You know what can really take things to the next level? A good old-fashioned shout chorus! The best pianists such as Oscar Peterson, Erroll Garner, and Nat King Cole utilized shout choruses in their trios. Sometimes they took sections and ripped them straight from their favorite jazz big band arrangments! Check out some of our favorite shout choruses in this week’s podcast.
Besides being the king of burning down the blues, Oscar Peterson was also a master of playing intros! Setting up the tune can be on of a pianist’s most important responsibilities. Listen how Oscar starts things off right on “Just You, Just Me” from his classic album with Lester Young. https://youtu.be/RNLghVAt8sU CLICK HERE TO GET […]
Bud Powell was clearly and innovator of his time and greatly contributed to the language of jazz we all use today. In this podcast episode I’m going to analyze Bud Powell’s solo over “Anthropology” but at the same time teach you HOW to deconstruct improvisation solos into what I call “Lego Building Blocks”. This strategy will not only help you be able to use the ideas quicker, but will allow you to combine them with others in order to create your own solos more effectively. I absolutely love helping students with this because I use to learn licks and lines and simply plop them right into my solo. And guess what? It was CLEAR that what I had just played was NOT spontaneously improvised by myself. It sounded fake! So this “Lego Building Block” strategy is sure to help you with that problem.
Kenny Kirkland is one of those stars who burnt brightly, but quickly. During the short time we had him on this Earth, he left us with some amazing piano playing! Listen as he lets loose on “Mr. J.C.,” a track dedicated to John Coltrane off his self-titled album from 1991. Kenny could sure burn!!! https://youtu.be/CKj2oZ7KdQc […]
If you’ve been looking for a way to spice up your chord progressions, try this fun harmonization exercise! This podcast will show you how to take the simplest melodies and give them a more interesting underlying chord structure. Your harmonizations won’t be the same after this!
For those of you who don’t know pianist Edward Simon, you’ll want to get to know him after this week’s lick! During his tenure in the SFJazz Collective, his arrangements and solos brought an extra layer of sophistication to the group. Listen to this sultry solo break over their reimagining of the classic Stevie Wonder […]
A pedal point is when you keep the same note in the bass while changing the chords on top. Doing this for a series of measures creates a sense of both connection and tension. Using pedal points builds energy so that when the bass note finally changes, the harmonies of the tune seem to burst forth like a waterfall breaking through a dam. This lesson explores how to incorporate pedal points into your own playing.
This jazz piano podcast tutorial series will show you how to mix things up and keep your left hand voicings sounding fresh. In this episode, we discuss chords you can use with structures made from fourths and clusters. After this video, you will have the sounds of McCoy Tyner and Bill Evans in the palm of your (left) hand!
“Sir Duke” is a tune off of Stevie Wonders iconic album, “Songs in the Key of Life” (1976). He wrote it in homage to one of his great jazz influences, Duke Ellington. This soli line one minute into the song is infamous among horn players, and uses some hip pentatonic language. Check it out! https://youtu.be/_QltxXyKvS8 […]
This jazz piano podcast tutorial series will show you how to work your left hand so your left hand can work for YOU! In this episode, we discuss which chords you can use in your LH voicings, first through exploring chord inversions. We will have your left hand sounding like the best of them all (Red Garland, Brad Mehldau, Keith Jarrett… ever heard of them??) by the end of this video!