Keith Jarrett interprets the traditional Irish Ballad “Danny Boy” with a personal touch at this Tokyo solo concert from 2002. He uses voicings that you don’t hear from most pianists, some including major 9ths and passing tones. Note how he throws in his personal flair with a reharmonization in the 5th bar! When compared to Bill Evans’ famous recording from … Read More
Bill Evans interprets the traditional ballad “Danny Boy” with his elegant piano style and beautiful voicings. Note how he presents the melody with advanced harmonies and splits the voicings between two hands with the flexibility to still bring out the melody. Bill Evans shows his mastery in this recording, the rest of this track is definitely worth checking out!
Brad Mehldau demonstrates his individual style on his first album as a leader, “Introducing Brad Mehldau.” He spices it up by playing the standard tune “It Might as Well Be Spring” in 7/8 with a clave ostinato pattern. Listen how he navigates the odd meter while adding his own flavor to the turnaround at the end of this chorus.
Hear how Phineas Newborn plays the blues on “Cheryl” from his classic album “A World of Piano” in 1961. His use of chromaticism and blues vocabulary gives his playing a modern edge that still cuts through by today’s standards.
Here is some classic hard bop vocabulary over the tune “All of You,” originally made famous by Miles Davis. Sonny Clark outlines the changes in his solo with clarity and grace from his album “Blues in the Night.”
Paul Bley is known for his individual approach to creating melodies. Check out this line from “All the Things You Are” on a recording with Coleman Hawkins from 1963. He starts out with a chromatically ascending motive and cadences in A major, a half step above!
On his classic 1960 recording of “Peri’s Scope” from Portrait in Jazz, Bill Evans comes out swinging! In this phrase, he riffs on a C in rhythm over a 3-6-2-5 progression, and resolves it with a flourish outlining a D minor 11th chord. Quintessential Bill Evans right here!
On his original tune “Matrix,” Chick Corea burns through this blues chorus with unique flair and creativity at a blistering tempo. He begins with some F suspended vocabulary which is reminiscent of McCoy Tyner, one of his major influences. He ascends dramatically to the top of the keyboard, and returns down to Earth to burn through the rest of the … Read More
There is one and only one McCoy Tyner, and this lick from his seminole album The Real McCoy (1967) brings home the point. Check how he rips through different pentatonic sounds over the F pedal on his tune “Passion Dance.”
Red Garland begins a chorus of the classic standard “If I Were a Bell” with his signature blues lick. Watch out, he throws in a three beat hemiola at the end of the phrase to keep us guessing!