Comment

In many ways, Bebop can seem like a footnote in the timeline of jazz history.  After all, it lasted only a mere five years or so in the late 40’s, half a century removed from its historic roots in New Orleans. And it would be less than a decade before Miles Davis released his landmark record “Kind of Blue,” and ushered … Read More

Developing Your Own Style: Listening Through Generations

Sterling CozzaBeginnerLeave a Comment

What do Brad Mehldau, Mark Turner, and Eric Harland all have in common? They’re some of the foremost jazz musicians of our time. And yes, they’d sound amazing in a band together, of course. But what are we really talking about here? STYLE. Each one of these musicians has their own unique style and voice on their instrument. So much … Read More