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Piano: Jazz Listening Examples

Jazz Listening Examples

Listening examples for piano from jazz




Foundations: The Keith Jarrett Anthology by Keith Jarrett
CD 17125-17126  Check Availability
Image:Foundations_Keith_Jarrett_Anthology.jpg‎ From
"This two-CD collection runs the gamut of Keith Jarrett's late-1960s to mid-1970s work, beginning with an unissued 'Smoke Gets in Your Eyes' with Jim Pepper and closing some two hours later with his gusting 'Pardon My Rags' from the 1975 Atlantic record El Juicio. The first CD is filled with tracks featuring Jarrett alongside Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers, the esteemed rock-jazz crossover sensation Charles Lloyd and his quartet, and vibist Gary Burton. When the second disc kicks off, it's largely Jarrett with his 1970s U.S. quartet--comprised of tenor saxophonist Dewey Redman, bassist Charlie Haden, and drummer Paul Motian. Overall, the collection is a solid demonstration of Jarrett's early works, showing its title's aptness." - Andrew Bartlett
More about this album: AllMusic.jpg
Now He Sings, Now He Sobs by Chick Corea
CD 713  Check Availability
Image:Now_he_sings_now_he_sobs.jpg‎ From
"This adventurous yet lyrical trio LP was Chick Corea's career breakthrough album, establishing him as a significant pianist and composer. Over three days in March 1968, Corea recorded with Miroslav Vitous and Haynes (they have since reunited many times over past 34 years) and produced a total of 13 great performances only five of which were used on the original albums. The material ranged from soon-to-be Corea classics like 'Matrix' and 'Windows' to extended improvised pieces like the title tune to creative interpretations of Monk's 'Pannonica' and 'My One And Only Love'."
More about this album: AllMusic.jpg


La Scala by Keith Jarrett
CD 11098  Check Availability
Image:Piano_listening_lascala.jpg From the CD jacket a story from Keith Jarrett:
"...I thanked him, but there was no proper way to say thank you for reinforcing the fragile (and at time, distant) knowledge that music is in the making of the music. The heart is where the music is."
Piano Rags by Scott Joplin
CD 19639  Check Availability
Image:Piano_Rags_Scott_Joplin.jpg‎ From the Nonesuch Records website:
"Joshua Rifkin's Nonesuch recordings of the Joplin rags in the early 1970s ignited a national passion for ragtime jazz and, wrote New York magazine, 'created, almost alone, the Scott Joplin revival.' The jaunty syncopations and lively melodies of the genre shine through on favorites like 'Maple Leaf Rag' and 'The Entertainer.'"


Running Wild (1921-1926) by James P. Johnson
CD 15659  Check Availability
Image:Running_Wild_james_p_johnson.jpg‎ From
"Most famous for penning the era-defining song, 'The Charleston,' Johnson was an early innovator of jazz piano. This album collects vital material from the early stages of his distinguished career."
The First Day by Albert Ammons & Meade Lux Lewis
CD 3188  Check Availability
Image:The_First_day.jpg‎ From
"What sets Ammons and Lewis apart is their shared insistence that there's more going on than just dazzling look-how-fast-the-left-hand-moves demonstrations. The First Day has the expected bells and whistles—the wildcatting lines, irreverent shout choruses, and slipping and sliding mayhem that spans the length of the keyboard. But it's also got some blues reflection in it, and moments of poignancy that are precious now, considering how showbiz-sensational boogie-woogie soon became."


Classic Early Solos (1934-1937) by Art Tatum
CD 15158  Check Availability
Image:Classic_early_solos_Art_Tatum.jpg‎ From
"Art Tatum was simply a marvel at the piano keyboard, a whirlwind of creative energy who could switch suddenly from a lilting swing to runs of such speed they might levitate the piano. This CD collects all his Decca recordings from the 1930s, 16 tracks from 1934, including alternate versions of three pieces, and four from 1937. Tatum was both synthesis and extension of the great pianists who had preceded him, including elements of stride that would suggest James P. Johnson, Fats Waller, and Duke Ellington, but his greatest influence was unquestionably Earl Hines." - Stuart Broomer

The Genius of Bud Powell by Bud Powell
CD 888  Check Availability
Image:Genius_of_Bud_Powell.jpg‎ From the catalog:
Contents: "Tea for two (take 5) (3:28); Tea for two (take 6) (4:13); Tea for two (take 10) (3:47) / Vincent Youmans, Irving Caesar -- Hallelujah / Leo Robin, Clifford Grey, Vincent Youmans (2:59) -- Parisian thoroughfare (2:28); Oblivion (2:28); Dusk in Sandi (2:13) ; Hallucinations (2:25); The fruit (3:17) / Bud Powell -- A nightingale sang in Berkeley Square / Eric Maschwitz, Manning Sherwin, Jack Strachey (3:41) -- Just one of those things / Cole Porter (3:50) -- The last time I saw Paris / Jerome Kern, Oscar Hammerstein II (3:16)."



The London House Sessions by the Oscar Peterson Trio
CD 8777-8781 Disc 2  Check Availability
Image:London_House_Session_Oscar_Peterson_Trio.jpg‎ From
"Oscar Peterson's week-long engagement at Chicago's London House was initially partially released as four LPs: The Trio, The Sound of the Trio, Put On a Happy Face and Something Warm. This five-CD set greatly expands upon the program, reissuing the four albums and 30 previously unissued selections. Peterson, bassist Ray Brown and drummer Ed Thigpen worked together quite well, with O.P. easily the dominant force, but this very extensive set is mostly for Peterson completists and his greatest fans, because a certain sameness pervades the music after awhile." - Scott Yanow

Waltz for Debby by the Bill Evans Trio
CD 7005  Check Availability
Image:Waltz_for_Debby_Bill_Evans_Trio.jpg‎ From
"...Very little in the annals of piano-trio jazz ever reached the clarity of execution that Evans made his own with the recordings from this single date. With bassist Scott LaFaro and drummer Paul Motian, Evans reached a rapport that sounded whisper-intimate, rolling into gentle cascades and then rhythmically pouncing juts. On the keys, Evans sounds at once completely walled-off and nakedly open as he takes on 'My Foolish Heart' and the title melody. The chords are voiced ever so oddly, as are the bass and drums. Coming as it did several months in the wake of the successful first episode in Evans's Vanguard, Waltz for Debby just made it all the more obvious what a wonder the world had in this trio and its leader." - Andrew Bartlett



Nefertiti, the Beautiful One Has Come: Live at the Cafe Monmartre, 1962 by Cecil Taylor
CD 24988-24989 Disc 1  Check Availability
Image:Nefertiti_the_Beautiful_one_has_Come.jpg‎ From
"This double-LP is the only recording that exists of Cecil Taylor and his group (other than two songs on the bootleg Ingo label) during 1962-1965. Taylor's then-new altoist Jimmy Lyons (who occasionally hints at Charlie Parker) and the first truly 'free' drummer Sunny Murray join the avant-garde pianist in some stunning trio performances recorded live at the Cafe Montmartre in Copenhagen. With the exception of an interesting version of 'What's New' (which finds Lyons showing off his roots), the music is comprised entirely of Taylor originals and is atonal and full of power." - Scott Yanow

Maiden Voyage by Herbie Hancock
CD 18523  Check Availability
Image:Maiden_Voyage_Herbie_Hancock.jpg‎ From
"In the mid-'60s, a distinctive postbop style evolved among the younger musicians associated with Blue Note, a new synthesis that managed to blend the cool spaciousness of Miles Davis's modal period, some of the fire of Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers, and touches of the avant-garde's group interaction. Maiden Voyage is a masterpiece of the school, with Hancock's enduring compositions like 'Maiden Voyage' and 'Dolphin Dance' mingling creative tension and calm repose with strong melodies and airy, suspended harmonies that give form to his evocative sea imagery..." - Stuart Broomer



Piano Legends hosted by Chick Corea
DVD 865  Check Availability
Image:Piano_Legends_Chick_Corea.jpg From
"This video celebrates the lives and music of some of America's most talented jazz pianists. The program is hosted by Chick Corea, himself a piano master. He takes the viewer on a trip through times and styles of keyboard artists. There is the elegant piano style of Art Tatum, as well that of musical giants Duke Ellington and Count Basie. The keyboard artistry of Fats Waller, whose catchy lyrics sometimes overshadowed his piano genius, is another highlight. Modern masters including McCoy Tyner and Thelonious Monk are also featured."
100 Fingers Piano Playhouse: Piano Playhouse Vol. 1  various contributors
DVD 1468  Check Availability
Image:100_fingers_piano_playhouse.jpg‎ From the catalog:
Contents: "You don't know what love is -- Autumn leaves -- Someone to watch over me -- Tin tin deo -- Blue monk -- Tea for two/ Stardust -- No problem."