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#1142793 - 01/29/08 10:49 PM Re: Who is the best current new age pianist?
Monica K. Offline

Platinum Supporter until Dec 31 2012


Registered: 08/10/05
Posts: 17773
Loc: Lexington, Kentucky
 Quote:
Originally posted by Mr_Kitty:
Monica-
what's your definition of a legitimate new age artist? [/b]
Jeepers... beats me, Mr_Kitty. \:D And it's not for lack of effort, because this is the genre I love the most and am constantly having to define it for people.

Do you remember that three page "classical vs. nonclassical" piano thread that Sam started some time back? It dealt essentially with this question of "what is new age?" I was able to offer at best the exceedingly lame definition that new age was (a) music written in the past 20 years or so that (b) stressed strong melodies and (c) tended to be on the slow side. I realize that definition is completely inadequate, but I don't think anybody came up with a better one in that thread.
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#1142794 - 01/29/08 10:56 PM Re: Who is the best current new age pianist?
Monica K. Offline

Platinum Supporter until Dec 31 2012


Registered: 08/10/05
Posts: 17773
Loc: Lexington, Kentucky
p.s. You really don't think George Winston plays well? You have high standards indeed. ;\)

Hmmm.. well how about Jon Schmidt for technical skill? Or Dax Johnson? He died at the age of 30 before YouTube really took off, so there's not many good examples of his playing on there, but here\'s one piece , though I don't think it's his best work.
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Mason & Hamlin A -- 91997
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#1142795 - 01/29/08 11:22 PM Re: Who is the best current new age pianist?
Mr_Kitty Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/07
Posts: 667
Loc: Toronto
My standard for technical skill would be Claire Huangci. I don't think George Winston has mastery over the piano on the same level as Claire Huangci. I would hesitate to even say he has 1/100th of her technical skill.
all repertoire choice aside here. I'm talking sheer ability to play the instrument.
Plenty of jazz pianists have oodles and oodles of technical ability, but all of these new age guys sound like hacks who haven't put in their ten thousand hours of practicing. I realize that even scales, rapid octaves, legato 3rds, 6ths, and double note trills are not needed in the new age genre... But I would much rather see someone who HAS the skill play New Age rather than well.... Yanni and George Winston.
When I watch them play on video it always seems that they can barely play their own music(which is VERY simple pianistically).
Call me an elitist snob or whatever... I just like watching a pianist of whatever genre demonstrate absolute mastery over their instrument.

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#1142796 - 01/29/08 11:33 PM Re: Who is the best current new age pianist?
keithmusic Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/18/07
Posts: 129
Loc: Atlanta, GA
Apologies in advance to Mr. Kitty. George certainly has control of tone and expression far ahead of the not well known new age pianists out there. He records on a Steinway concert grand and tonally has no weakness. A full rich expressive tone is all you can hope to get out of any piano. He is rhythmically dead on. You also have to understand that he has sold 10 million records (probably tops for all new age pianists) as Yanni has sold 20 million. Yanni of course is a marketing package but George did it on solo piano alone. Neither play like Ashkenazy or Horowitz but few aim to or are able to. Some of the world's top orchestral players will tell you you can do more with 10 notes sometimes than with 10,000.
Jon Schmidt is an exciting pianist. His pieces aren't technically thick like classical music but he plays them loud and fast with lots of power and it's fun to watch and takes alot of effort to match his energy.
I am not as familiar with Yiruma and Kuramoto but they sound like wonderful pianists.
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#1142797 - 01/29/08 11:43 PM Re: Who is the best current new age pianist?
keithmusic Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/18/07
Posts: 129
Loc: Atlanta, GA
I like to think of New Age as music played softly and slowing in a healing way. I realize that not all new age music is like that. The slow/soft type of music gets used in holistic healing circles naturally. For me, classically trained, it's taken a few years to move (and even want to) from classical chops and playing loudly in church to getting a consistently soft and peaceful tone. The players that aren't classically trained have a head start possibly since as mentioned massive technique is not required but to work in a softer thinner landscape.
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#1142798 - 01/29/08 11:58 PM Re: Who is the best current new age pianist?
keithmusic Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/18/07
Posts: 129
Loc: Atlanta, GA
Wow, Claire Huangci is incredible. Thanks for sharing! I too wish New Age had something on her playing level, but perhaps if it was attempted people would call it something else. I have noticed that one aspect of new age is to set down a relaxing mood and try to keep the listener in that mood withoug mentally being roused or awaken. Anything faster or louder could break that mood. Of course new age umbrellas a broad spectrum of musicians. One aim I have sought in composing new age is to play slow enough that automatic relaxation and deep breathing occurs just from listening. I think Enya and 2000 (2002music.com) achieve some of this. It's sought to an extent in massage/spa circles as a functional attribute. George Winston and Jim Brickman don't define themselves this way but they also consider themselves to be a folk pianist/romantic pianist respectively.
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#1142799 - 01/30/08 12:54 AM Re: Who is the best current new age pianist?
rintincop Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/11/04
Posts: 1520
This here is some neat new age piano playing:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i95K987oWeY
_________________________
1966 Mason & Hamlin piano.

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#1142800 - 01/30/08 02:09 AM Re: Who is the best current new age pianist?
keithmusic Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/18/07
Posts: 129
Loc: Atlanta, GA
This video has to be considered jazz. It was performed it appears at the 1976 Montreux Jazz Festival. It consists of jazz rhythms and blues/jazz licks and uses rapid 16th and 32nd notes and patterns, triplets, two handed unison playing, a hallmark of Oscar Peterson, used thoroughly in jazz styles. New Age piano has used more flowing 8th notes, sometimes 16ths, much less complex rhythms, simpler ballad style melodies. Blues licks are rare. The 150 pianists listed at solopianopublications.com should give a nice overview of what's currently thought of as new age piano. Hope that helps.
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#1142801 - 01/30/08 03:46 AM Re: Who is the best current new age pianist?
lizzy's dad Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/10/07
Posts: 256
Loc: Suburb of Seattle
New Age = Yanni = Music to ease the fears of the claustrophobic in elevators... \:D

Again...sorry for the personal bias.

Continue on, this is really good reading, since most of the discuss in really bent around jazz piano.

I promise not to interject again. Two thumbs up

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#1142802 - 01/30/08 05:00 AM Re: Who is the best current new age pianist?
Danny Niklas Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/15/08
Posts: 905
Loc: Switzerland
 Quote:
Originally posted by lizzy's dad:
New Age = Yanni = Music to ease the fears of the claustrophobic in elevators... \:D
[/b]
Not that's ambient \:\)
Again unfortunately because in my opinion ambient music has much to offer than just background.

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#1142803 - 01/30/08 12:05 PM Re: Who is the best current new age pianist?
Mr_Kitty Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/07
Posts: 667
Loc: Toronto
lizzy's dad hit the nail ON the head.

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#1142804 - 01/30/08 12:24 PM Re: Who is the best current new age pianist?
keithmusic Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/18/07
Posts: 129
Loc: Atlanta, GA
I am enjoying lizzy's dad's input as he really is truly hilarious. Honestly. But elevators is such a limited place to present music, don't you think? Granted, the new age genre/category is a small one in the overall music industry, only 1%, but does account for 100 million records sold so far. And there is comraderie among musicians b/c its not cut throat competition as in the higher demand genres. And I would think many new age artists don't mind the elevator label, since that would mean their music is being used in a functional setting, which is a good goal for a composer.
I also wish I was a cutting edge contemporary composer 100 years ahead of the mainstream, but I don't pretend ever to be a musical genius with that type of ability, just a present day contributor of soft music that people use in their everyday lives.
On a different note participating in these posts is a good way to rekindle one's love for classical music, as people here care about great music and that is inspiring.
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Piano technique for all levels
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#1142805 - 01/31/08 09:28 AM Re: Who is the best current new age pianist?
dannac Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/04/07
Posts: 598
Loc: USA
How about Tom Howard ... (Serenity)

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#1142806 - 02/01/08 06:32 PM Re: Who is the best current new age pianist?
Dave Ferris Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/12/07
Posts: 1731
Loc: Glendale, Ca.
You think Keith Jarrett got p..ssed about the flash photography at the Umbria Jazz Festival last year? Try calling him a "New Age Pianist" to his face.

Best New Age Pianist? That's like saying "Rap Artist" or "Alternative Music". (oh, you mean an alternative to music)
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#1142807 - 02/01/08 10:51 PM Re: Who is the best current new age pianist?
Danny Niklas Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/15/08
Posts: 905
Loc: Switzerland
 Quote:
Originally posted by daveferris:
Best New Age Pianist? That's like saying "Rap Artist" or "Alternative Music". (oh, you mean an alternative to music) [/b]
Prejudiced Snob :rolleyes:

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#1142808 - 02/01/08 10:59 PM Re: Who is the best current new age pianist?
Mr_Kitty Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/07
Posts: 667
Loc: Toronto
It's not about prejudice..... it's just.....
After listening to classical music for x number of years this "new age" stuff sounds a bit.... well.... I'll let you all choose your own adjective.

When you know people with Piano Performance Degrees they got on full scholarship from Julliard who are making 14 dollars an hour working in a piano store it kind of hurts to see people like George Winston selling 10 million albums.

Music is about so much more than tranquility, relaxation, soothing, and way too many consonant harmonies.
And as I said, the pianists, with a few exceptions, are all hacks.

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#1142809 - 02/01/08 11:58 PM Re: Who is the best current new age pianist?
Danny Niklas Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/15/08
Posts: 905
Loc: Switzerland
 Quote:
Originally posted by Mr_Kitty:
It's not about prejudice..... it's just.....
After listening to classical music for x number of years this "new age" stuff sounds a bit.... well.... I'll let you all choose your own adjective.

[/b]
It's just a huge limitation you two have. I'm free from such limiting and destructive limitations and in spite of having career dreams and having spent years in a conservatory I can appreciate every kind of music. I would be disgusted at myself at the thought of being able to appreciate music only when it follows a certain stardand. As if there was just one stardard or just on circumstance or role for music in the world. I have listened classical for years, I have studied classical for years in a conservatory but music is music and when it communicates something I can related with I could care less about how hard, advanced or complex a piece is. That would be ridicolous.

Most composers and pianists treasured simple melodies way more than complex and virtuoso pieces. I don't judge music by their genre, or grade of proficiency required to play or compose it or other hideous nonsense. I judge music by what it conveys to me and I accept the universal fact that just because a certain piece might not convey something to me it does convey something to others.

When I enjoy musical songs I just let go of the pathological judging syndrome and just realize that THAT music has been created in different circumstances, is to be approached in different circumstances, fullfill differents roles and different needs and eschewing from any ridicolous comparison with the classical genre I free myself from the sad impossibility of enjoying something that has a lot to offer to me, even for just a moment.

And the same with pop, country, rock, dance, techno, trance, celtic, electronic, soundtracks, ballads, r'n'b, minimal, blues, break, jungle, goa and so on. There is a lot of music I don't personally like and means nothing to me but I don't allow myself to make broad generalizations about whole genres expecially through an inappropriate comparisons with a completely different genre. It is like claiming that since hamburgers are so tasty and flavourfull we not only don't need/want fish, eggs, veggies, fruits, cheese, water anymore but that we must insult the other food categories and those who consume them.

I don't expecially let myself be corroded by jealousy or resentment. I'm glad if other people can make money doing what they love and if the public buy their work and get something they need and treasure from their work then all the best. This has absolutely nothing to do with educating people to higher-music or training their ear or other heresies. People (like me) choose what capture their interest and this often is unexplainable and just happens. People are way less stupid and unmusical than composers and musicians looking for excuses give them credit for.

 Quote:
Music is about so much more than tranquility, relaxation, soothing, and way too many consonant harmonies. [/b]
Music is a lot of things and we can't expect to find all those things within the same genre or song. That's the very reason why different genres and style exist. If it would possible for a singular style and genre express everything that music can express we might have stopped at gregorian chants.

Certain music is for our introspective moments, certain music is for our relaxation moments, certain music is for our reflexive, certain music is for our crazy joy moment, certain music is for our sorrow moments, certain music is for our light moments, certain music is for our adventorous moments, certain music is for our social aggregation moments, certain music is for our dancing moments, certain music is for our venting moments, certain music is for your our silly moment, certain music is for our daydreaming moments, certain music if for own pure entertainment moments.

There's no way a musician who fossilizes in a genre like classical can be considered an overall complete musician. He/she will always be a limited incomplete musicians who has curtailed himself/herself a more global musical knowledge and landscape. None of the masters we worship the composition works of allowed themselves to dislike other genres of music and in fact almost everything in classical is derived from the popular settings and music of a given composer.

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#1142810 - 02/02/08 12:45 AM Re: Who is the best current new age pianist?
Disciple Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/27/07
Posts: 288
Loc: NYC
 Quote:
Originally posted by Mr_Kitty:
[QB] It's not about prejudice..... it's just.....
After listening to classical music for x number of years this "new age" stuff sounds a bit....
...Insipid?
...Like a sound machine?
...Sparse?
...Devoid of any meaningful and memorable motivic material and development?
...Harmonically static?
...like most pianists with even limited technique can emulate it easily?

Some new age music may sound about as interesting to an erudite musician as environmental sound, dependent upon your perspective.

We can really draw the same conclusions and feel the same way if we listen to Balinese gong music, Gregorian chant, Philip Glass, etc., etc. on a comparative basis to classical and romantic compositions or cerebral jazz.

Sometimes I really am in the mood to hear something a lot more simple than what I'm used to hearing. I've put on a CD of "Dark Side of the Moon" by Pink Floyd right after playing something that most pianists would need four hands to play! Simple isn't bad, it's just simple.

Of course, in my opinion, I'd rather be able to play complex as well as simple and be a total musician.

I mentioned Jarrett because he's the finest pianist who Ive ever heard play something within a New Age style. He can do it all and it shows within his new age improvising.
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#1142811 - 02/02/08 12:53 AM Re: Who is the best current new age pianist?
rintincop Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/11/04
Posts: 1520
.

New age piano at it's finest:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i95K987oWeY

.
_________________________
1966 Mason & Hamlin piano.

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#1142812 - 02/02/08 12:57 AM Re: Who is the best current new age pianist?
Disciple Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/27/07
Posts: 288
Loc: NYC
 Quote:
Originally posted by rintincop:
.

New age piano at it's finest:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i95K987oWeY

. [/b]
Monty Alexander???

You do know the difference between new age and boogie-woogie/blues/jazz/gospel, right?
_________________________
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http://youtube.com/watch?v=5C5gnAqgttY&feature=user

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#1142813 - 02/02/08 01:22 AM Re: Who is the best current new age pianist?
Danny Niklas Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/15/08
Posts: 905
Loc: Switzerland
Not all but lot of New Age belongs to minimalism.
Minimalism is not lack of ideas but a specific musical philosophy which utilizes certain sonorities and simple harmony for specific stylistic purposes. You might not like it but don't confuse the conscious chosen minimalism with lack of ideas or lack of stylistical talent. I don't have much respect for pianists who show off. Our goal is to express music not to be biased in our piece choices by the drive to show others how technically good we are. It's ridicolous when certain pianist whine that "if I play this they won't know how technically good I can be".

Technique is nothing but a mean of expression.
A real pianist must have the humbleness to express as much music as possible focusing on more important characteristics than the level of mastery needed to play them. That's why there are so many pianists who are able to play a perfect Gaspard de La Nuit but are glad and proud to perform Tchaikovsky Album for the Young as good as they can. Technique is nothing and a pianist is not an show off athlete. Even playing minimalism one can show to be a talented pianist since there's so much musical content even in simple piece and often the simpler they are the harder is to play them convincingly. In fact it's true simple pieces that a pianist can show to be talented rather than just a presumptuous and useless technique machine.

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#1142814 - 02/02/08 01:34 AM Re: Who is the best current new age pianist?
Dave Ferris Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/12/07
Posts: 1731
Loc: Glendale, Ca.
.
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#1142815 - 02/02/08 01:40 AM Re: Who is the best current new age pianist?
Danny Niklas Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/15/08
Posts: 905
Loc: Switzerland
 Quote:
Originally posted by daveferris:
 Quote:
Originally posted by Danny Niklas:Prejudiced Snob :rolleyes:
No just an honest observation from someone whose has been a pro musician, never having a day gig, and played almost every imaginable style for 41 years. Someone who can hear good from bad, jive from substance, pop culture trend from real art, out of tune, canned, garage band, amateur hour, lip synced, processed crap from the real deal. Come back in 30 yrs. and talk to me about music.
I think I'm qualified to voice my opinion here.
[/b]
You're still a snob.
Only snobs have the presumptious to really believe that there are universal standards and that they have the holy key to understand them. You can't hear good from bad because there's no such a thing as good or bad. It just depends on whether we can relate to them and whether they agree with our sensitivity, philosophies, worldview, cultural internalization and perspective and if they don't they certainly will for someone else.
I really hope in 30 years not to become so superficial to really believe that good/bad, ugly/beutiful and fascinating/uninteresting are universal objective standards rather than individually and culturally mediated sensations.
And yours wasn't an opinion, just a shallow insult on a genre of music which means a lot for a lot of people (including people in this forum) and which is honestly composed (including by many people on this forum) with the best intention of communicating something valuable for those who compose it with the intent of stricking the chords of like minded people. You could have said "it sucks because I don't like it" and you would have expressed the same identical concept.

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#1142816 - 02/02/08 02:02 AM Re: Who is the best current new age pianist?
Theowne Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/06
Posts: 1099
Loc: Toronto, Canada
 Quote:
it's taken a few years to move (and even want to) from classical chops and playing loudly in church to getting a consistently soft and peaceful tone.
...Er...so you never played any Chopin? Schubert? Debussy? Beethoven? Because all of these composers have plenty of works that require a consistently soft and delicate touch. Usually very difficult to do well (see the million videos of Moonlight Sonata for evidence)
_________________________
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#1142817 - 02/02/08 09:48 AM Re: Who is the best current new age pianist?
Monica K. Offline

Platinum Supporter until Dec 31 2012


Registered: 08/10/05
Posts: 17773
Loc: Lexington, Kentucky
 Quote:
Originally posted by daveferris:
No just an honest observation from someone whose has been a pro musician, never having a day gig, and played almost every imaginable style for 41 years. Someone who can hear good from bad, jive from substance, pop culture trend from real art, out of tune, canned, garage band, amateur hour, lip synced, processed crap from the real deal. Come back in 30 yrs. and talk to me about music.
I think I'm more than a little qualified to voice my opinion here.

As Duke Ellington said..."There are two kinds of music...good and bad".
Most intelligent music people know the difference. [/b]
I am sure you are an accomplished pianist. I admire anybody who can make a living as a musician. It's a tough life. And you are certainly entitled to voice any opinion you want (it may surprise you to learn that the only "qualification" required to voice an opinion on an internet forum is registering for it...).

I personally disagree with your opinion and wish you had expressed it more politely. It's hard to have a serious debate when somebody disrespectfully dismisses the other side out of hand.

Danny, thank you for your eloquent defenses of new age music. You expressed many of my feelings about the genre perfectly.
_________________________
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My YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/pianomonica

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#1142818 - 02/02/08 10:30 AM Re: Who is the best current new age pianist?
Mr_Kitty Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/07
Posts: 667
Loc: Toronto
I thought Disciple summed it all up rather nicely with these six points...
"...Insipid?
...Like a sound machine?
...Sparse?
...Devoid of any meaningful and memorable motivic material and development?
...Harmonically static?
...like most pianists with even limited technique can emulate it easily?"

Is any of Phillip Glass' music considered new age?
I heard his "Harpsichord Concerto" on the radio yesterday and it rivaled anything I've heard from Yanni.

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#1142819 - 02/02/08 01:47 PM Re: Who is the best current new age pianist?
jazzyprof Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/30/04
Posts: 2622
Loc: Ann Arbor, MI
 Quote:
Originally posted by rintincop:
.

New age piano at it's finest:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i95K987oWeY

. [/b]
Surely you jest, mon! \:D My Jamaican brother Monty would rather wear a tutu than be labelled a New Age artist. One of the bluesiest, funkiest, jazz pianists around.
_________________________
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#1142820 - 02/02/08 02:04 PM Re: Who is the best current new age pianist?
jazzwee Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/25/07
Posts: 7064
Loc: So. California
...ritincop has been pulling your leg. :rolleyes:
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#1142821 - 02/02/08 06:39 PM Re: Who is the best current new age pianist?
Disciple Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/27/07
Posts: 288
Loc: NYC
.
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My expansion of Lennie Tristano's Scene & Variation:

http://youtube.com/watch?v=5C5gnAqgttY&feature=user

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#1142822 - 02/02/08 06:41 PM Re: Who is the best current new age pianist?
Disciple Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/27/07
Posts: 288
Loc: NYC
 Quote:
Originally posted by jazzwee:
...ritincop has been pulling your leg. :rolleyes: [/b]
Whew! I thought he was trying to build the basis for an insanity plea! \:D
_________________________
My expansion of Lennie Tristano's Scene & Variation:

http://youtube.com/watch?v=5C5gnAqgttY&feature=user

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Upgrading a Yamaha Silent Series piano
by pianelmo
09/01/14 07:14 AM
Stuck in method books.
by Chris H.
09/01/14 06:45 AM
Repeated note legato
by noobpianist90
09/01/14 02:16 AM
"Y.Becker" # 6839 (pin)
by Maximillyan
09/01/14 01:54 AM
Why are semi-concert grands so expensive?
by ColinDS
09/01/14 12:07 AM
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