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#2298137 - 07/03/14 09:08 AM Jazz Duo-Advice from members
Kevin Keys Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/02/14
Posts: 26
Loc: Ohio
I've had the good fortune of getting a booking for a regular gig (once a week) at a country club/restaurant.
This gig will require me to perform with a saxophonist as a jazz duo.
I've never done duo work before. All of my jazz experience is in trios and quartets.

I was hoping members who have performed in this aspect could offer some advice on such things as:

choice of repertoire? (Tunes that shine as a duo)

What are some tunes that dont work or are very difficult?

What are easier to prepare tunes?

Your overall happiness or displeasure with duo work?

During your piano solos, do you keep the walking bass, use stride techniques, or play rooted or rootless chords behind your solos?

Really any advice will be appreciated.
Thank you in advance!



Edited by Kevin Keys (07/03/14 09:10 AM)
_________________________
Kawai MP7(home), Yamaha CP33(gigs), Yamaha P80(retired), three QSC K10's, Allen and Heath Zed 10fx mixer, Sennheiser HD598, Bachendorff acoustic 45"

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#2298140 - 07/03/14 09:13 AM Re: Jazz Duo-Advice from members [Re: Kevin Keys]
JazzPianoOnline Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/14/07
Posts: 85
Loc: raleigh, nc
lucky you! i hope the piano is good.

playing duo with a saxophone player is a lot like playing solo piano. as you mentioned, you will need to walk basselines, play some stride and mostly spread voicings with the root since there is no bass player.

tune choice is really up to you, real book tunes will work fine.

you're going to love it! it can be very satisfying to play duo.

take a listen to one of my favorite piano duo recordings to get some ideas: kenny barron/stan getz "people time."

let us know how it goes.
_________________________
br
bill@jazzpianoonline.com
www.JazzPianoOnline.com

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#2298148 - 07/03/14 09:43 AM Re: Jazz Duo-Advice from members [Re: Kevin Keys]
davefrank Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/26/09
Posts: 672
JPO is right, any real book tunes should be great. (you could, for your amusement, pick lots of tunes in the keys of E,A and B hehe) Duo is great, as a pianist just be sure to keep the pulse somehow when swinging together(any of the methods you mentioned would be fine)and support yourself when you solo with the same techniques. Try not to let the pulse drop out once you got it going. It is fun to take some of the difficult tunes from the bebop repetoire (Bird tunz, etc. Joy Spring) and play the head together; trading fours or eights is nice and I especially enjoying improvising contrapuntally.

To get a moment's break from playing you could both shout "DRUM SOLO!)

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#2298228 - 07/03/14 12:50 PM Re: Jazz Duo-Advice from members [Re: Kevin Keys]
jjo Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/09/08
Posts: 624
Loc: Chicago
Another great CD is Kids: Live at Dizzy's club. It's a Hank Jones and Joe Lovano duet album, and it one of my favorite CDs. Hank Jones is an absolute master at keeping the pulse going. I don't think he ever walks; he plays some bass notes, and them comps chords in the middle register and goes back and forth. It SWINGS.

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#2298278 - 07/03/14 02:31 PM Re: Jazz Duo-Advice from members [Re: Kevin Keys]
Kevin Keys Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/02/14
Posts: 26
Loc: Ohio
Thank you for the replies.

I will listen to all of the Cd's that were recommended.

Unfortunately there is no piano at the club and I have to do the gigs with my trusty CP33.
This scares me a little because there is even less bottom end than when using an acoustic piano.
_________________________
Kawai MP7(home), Yamaha CP33(gigs), Yamaha P80(retired), three QSC K10's, Allen and Heath Zed 10fx mixer, Sennheiser HD598, Bachendorff acoustic 45"

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#2298610 - 07/04/14 02:13 PM Re: Jazz Duo-Advice from members [Re: jjo]
Dave Ferris Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/12/07
Posts: 1725
Loc: Glendale, Ca.
Originally Posted By: jjo
Another great CD is Kids: Live at Dizzy's club. It's a Hank Jones and Joe Lovano duet album, and it one of my favorite CDs. Hank Jones is an absolute master at keeping the pulse going. I don't think he ever walks; he plays some bass notes, and them comps chords in the middle register and goes back and forth. It SWINGS.


Never knew about that record, thanks...will have to pick it up. The Thad tune -Little rascal on a rock- is very hard. I use to play Thad's big band arrangement of it years ago. It was the hardest tune in the book to blow over.

Also check out Stan Getz & Kenny Barron. I believe it's called People Time. The solos are long and in many places KB plays a LOTTA notes...but it's good to hear how he supports SG with his comping.

A little known gem of Getz & Albert Dailey-Poetry is definitely worth hearing:
http://www.allmusic.com/album/poetry-mw0000114278

Don't have much to add except playing duo makes your time stronger because you're it, it's all on you. wink You have to be very definitive with your time-whether it's playing half note chords, dotted quarter note to eight note rhythms, walking the bass. You can experiment with pedal tones too. (I've made a career out of em' grin ) Yet don't make things too floaty where the time gets obscured.

Just relax and let the time be your guide. My experiences with these type of situations are, aside from the obvious bad piano, they are the hardest when the crowd is super noisy. You can't hear yourself and the sax can't hear you either.

It is almost better to use the DP so at least you can put it at a volume where both of you can hear. It is thinner sounding then even a bad piano of course..but it is what it is. You deal with it.

Like mentioned keep the solos shorter. Don't play the same grooves or tempos too many songs in a row. Mix it up. You can even take some Beatle tunes and re-harm or hip up the changes a bit. Don't go overboard with it to obscure the melody.

I've found if played right, at the right tempo, with short solos- even be bop tunes can be appreciated by Country Club types. Yardbird Suite, Ceora, No Greater Love, Lady Bird, Billies Bounce, Mellow Tone, etc.. And ballads like Child is born. Melodic stuff. Play it pretty and lock into a solid groove on the swingin' stuff. cool

edit- oops just noticed People Time had been mentioned already by Bill. If I think of any other duo piano/sax records I'll post them.
_________________________
http://soundcloud.com/dave-ferris

2005 NY Steinway D, Yamaha CP5, CP4, Nord Piano 2

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#2300711 - Today at 12:18 PM Re: Jazz Duo-Advice from members [Re: Dave Ferris]
Kevin Keys Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/02/14
Posts: 26
Loc: Ohio
Thanks Dave for the suggestions.

You mentioned pedal tones. I know what pedal tones are, but I dont know how I would apply them in a jazz context.

Please tell me a little more.
Can you share an example?

Do you use them while soloing? During the head?

Thanks Dave.
_________________________
Kawai MP7(home), Yamaha CP33(gigs), Yamaha P80(retired), three QSC K10's, Allen and Heath Zed 10fx mixer, Sennheiser HD598, Bachendorff acoustic 45"

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#2300810 - 36 minutes 6 seconds ago Re: Jazz Duo-Advice from members [Re: Kevin Keys]
beeboss Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/18/09
Posts: 1186
Loc: uk south
Originally Posted By: Kevin Keys
Do you use them while soloing? During the head?



Both, whenever one feels.
There are many many places you can use them but in the most basic form imagine a simple turnaround say Fmaj Dm Gmin C7
and then just add a C bass note underneath the whole turnaround, then you will have a dominant pedal.
These can be great device to add some tension or to momentary halt the relentless movement of bass notes.
_________________________
http://www.youtube.com/davebeeboss

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#2300812 - 34 minutes 53 seconds ago Re: Jazz Duo-Advice from members [Re: Dave Ferris]
beeboss Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/18/09
Posts: 1186
Loc: uk south
Originally Posted By: Dave Ferris

If I think of any other duo piano/sax records I'll post them.


Hundreds of sax/piano duos listed here

http://forums.allaboutjazz.com/showthread.php?25750-Saxophone-Piano-Duos-The-Big-List
_________________________
http://www.youtube.com/davebeeboss

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