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#2060308 - 04/06/13 11:18 AM Jazz -- "RH=melody | LH=chords" -- a more cohesive sound?
cotte Offline
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Registered: 01/05/13
Posts: 21
Coming from a classical world I feel most piano jazz revolves around playing chords on the left hand and the melody or solo part very distinctly on the right hand.

What I feel mostly separates different pianists is their ability to come with better melodies better solos, more interesting harmony (i.e. right hand note choose against a set chord) etc. But I feel most of the jazz I hear revolves a lot around this approach to piano which is quite "un-pianistic" to me. They seem to be copying a horn soloist on the right hand.

Could you point me to jazz piano music where this is NOT the approach? (name specific tunes or records)

I know this is also present in most music from the classic period , but with more modern music this approach started to shift (think Ravel or Debussy). I love when I cannot precisely tell which hand is playing what I hear. I'd like to hear the same effect but within a jazz context.

Cheers.
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#2060386 - 04/06/13 01:41 PM Re: Jazz -- "RH=melody | LH=chords" -- a more cohesive sound? [Re: cotte]
tend to rush Offline
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Registered: 02/05/13
Posts: 51
Erroll Garner, certainly.

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#2060415 - 04/06/13 03:10 PM Re: Jazz -- "RH=melody | LH=chords" -- a more cohesive sound? [Re: cotte]
knotty Offline
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Registered: 03/01/07
Posts: 2993
Loc: Bethesda, MD (Washington D.C)












enjoy!

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#2060724 - 04/07/13 11:05 AM Re: Jazz -- "RH=melody | LH=chords" -- a more cohesive sound? [Re: knotty]
cotte Offline
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Registered: 01/05/13
Posts: 21
Art Tatum...very flashy technique, lots of runs, still thinking very "linear" in terms of melody. IMHO.

Lenny's piece, not my favorite one from him. Left hand ostinato figure, right hand improvising... can't go more linear than this.

Monty Alexander playing a blues. Again, left hand doing the classic blues stuff, right hand playing mainly pentatonics and some more gymnastic stuff (pretty cool by the way, I did not know this guy).

Chick and Keith. Well yes, more left hand involvement, amazing technique, great chops, they are my favorites ones along with Herbie and Bill.

Don't get me wrong, all of them are fine, but I'm just looking for a more cohesive, less linear playing. I'm really tired of right hand single note lines melodies and ideas.

There is little to invent there, it has all been played. And if it wasn't played by a pianist it was played by a horn or some other instrument I'm sure. As pianist I'm looking for less linear stuff on the right hand.



Here there is still a clear melody to follow, but it is presented much more "pianistically" if I'm allowed the word. With lots of texture.

I'm thinking that what I want to hear in jazz might not belong to jazz... it belongs to Debussy or some other composer. Jazz is probably going to be defined by the names you threw at me, and by their style. Which might not be what I'm looking as an inspiration right now.
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#2060797 - 04/07/13 02:13 PM Re: Jazz -- "RH=melody | LH=chords" -- a more cohesive sound? [Re: cotte]
beeboss Online   content
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Registered: 07/18/09
Posts: 1198
Loc: uk south
Originally Posted By: cotte
Don't get me wrong, all of them are fine, but I'm just looking for a more cohesive, less linear playing. I'm really tired of right hand single note lines melodies and ideas.

There is little to invent there, it has all been played. And if it wasn't played by a pianist it was played by a horn or some other instrument I'm sure. As pianist I'm looking for less linear stuff on the right hand.


I don't believe for a second that 'it has all been played', if that were so then there could be no new players with anything interesting to say but I notice lots and lots of great new young players.
If you are looking for inspiration from other players then I can only suggest you check out some of these players (if you don't know them already) ….

John Taylor, Paul Bley, Cecil Taylor, Egberto Gismonti, Tigran Hamasayan, Kevin Hayes, Django Bates, Joe Zawinul, Gwilym Simcock, Aaron Parks, Aaron Goldberg, Stephano Bollani, Martian Solal, Baptiste Trogignon, Geri Allen, Uri Caine, Hermeto Pascoal, Stanley Cowell, Yaron Herman, Fred Hersch, Andrew Hill, Vijay Iyer, Geoff Keezer, Helge Lien, Jason Moran, Enrico Pierenunzi, Jean Michel Pilc, Bobo Stenson, Craig Taborn, Denny Zeitlen etc etc

If there is nothing new in there that appeals then you may need to widen your search beyond jazz.
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#2060818 - 04/07/13 03:09 PM Re: Jazz -- "RH=melody | LH=chords" -- a more cohesive sound? [Re: beeboss]
cotte Offline
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Registered: 01/05/13
Posts: 21
Thanks beeboss, there is definitely some names there that I have not listened yet.

Funny that you mention Bobo Stenson, I've been digging a lot into what I call "Nordic" jazz (Sweden mainly) and the "ECM sound". Also a lot of Jan Johanson, Esbjörn Svensson.

I've been attracted to the more "spacey sound", but I struggle to listen to more than one album on the row.

I'm still waiting for a good example of a jazz tune along the lines of what I already described. I don't mind the occasional run or single note melody... But I'm still looking for a more cohesive, less "RH plays my solos, LH does the chords" approach
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#2060826 - 04/07/13 03:31 PM Re: Jazz -- "RH=melody | LH=chords" -- a more cohesive sound? [Re: cotte]
chrisbell Online   content
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Registered: 05/11/07
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Great that you're naming Jan Johansson (two s's), I've loved his playing since the album Jazz på Svenska (Jazz in Swedish). https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/jazz-pa-svenska/id286768548
It should be a part of any jazz piano aficionados collection.
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#2060845 - 04/07/13 04:22 PM Re: Jazz -- "RH=melody | LH=chords" -- a more cohesive sound? [Re: cotte]
knotty Offline
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Registered: 03/01/07
Posts: 2993
Loc: Bethesda, MD (Washington D.C)
>> Art Tatum...very flashy technique, lots of runs, still thinking very "linear" in terms of melody. IMHO.
The technique and runs of Tatum are barely scratching the surface of his genius.

I think it takes time to appreciate those things that we are either not interested in or not familiar with. Sometimes, we never get to it, and it's OK.

But even going to Bud Powell, which will fall under your description a lot more, we still enjoy the music. And the more we get into it, the more we appreciate how fine of a musician he was.

There's no reason to force yourself to like jazz. Listen to what appeals to you at the moment. There's enough music out there for everyone.

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#2060852 - 04/07/13 04:28 PM Re: Jazz -- "RH=melody | LH=chords" -- a more cohesive sound? [Re: cotte]
beeboss Online   content
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Registered: 07/18/09
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Loc: uk south
Originally Posted By: cotte

I'm still waiting for a good example of a jazz tune along the lines of what I already described. I don't mind the occasional run or single note melody... But I'm still looking for a more cohesive, less "RH plays my solos, LH does the chords" approach


This is about as far away from a chords + solo that you can get in a jazz context

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

Some people don't even want to call it jazz.

But if you can imagine something that you want to hear that nobody has yet played then that is a great position to be in.
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#2061084 - 04/08/13 12:45 AM Re: Jazz -- "RH=melody | LH=chords" -- a more cohesive sound? [Re: cotte]
erichlof Offline
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Registered: 04/26/10
Posts: 369
This awesome performance of 3 short pieces is the closest I can come to. Bill Evans here sounds like what Debussy and Ravel would sound like if they had lived a little longer and began to freely improvise: (especially the last piece)



It's important to note that this kind of beautiful harmonic construction takes a lifetime to master (if ever), and I suspect that Bill had rehearsed these textures and colors a whole lot before performing these pieces. He improvises a little concerning the timing, tempo, and ending flourishes, but probably the majority is worked out prior.

I tend to think of jazz as being improvised, so yes, the Cecil Taylor that beebos posted above is jazz to me because that is totally spontaneous. Can you call what Bill is doing here jazz? I don't know. But what I do know is that I have never heard another pianist past or present come close to this deep, sensitive, colorful type of playing; and it is my favorite.

Evans moved away from this type of playing in his later years and went to more RH blowing horn-line and 3 or 4-note voicings in the LH with his late trios - which is what you said that you are NOT looking for. One has to wonder if he would have stayed on the more Debussy-'Ravel-esque' path and actually learned to freely improvise the impressionist textures and pianistic approaches demonstrated in this video, might we have a whole different branch of jazz, or even general music? smile

By the way, thanks for posting the beautiful Michelangeli performance. He is one of my favorite interpreters of Debussy. This has been added to my favorites list! smile

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#2061391 - 04/08/13 05:16 PM Re: Jazz -- "RH=melody | LH=chords" -- a more cohesive sound? [Re: cotte]
cotte Offline
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Registered: 01/05/13
Posts: 21
Ok, I will be posting my own discoveries here.

This is what I'm talking about. This is very nice and inspiring!



I think I should focus on more block chords orientated pianists basically, and stick around Red Garland and Bill Evans playing for a while. I'm sick of flashy RH single notes flurry of notes at this moment.
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#2061548 - 04/08/13 10:01 PM Re: Jazz -- "RH=melody | LH=chords" -- a more cohesive sound? [Re: erichlof]
custard apple Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/09
Posts: 2300
Loc: Sydney
Originally Posted By: erichlof
This awesome performance of 3 short pieces is the closest I can come to. Bill Evans here sounds like what Debussy and Ravel would sound like if they had lived a little longer and began to freely improvise: (especially the last piece)



It's important to note that this kind of beautiful harmonic construction takes a lifetime to master (if ever), and I suspect that Bill had rehearsed these textures and colors a whole lot before performing these pieces. He improvises a little concerning the timing, tempo, and ending flourishes, but probably the majority is worked out prior.

I tend to think of jazz as being improvised, so yes, the Cecil Taylor that beebos posted above is jazz to me because that is totally spontaneous. Can you call what Bill is doing here jazz? I don't know. But what I do know is that I have never heard another pianist past or present come close to this deep, sensitive, colorful type of playing; and it is my favorite.

Evans moved away from this type of playing in his later years and went to more RH blowing horn-line and 3 or 4-note voicings in the LH with his late trios - which is what you said that you are NOT looking for. One has to wonder if he would have stayed on the more Debussy-'Ravel-esque' path and actually learned to freely improvise the impressionist textures and pianistic approaches demonstrated in this video, might we have a whole different branch of jazz, or even general music? smile



Thanks Erichlof for the beautiful extract from "The Universal Mind of Bill Evans". It definitely is jazz in the highest sense of this genre when your left hand is able to make conversation with the right hand.

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#2061677 - 04/09/13 03:26 AM Re: Jazz -- "RH=melody | LH=chords" -- a more cohesive sound? [Re: cotte]
chrisbell Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/11/07
Posts: 1341
Loc: Stockholm, Sweden
Very Early, Time Remembered, My Bells.
All written compositions (VE when he was still in college), "not really jazz" Bill Evans himself said. Just music.
If you like this sound then this might also (according to interviews it was one of Bill's favourite albums): https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/bill-evans-trio-symphony-orchestra/id31449

ps: there's a book published: Bill Evans Piano Solos (no solo transcriptions, but the actual written compositions) published by TRO Songways.


Edited by chrisbell (04/09/13 03:29 AM)
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#2061757 - 04/09/13 08:34 AM Re: Jazz -- "RH=melody | LH=chords" -- a more cohesive sound? [Re: cotte]
knotty Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/01/07
Posts: 2993
Loc: Bethesda, MD (Washington D.C)
Cotte,

check this out also:


This is so beautiful and perhaps closer to the style you are looking for.

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#2061799 - 04/09/13 10:27 AM Re: Jazz -- "RH=melody | LH=chords" -- a more cohesive sound? [Re: cotte]
etcetra Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/08
Posts: 1446
Thomas Rucket's rendition of Like someone in love. It's kind of in style of Keith Jarret.. it's more of 2-3 part counter point approach then bass and piano

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ovqa_WG5z74

Fred Hersch's playing is very contrapuntal too.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dianRYQMK8U

Alan Broadbent does some countrapuntal stuff later on this solo. I don't have a link but his rendition of Body and Soul(called Ballad Impromptu) is also great too.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3FwTRX9M32w

I think Clare Fischer, , Enrico Pieranunzi are also worth checking out too.. their playing is more "pianistic" in the way you describe about classical music.

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#2061904 - 04/09/13 12:55 PM Re: Jazz -- "RH=melody | LH=chords" -- a more cohesive sound? [Re: cotte]
jjo Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/09/08
Posts: 626
Loc: Chicago
Try some Brad Mehldau solo piano, which is very contrapuntal, too: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_b5mdoDBjww

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#2062259 - 04/10/13 03:11 AM Re: Jazz -- "RH=melody | LH=chords" -- a more cohesive sound? [Re: cotte]
Ken. Offline
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Registered: 01/07/08
Posts: 285
I've heard that Bill Evans was influenced by the impressionistic composers like Debussy.

Peace Piece is an example of that to my mind.
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#2064042 - 04/13/13 01:55 PM Re: Jazz -- "RH=melody | LH=chords" -- a more cohesive sound? [Re: erichlof]
cotte Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/05/13
Posts: 21
Totally agree!.

>>Evans moved away from this type of playing in his later years and went to more RH blowing horn-line and 3 or 4-note voicings in the LH with his late trios - which is what you said that you are NOT looking for. One has to wonder if he would have stayed on the more Debussy-'Ravel-esque' path and actually learned to freely improvise the impressionist textures and pianistic approaches demonstrated in this video, might we have a whole different branch of jazz, or even general music?

I wonder this often myself!.

Bill unifies my love for the Impressionists with the Jazz element. My favorite player. Although I recognize I need regular breaks from listening to him.
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#2064044 - 04/13/13 01:56 PM Re: Jazz -- "RH=melody | LH=chords" -- a more cohesive sound? [Re: chrisbell]
cotte Offline
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Registered: 01/05/13
Posts: 21
I will check on this. Thanks!
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#2064047 - 04/13/13 02:03 PM Re: Jazz -- "RH=melody | LH=chords" -- a more cohesive sound? [Re: cotte]
cotte Offline
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Registered: 01/05/13
Posts: 21
I'm thrilled with all your posts. THANKS. I was hoping to find people to talk about music apart from my piano teacher!. (I'm new to the forum as you can see).

Cecil Taylor, obviously not the RH&LH approach we described. Very appreciated and interesting. Not my cup of tea though. I really struggle with the complete atonal stuff. I love to hear rules being bent... but not completely broken smile

I love Jans music especially Jazz på svenska, the piano sound, dark and rich, the lines, the counterpoint. Not sure if I would catalog it as Jazz. Some of the tunes sound closer to some of Grieg's Lyric Pieces than Jazz. But again... what is jazz? smile

>>The technique and runs of Tatum are barely scratching the surface of his genius.
Totally true.

Thanks to etcetra, the Fred Hersch stuff was great. jjo: I listen to Brad quite a lot, I wonder why his name did not come up earlier!
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#2064139 - 04/13/13 05:16 PM Re: Jazz -- "RH=melody | LH=chords" -- a more cohesive sound? [Re: cotte]
Mark Polishook Offline
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Registered: 11/29/12
Posts: 646
Loc: Leicester, UK
Brad M was Fred Hersch's student.

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#2064569 - 04/14/13 04:18 PM Re: Jazz -- "RH=melody | LH=chords" -- a more cohesive sound? [Re: cotte]
etcetra Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/08
Posts: 1446
I forgot to mention Mac Copland. He was a sax player, switched to piano at age 30 or something, started from scratch. His approach is very pianistic too.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GdMfQHJXs08

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#2066021 - 04/17/13 01:33 PM Re: Jazz -- "RH=melody | LH=chords" -- a more cohesive sound? [Re: cotte]
rintincop Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/11/04
Posts: 1520
I just re-learned these Evans lines starting at 1:34 and wrote them out in 5 keys ... again:


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#2068903 - 04/22/13 09:14 PM Re: Jazz -- "RH=melody | LH=chords" -- a more cohesive sound? [Re: cotte]
PianoHarry Offline
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Registered: 10/24/11
Posts: 21
Loc: Coffs Harbour, NSW, Australia
George Shearing. He definitely did not play LH/chords, RH/melody.

In fact there are as many approaches to jazz piano as the imagination will allow.

Coming from a jazz guitar background I particularly like a tasty chord solo. This is something that is not really exploited on jazz piano, but we have the ability to play big, fat chords.

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#2097883 - 06/07/13 01:25 PM Re: Jazz -- "RH=melody | LH=chords" -- a more cohesive sound? [Re: cotte]
Michael Martinez Offline
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Registered: 11/22/12
Posts: 393
Loc: California
Originally Posted By: cotte
Coming from a classical world I feel most piano jazz revolves around playing chords on the left hand and the melody or solo part very distinctly on the right hand.


No. The RH definitely helps harmonize the melody. See the thread "Melody and chord tones in RH" where I posted today the method for two-handed voicing.

Quote:

What I feel mostly separates different pianists is their ability to come with better melodies better solos, more interesting harmony (i.e. right hand note choose against a set chord) etc. But I feel most of the jazz I hear revolves a lot around this approach to piano which is quite "un-pianistic" to me. They seem to be copying a horn soloist on the right hand.


Piano can be both a percussive instrument and a melodic instrument, so you'll see both techniques. You'll sometimes hear jazz pianists whose solos are like comping. John Bunch comes to mind. Although he was equally adept at bebop lines, he sometimes chose to simply play chords for his improvisation.

Quote:

Could you point me to jazz piano music where this is NOT the approach? (name specific tunes or records)


Latin salsa makes use of piano more as a percussive instrument while in the context of jazz harmony.



Edited by Michael Martinez (06/07/13 01:29 PM)
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