During a five-year period the Master Jazz label recorded 11 swing-based pianists in solo settings. Although the label went under later in the decade, the recordings were treasured by collectors. Mosaic, on this four-CD set, brought back all of the music from the original five-volume Master Jazz Piano series, adding two unissued selections and a full album released separately of Ram Ramirez's playing. In addition to Ramirez (who is heard on 13 numbers), there are 13 performances by Earl Hines, four apiece from Claude Hopkins, Cliff Jackson, Keith Dunham, Sonny White, Teddy Wilson, Cliff Smalls and the obscure Gloria Hearn, eight by Jay McShann and two from Sir Charles Thompson. Most of these pianists (other than Hines and Wilson) rarely recorded during this period in their careers, making this box very important both musically and historically.
Volume 1 introduces the intermediate pianist to the basic chord-types used in jazz, from major and minor triads to seventh and ninth chords. Other topics include: Chord/scale relationships, modes, broken chord and scale patterns, pentatonic and blues scales, walking bass lines, Latin rhythms and bass lines, the diatonic cycle, secondary dominants, …
Enter the rich and exciting world of jazz harmony. This fascinating piano lesson from one of the greats in contemporary jazz is packed with musical insights, invaluable advice and detailed keyboard technique for players who are starting out in this idiom. All you need is a basic knowledge of the keyboard, and before long you’ll be comping evocative jazz chords and creating lush improvisations.
The Evolution of Solo Jazz Piano is a study of solo piano styles developed by 24 of the most influential solo pianists from 1900 to the present. In order to clearly illustrate the specific contributions of the various pianists, Bill Dobbins composed a theme based on the well known standard All Of Me. By applying the stylistic approaches of the different pianists to the same theme, one becomes aware of the subtle yet evocative elements of each individual style. Common elements between Waller, Ellington, Tatum, Monk and Rowles, Tatum, Hines and Wilson, Smith and Ellington, Corea and Beirach etc., should make it clear that musical individuality is largely the result of the subconscious emphasis of some musical elements over others, rather than the self-conscious cultivation of originality for its own sake. We sincerely hope that this DVD may serve as a stimulus toward the further study of the solo jazz piano tradition in particular and for creative music in general.