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JoeWhip

Article: Music and Sonic Favorites: Jazz Piano

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I've been listening to Cyrus Chestnut a lot recently.


Everything matters... when brewing coffee.

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4 minutes ago, JoeWhip said:

his vocalizing, shall I say, can be a bit distracting.

First rank pianist for sure but I'm with you on the vocalizing. I can't stand it when the engineer deliberately mikes Jarret's off-key grunting and moaning. I've noticed other pianists with the same affliction (e.g. Oscar Peterson, McCoy Tyner), but Keith Jarrett is in a class by himself.


“The best sounding audio product is the one that exhibits the least audible flaws.”

 Dr. Floyd Toole

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Yes, Cyrus is awesome and a great dude to chat with at the bar, and I don’t even drink!

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1 hour ago, audiobomber said:

First rank pianist for sure but I'm with you on the vocalizing. I can't stand it when the engineer deliberately mikes Jarret's off-key grunting and moaning. I've noticed other pianists with the same affliction (e.g. Oscar Peterson, McCoy Tyner), but Keith Jarrett is in a class by himself.

Erroll Garner is pretty talkative as well, but it adds charm and you can see when he really gets into it. 

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16 hours ago, ronfint said:

Bandcamp has waived fees for artists today, and Marc Cary, one of the very best pianists out there, has a bunch of new releases. He has stated that he will donate the waived fees to the Jasmine Floyd fund in honor of her father.

 

I haven't yet checked out the three releases that he posted today, but I can highly recommend his duet album with Sameer Gupta.9771FDB8-B82B-4348-8411-A595F73EE5DE.thumb.jpeg.bc53165403e674298a2c88bc209fbf4a.jpeg

Very nice. Purchased Friday at BC.


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I know the list is getting long, but have to mention one of the greats:  Hank Jones.  

 

According to Hank Jones, "when you listen to a pianist, each note should have an identity, each note should have a soul of its own." For nearly six decades Jones has taken his own words to heart, playing every one of his notes with a unique and deeply personal style. [NPR profile]  I think they got it just right.  


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Great article (and not just because Bill Evans and Oscar Peterson also top my list)!

 

I second Art Tatum: Charlie Parker took a 3 month gig washing dishes to hear Tatum play.

And, on top of the fine selection in the article my favorites include Fats Waller, Duke Ellington, Count Basie, and Shirley Horn.

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I listen to lot of jazz piano (Bill Evans, Horace Silver, Bud Powell, to name a few), but I keep returning to this Brad Mehldau album:  

 

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On 6/4/2020 at 10:48 PM, audiobomber said:

No mention of McCoy Tyner or Herbie Hancock? I don't understand.

 

Tyner's work with the John Coltrane Quartet and Hancock's with the Miles Davis Quintet (1964-68) is enough to land them on any list of greatest pianists, IMO. Their solo recordings are icing on the cake. e.g. 

McCoy Tyner - The Real McCoy, Reaching Fourth, Tyner Plays Ellington 

Herbie Hancock - Maiden Voyage, Empyrean Isles, The New Standards

Our esteemed fellow clearly as his taste directed more to "straight ahead" jazz. Nothing wrong with that!

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A lot of nice recordings ...

 

When I think about my favourite jazz piano CD, I can't say for sure, but I'm pretty sure which one I played the most in the last 30 years, namely "Fred Hunt Trio - Yesterdays" !

 

Cover of the re-release (Bell Records), available on Tidal:
 

84982983_FredHunt-BellCD.jpeg.a5a5d13d0832617db325798e76bc0a48.jpeg

 

 

I bought this CD in the year 1986, originally released by Jeton (wow, long time ago).

Tip: first song "All Our Yesterdays" - medley of three "Yesterday" songs ...

 

Some CD pictures:

 

IMG_1943_DxO.thumb.jpg.bd3e0d460dc6bcff2922c8d0c99d59b4.jpg

 

IMG_1945_DxO.thumb.jpg.e38a96c6c7f5adb995d3b5857c1a0858.jpg

 

 

Here is a "Deepl"-Translation of the German-CD-Text:
 

Few jazz stars can claim to have set two such eccentric records as the British pianist Fred Hunt: The musician is one of England's most sought-after session cracks, has recorded countless records with almost all the greats of swing and old-time jazz, but for over twenty years he has steadfastly refused to record a solo record under his own name.

This in no way due to lack of opportunity. Rather for another reason; "After my first solo record in 1959, I decided not to make another record until a company could be found that would give me all the artistic freedom I needed. This consequence soon caused Fred Hunt a lot of trouble. British record producers quickly stamped him as a mimosa, attesting to his lack of discipline and refusing to give him the chance that this musician was waiting for.

During the past years the pianist had kept his head above water with an engagement with the British "Alex Welsh Jazz Band", probably the most perfect European mainstream group. And now and then he showed what he understood by a pianistic rake in the concerts of the Welsh Band. At one such concert we heard the British musician and spontaneously decided to offer the artist a contract. But that was easier said than done. Fred Hunt listened calmly to our offer, seemed enthusiastic - and refused. That was, as Hunt admits today with a smile and pleasure, "pure tactics. I first had to find out whether the matter was serious. After such a long time, one must also be sceptical." But after numerous flights and endless phone calls, the deal was done. Fred Hunt had agreed to it.

This means that the jazz world now has one more legend, the legend of Fred Hunt, whose good end nobody had believed in. All the more amazing is the result of the recording sessions, which lasted for several days. Right from the start, Hunt, with his two musicians Brion Mursell, bass, and Roger Nobes, drums, turned out to be a professional who has not lost any of his outstanding virtuosity. He shows himself to be a master of sparkling swing, arranging and layering full, warm and melodic chord cascades around his themes, only to skilfully break out into imaginative improvisations the next moment. His fellow musicians give him a lot of freedom, which he also needs to be able to return gently to the starting point after the wide arcs of tension. He never loses himself in trivialities, but proceeds with mathematical coolness.

A perfect example of Hunt's rich fantasy is the medley "All Our Yesterdays", a combination of the three titles "Yesterdays", "Yesterday When We Were Young" and the Beatles composition "Yesterday". Full of elegance, but without any superficiality, Hunt works his way through the different styles of composition and combines them into a sophisticated unity. The long introduction dissolves into a surprise - but listen for yourself.

 

 

 

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On 6/7/2020 at 10:56 AM, Audiofun2020 said:

Loved the list.  But, being older than probably most of those posting, I'd like to make a suggestion or two of other piano works to further enhance your listening pleasures:

 

1. Art Tatum - Art was the precurser to Oscar.  If you want to enjoy some un-imaginable chops, listen to "Too Marvelous for Words" and "Tea for Two" on "The Best of the Complete Pablo Solo Masterpieces".

 

2. Keith Jarrett - Try "La Scala 2" on "La Scala (live)" and "October 17, 1988" on "Paris Concert"

 

3. McCoy Tyner - Anything off of "Trident" with Elvin Jones and Ron Carter.

 

I hope these suggestions bring you much listening pleasure.

Nice selections. There are so many great pianists, maybe not our age but just our sensibilities differ and give us our different favorites. Tatum and Oscar  technically the best but sometimes my least favorites. Give me Monk and Bill Evans and I am in another place in time. 
 

Nobody has mentioned Horace Silver yet, one of my favorites. 

 


 

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