[Smt-talk] OT -beginning jazz piano

luis jure lj at eumus.edu.uy
Wed Feb 4 03:34:35 PST 2009

on 2009-02-02 at 05:50 David Claman wrote:

>I have a student who wants to learn a little about jazz piano. What I
>think would be appropriate would be a book (or website?) that has an
>explanation of chord symbols and chord voicings, but also has a few
>tunes transcribed/notated. She is a foreign student with little
>knowledge of jazz but is a good reader. 

even the best book/method/course would be virtually useless if you're
not familiar with the music. before worrying about chord symbols and
scales, i'd recommend your student to begin listening to jazz. there are
many listening guides she can use as a reference. for my course of
history of jazz i made a list of ca. 400 recordings (still in progress)
covering from jelly roll morton and king oliver (and before) to sun ra
and the art ensemble of chicago. i think a list of 50 to 100 recordings
(3 to 6 hours of music) would be a good start. i mean essential
recordings like armostrong's "west end blues", hawkins' "body and
soul", parker and gillespie's "shawnuff", davis' "so what" and many

a primary list of pianists she should try to listen to include at least
jelly roll morton, earl hines, fats waller, art tatum, teddy wilson,
nat king cole, bud powell, thelonious monk, lennie tristano, bill
evans, mccoy tyner, herbie hancock and cecil taylor. 

it's also important to know the history of the music, so i would also
recommend reading some books about jazz. most books that try to cover
the general history of jazz are rather poor, all in all i'd recommend
frank tirro. at least it's much better than ted gioia...

of the jazz piano books i know, i'd recommend mark levine's, i think
it's a fine book.



luis jure
eMe - estudio de música electroacústica

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