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#1997290 - 12/10/12 08:58 AM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Advanced Players [Re: jazzwee]  
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Here's that Rainy day as a nice G to Eb movement. I find it to be one of the most beautiful melodies, especially how the first 4 bars open wide.

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#1997305 - 12/10/12 09:48 AM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Advanced Players [Re: chrisbell]  
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Originally Posted by chrisbell
Originally Posted by scepticalforumguy
Actually, I wonder about the true historical lineage of Giant Steps. Does anyone definitively know if Giant Steps was composed before Have You Met Miss Jones?
Have you met miss Jones was published in 1937. Coltrane was born 1926 . . .


That doesn't prove anything. Just because an 11yr old is barely big enough to play a tenor sax doesn't mean he couldn't compose on a toy instrument. I don't suppose you know who Schroeder is, do you? Well, HE seemed to be able to play and compose tunes on a toy piano where the black keys didn't work, all the while being distracted by a would-be psychiatrist.

Seriously? Am I the only one that finds myself funny? (wouldn't be the first time...)


Recordings of my recent solo piano and piano/keyboard trio jazz standards.


#1997306 - 12/10/12 09:50 AM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Advanced Players [Re: knotty]  
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Originally Posted by knotty
Here's that Rainy day as a nice G to Eb movement. I find it to be one of the most beautiful melodies, especially how the first 4 bars open wide.


I like this tune alot, too. But my favorite way of playing it goes from Gmaj, not Gm. It seems to have something more to it that way.


Recordings of my recent solo piano and piano/keyboard trio jazz standards.


#1997308 - 12/10/12 09:54 AM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Advanced Players [Re: scepticalforumguy]  
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Originally Posted by scepticalforumguy
I don't suppose you know who Schroeder is, do you? Well, HE seemed to be able to play and compose tunes on a toy piano where the black keys didn't work, all the while being distracted by a would-be psychiatrist.
Dude, I'm a serious Peanuts fan. smile

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#1997374 - 12/10/12 01:32 PM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Advanced Players [Re: jazzwee]  
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I had a big solo gig on Dec 6 that went OK. Here's a clip of

On Green Dolphin Street

that I'm pretty happy with.

I felt that there were major problems with my playing in general (mistakes, not feeling the groove, too much rubato playing), but I got a lot of compliments. I think it helped that I was wearing a tuxedo.

When someone says "Thanks, your playing is wonderful," I have to force myself to just say "Thank you" and not "What, are kidding, didn't you hear all those mistakes?"

I listened to the recording to understand this disparity, and there are a lot of things that make me cringe, but I can understand that if you are only paying peripheral attention to the piano, and not very critical, it would sound OK.

So that you don't think this is false modesty, here's an example of a big mistake during the intro, and, worse, lousy time feel.

Blue Skies -- Example of bad playing

If I could have just had a nice laid-back time feel, that piece would have been fine.


#1997492 - 12/10/12 06:18 PM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Advanced Players [Re: scepticalforumguy]  
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Originally Posted by scepticalforumguy
Originally Posted by knotty
Here's that Rainy day as a nice G to Eb movement. I find it to be one of the most beautiful melodies, especially how the first 4 bars open wide.


I like this tune alot, too. But my favorite way of playing it goes from Gmaj, not Gm. It seems to have something more to it that way.


Yes, Gmaj

#1997495 - 12/10/12 06:22 PM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Advanced Players [Re: TromboneAl]  
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Originally Posted by TromboneAl
I had a big solo gig on Dec 6 that went OK. Here's a clip of

On Green Dolphin Street

that I'm pretty happy with.

I felt that there were major problems with my playing in general (mistakes, not feeling the groove, too much rubato playing), but I got a lot of compliments. I think it helped that I was wearing a tuxedo.

When someone says "Thanks, your playing is wonderful," I have to force myself to just say "Thank you" and not "What, are kidding, didn't you hear all those mistakes?"

I listened to the recording to understand this disparity, and there are a lot of things that make me cringe, but I can understand that if you are only paying peripheral attention to the piano, and not very critical, it would sound OK.

So that you don't think this is false modesty, here's an example of a big mistake during the intro, and, worse, lousy time feel.

Blue Skies -- Example of bad playing

If I could have just had a nice laid-back time feel, that piece would have been fine.



Nice playing, Al
I actually prefer your time on blue skies than green dolphin. The 4 to te bar helps.
Green dolphin felt like it moved from kindnof Latin to straight and that made the time be pretty loose.


I was at a jam te other day and everything was all over te place. It was rally quit bad. Lady came up and said how great we were. Ignorance is bliss i tell you :-)

#1997649 - 12/10/12 11:12 PM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Advanced Players [Re: jazzwee]  
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Al, nice solo on Green Dolphin. Now be careful with your count and time. There were points there where you were adding beats to the bar. I tend not to want to keep too busy with solo piano because of the risk of affecting the time feel. You should practice switching from comping to walking bass while keeping the time constant.

Because of that, I actually do agree that Blue Skies was better in the sense that the time was more solid. I will tell you that you can play wrong chords, wrong notes, but if your time is solid, no one's going to notice.

I don't think it's said much here but having a solid time and perfect articulation of the notes (timed perfectly) account for more than harmony and note choice. There's a tendency for discussions here to focus on note choices but I think it's 75% about having good time.

I'm so sensitive to this right now and I pore through my recordings and identify all the moments where I'm a little off. I think it's making a difference. So I suggest you don't treat it lightly. It's hard to be fixing this later on.

Especially, now that I'm playing at faster tempos, it becomes more of an issue. Last week, I did blues at 270bpm or something. The head was Tenor Madness and I lost track of the tempo until it was time to play the head and I realized I couldn't do it. It was too fast. I was absorbed in the soloing and it was ok. Wasn't bad at all except for the head. I think it's the fastest I've ever played at a gig.


Last edited by jazzwee; 12/10/12 11:13 PM.

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#1997660 - 12/10/12 11:31 PM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Advanced Players [Re: jazzwee]  
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Scep, I listened to a couple of the In Walked Bud versions and I liked them a lot and it really sounds like you're having fun with your trio when you play them. I could also hear the improvement from last year to last week. The time was better also in the recent version. The implied harmony was a lot clearer in the newer version. You did some nice ALT type lines though that I wanted to copy and you didn't do it in the recent one.

Very nice unison playing on the older version. Good unison skills even with triplets. That's tough.

Also, I need to listen to more heads because your version is different from the two that I have (Monk/Horn head and EST). Real Books also have different heads. I guess it's been done a little differently each time. Maybe depending on Piano or Horn playing the head.


The only thing you never seem to imply though is the F-(Maj)7. I seldom hear that in the line unless you're implying the chord with the LH. I like that sound so I like to highlight it. It's also less "pentatonic". Are you ignoring it on purpose?

You really have a very nice piano touch. Since you're such a long term player, it's really lovely to hear.


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#1997916 - 12/11/12 02:23 PM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Advanced Players [Re: jazzwee]  
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Quote
I actually prefer your time on blue skies than green dolphin. The 4 to the bar helps.


Quote
Now be careful with your count and time. There were points there where you were adding beats to the bar.


Yes, listening again I notice those things.


Quote
I will tell you that you can play wrong chords, wrong notes, but if your time is solid, no one's going to notice.


Yes! That's been my mantra lately. Or, as I say it, "If I have a good time feel, I can get away with a lot." It's one of those things (like "Play fewer notes") that's easy to forget.

I've been experimenting with rubato playing, but I think I went too far on some of the songs in this gig.

Thanks for the tips!

#1997942 - 12/11/12 03:08 PM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Advanced Players [Re: jazzwee]  
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Talking about solo piano, I was listening to different versions of tunes yesterday(Dolphin Dance), and I found that some players lay out with their left hand a lot longer than I would have though sensible, without stabbing on a chord. But the rhythm was implied in the RH and it occurred to me that it works and we probably do too much to imply the rhythm. Then there's more moments to make a mistake and make it off.

This observstion may change the way I play. There's a little bit of added tension when there's no LH. Then the LH comes in and it's a nice release.


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#1997987 - 12/11/12 05:05 PM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Advanced Players [Re: jazzwee]  
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I have trouble switching to solo piano in that I have to think to play roots. I'm so used to rootless voicings.
Interesting on that point, by the way, is that Bud Powell used just about all rooted voicings. I'm playing a transcription of his tune Celia and he plays the roots in the left hand about 95% of the time. Sounds fine with a trio when he does it!

#1998145 - 12/12/12 01:16 AM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Advanced Players [Re: jjo]  
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I'm the opposite. I think roots all the time, and learn songs thinking roots. It will be difficult for me to switch to combo playing. How much do bass players mind if I play the root ?

#1998156 - 12/12/12 02:06 AM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Advanced Players [Re: jjo]  
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Originally Posted by jjo
I have trouble switching to solo piano in that I have to think to play roots. I'm so used to rootless voicings.
Interesting on that point, by the way, is that Bud Powell used just about all rooted voicings. I'm playing a transcription of his tune Celia and he plays the roots in the left hand about 95% of the time. Sounds fine with a trio when he does it!


My teacher would require me to shift from root-7 to rooted two handed and then back to rootless. It's a necessary skill.

Another would always teach playing 1-3-5-3 on LH and 1-2-3-5 on RH as a practice mechanism to enforce this.

Cus -- you can play rooted but don't play too low and not loud. The advantage of root-7 voicings is you're able to play lines in the middle register. Otherwise rootless voicings often force you to go high up. So you need to mix it up.



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#1998172 - 12/12/12 02:51 AM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Advanced Players [Re: jazzwee]  
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Originally Posted by jazzwee
You did some nice ALT type lines though that I wanted to copy and you didn't do it in the recent one.

What do you mean by Alt lines? Maybe on the B section I played some on the Db7 chord and did a Db7#11?
Originally Posted by jw

Very nice unison playing on the older version. Good unison skills even with triplets. That's tough.

I find unison playing makes me really think more about the lines I'm trying to create, and makes me not rely on finger memory to play through familiar chords. I'm definitely not where I'd like to be with this, but enjoy being able to do some stuff that sounds interesting sometimes.
Originally Posted by jw

Also, I need to listen to more heads because your version is different from the two that I have (Monk/Horn head and EST). Real Books also have different heads. I guess it's been done a little differently each time. Maybe depending on Piano or Horn playing the head.

I'm not even sure where I got my version from. I believe it MAY have been from a Solo Monk album, and then cross referenced that with an older Real book (not Hal Leonard). But then again, maybe I just learned it wrong...
Originally Posted by jw

The only thing you never seem to imply though is the F-(Maj)7. I seldom hear that in the line unless you're implying the chord with the LH. I like that sound so I like to highlight it. It's also less "pentatonic". Are you ignoring it on purpose?

I'm not avoiding it, but I'm also not thinking that I should play it for those 2 beats either. If anything, I'd prefer to play it over 4 beats until the Fm7 in the 2nd bar.
Originally Posted by jw

You really have a very nice piano touch. Since you're such a long term player, it's really lovely to hear.

Thanks! I just saw this bit.


Recordings of my recent solo piano and piano/keyboard trio jazz standards.


#1998234 - 12/12/12 08:33 AM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Advanced Players [Re: jazzwee]  
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Custard: It depends on how good the bass player is. My regular bass player probably wouldn't notice if I played a lot of roots. I, however, don't like playing them with a bass nearly as much as rootless voicings. Virtually all the pros I've taken lessons from also cringe if I play a rooted voicing with a bass. Rootless voicings also lend themselves much more easily to altered variations. For example, if you want a G7+ (sharp 5), that really won't work with a shell voicing, but rootless(from bottom up F, B D#) its' a piece of cake.

Jazzwee: My teacher also has me do both rooted and rootless. The problem is I focus most of my practice time on what will work with a group, so rootless voicings are now instinctive and do not require any thought. I've got to allocate a bit more brain space (a limited commodity!) to the left hand when I play solo and use rooted voicings.

#1998266 - 12/12/12 10:12 AM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Advanced Players [Re: jazzwee]  
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Originally Posted by jazzwee
But the rhythm was implied in the RH and it occurred to me that it works and we probably do too much to imply the rhythm.

This observation may change the way I play. There's a little bit of added tension when there's no LH. Then the LH comes in and it's a nice release.


Weird that you mention this, because this is the same thing I've concluded recently. I often want to hit my comping chords off the main beats, and I've found, by listening to others, that this is OK as long as the solo line comes right down on downbeats, or at least makes the rhythmic structure clear.

Something else about leaving out the LH now and then: I play a better solo when I'm not playing chords also. Sometimes I come to a difficult section, I just leave out the chords for a while. Works even better when playing in my trio.

#1998269 - 12/12/12 10:25 AM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Advanced Players [Re: custard apple]  
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Originally Posted by custard apple
How much do bass players mind if I play the root ?


It's not as big a problem as most think. I had a bass player say "Most piano players think that they should stay off the root, but I think it's OK."

However, my thinking is that by leaving out the root, you have more fingers available for nice extensions/tensions.

You got me curious, so I did an experiment: recorded a bassline, then played a simple solo over it first with rooted then with rootless voicings.

My conclusion is the the rootless are better, but either works OK.

https://www.box.com/s/o5ppm6mftrtencva7qes


Last edited by TromboneAl; 12/12/12 10:26 AM.
#1998273 - 12/12/12 10:31 AM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Advanced Players [Re: jjo]  
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Originally Posted by jjo
I have trouble switching to solo piano in that I have to think to play roots. I'm so used to rootless voicings.


This has been the case with me, but I've found that I can use rootless for a bunch of chords in a row, and it sounds fine. It sounds better when I bring the root back in, but it's a good contrast.

I'm happy to report that the rooted (shell and other) voicings are starting to become automatic for me. That makes all the difference.

#1998277 - 12/12/12 10:40 AM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Advanced Players [Re: jazzwee]  
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Remember Bud Powell used primarily Root-7 on the LH so of course it is ok. But it's a very open sound vs. the Bill Evans clusters. Like anything else, use only of one style can get boring. Sometimes you want to play lines with full two handed voicings (rooted), especially heads and when comping. It takes a long time to learn to play two handed and it's not easy to do automatically.

We forgot that on piano, 50-75% of the time, we are comping and this is another kind of two handed voicing. Rootless-two handed.


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#1998284 - 12/12/12 10:54 AM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Advanced Players [Re: jazzwee]  
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And since I'm in an experimenting mode, here's an example of letting the right hand define the beat, allowing the left hand to be freer:

https://www.box.com/s/3pmflzpn5sdqmw2g04tb

Do you think that works?

#1998317 - 12/12/12 11:49 AM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Advanced Players [Re: TromboneAl]  
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Originally Posted by TromboneAl
Originally Posted by custard apple
How much do bass players mind if I play the root ?
It's not as big a problem as most think.
Well, as a bassist, I must protest. I really really don't like having a pianist bother my low end of the scale. It's annoying and can ruin my intonation; if the pianist has lousy timing it can throw me off (and especially if the piano is a bit out of tune). As a rule anything below C3 (C4 being middle C) is verboten.
On the other hand, a bass-line groove doubled in the piano LH with the bass can really work wonders. smile

#1998372 - 12/12/12 01:15 PM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Advanced Players [Re: jazzwee]  
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I'd just add on the rootless discussion that this really refers only to the bottom note. To my ear, roots that are anywhere else in the chord do not create a conflict with the bass player.
One of my standard left hand voicings for major 7 chords, in facts is (bottom up) 7,1 3 5.

Jazzwee: You are right that two-handed comping is one of our most important tools. There, too, roots higher up are fine, to me. I was recently shown what has become my favorite comping voicing for sus chords. For F sus, for example, play a rootless C minor voicing in the left hand, and F octaves in the right hand.

#1998375 - 12/12/12 01:21 PM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Advanced Players [Re: chrisbell]  
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Originally Posted by chrisbell
I really really don't like having a pianist bother my low end of the scale. It's annoying and can ruin my intonation; if the pianist has lousy timing it can throw me off (and especially if the piano is a bit out of tune). As a rule anything below C3 (C4 being middle C) is verboten.
On the other hand, a bass-line groove doubled in the piano LH with the bass can really work wonders. smile


And to further clarify: I'm not sure if everyone is talking about the same thing here. One can include the root in any and all chords, but not usually in root position. Inversions of 7, 9, sus, etc, can all have the root of the chord in there.


Recordings of my recent solo piano and piano/keyboard trio jazz standards.


#1998396 - 12/12/12 02:05 PM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Advanced Players [Re: jazzwee]  
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Yes, let's all be clear. Playing roots down low is NOT a good thing. I wouldn't go below the octave before middle C if using Bud Powell Root-7 voicings and I would worry about the VOLUME(keep it low).

Chris is also right. Timing issues could be an issue if both play the root. But I watched my teacher (AP) solo in the low registers as a contrast. THAT sounded great. Something about the growl of the piano that contrasts against the smooth bass sound of an upright.

Because I play on a digital, I have to be careful to EQ out the bass so that if I happen to go below, it doesn't sound so strong. It's also important to listen to the volume of the Bass note. Now apparently my work in this regard has garnered the appreciation of the bass player. He was whining about pianists playing low like solo piano and wanted to shout "Stay away from my turf". But he said kind words about me because I'm conscious of it.

The point though from a skill point of view is that we need to be able to play chords anywhere and not be tied to a memorized rootless voicing or register. My teacher made a point to break that habit and made me conscious of my note choices. Regular memorized (9)(13) rootless chords may be in conflict with the melody or the alterations so one needs to be aware of every single note. Usually only the 3rd and 7th are safe.

I personally found that being able to comfortably stretch chords in two-hands has really enhanced my comping.


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#1998406 - 12/12/12 02:30 PM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Advanced Players [Re: chrisbell]  
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Originally Posted by chrisbell
Originally Posted by TromboneAl
Originally Posted by custard apple
How much do bass players mind if I play the root ?
It's not as big a problem as most think.
Well, as a bassist, I must protest. I really really don't like having a pianist bother my low end of the scale. It's annoying and can ruin my intonation; if the pianist has lousy timing it can throw me off (and especially if the piano is a bit out of tune). As a rule anything below C3 (C4 being middle C) is verboten.
On the other hand, a bass-line groove doubled in the piano LH with the bass can really work wonders. smile


OK, that's good to know.

But there are two things here: 1. the piano playing the root as the lowest note, and 2. the piano playing the root as the lowest note, and down in your range.

It sounds like you don't mind the piano playing a rooted voicing, as long as that root isn't below C3.

#1998421 - 12/12/12 02:55 PM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Advanced Players [Re: jazzwee]  
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chrisbell  Offline
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Stockholm, Sweden
I wouldn't call it a rooted voicing, but I see what you mean.

For me it has to do a lot with keeping the frequencies and the overtones clear of clutter.
and don't forget that Harmony/voicings is also counterpoint.


#1998422 - 12/12/12 02:58 PM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Advanced Players [Re: jazzwee]  
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Mark Polishook Offline
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Mark Polishook  Offline
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Leicester, UK
If you want to understand the where, how, and why of root and seventh voicings listen to Bud Powell AND also how the bassist plays when Powell uses them. Same with rootless voicings and Bill Evans. Much of how to use these kinds of things and why they evolved as they did has to do with historical practice. In general, pianists' voicing moved into the middle register so the bass could work in the lower ranges. That's just a basic principle of orchestration: spread the chord out across several registers and use a few or more instruments to do that. But that's GENERAL PRACTICE. It's not a hard and fast rule. And as rules go, just about any player who really has ability on their instrument can and does then play what they hear. So that rule of "let your ears be the guide" is a good rule! But if your ear can't distinguish when or when not to use them them you can't really rely on that rule!

Some pianists voice the root and seventh such that the root is almost inaudible. Doing that brings out the seventh as a line underneath whatever else is going on.

Horace Silver and early Red Garland are good references. And also, Richie Powell, Bud's brother, is a good reference. And Thelonious Monk. Some pianists, Jaki Byard, for example, used roots sevenths, and tenths in their left hand. But, again, when that happens the chord is voiced so the root is not as loud as the other notes. In a more contemporary context, when Herbie Hancock played with Miles Davis he often used roots in the left hand that were an octave or more below middle C. You can hear this all over the place in MD recordings in the early 60s where they're playing standards (Autumn Leaves, etc.). Another really interesting place to hear chord voicings with low roots in in some of Paul Bley's recordings where he plays standards with a trio (bass and drums).

When working with a bass player, IF you sense he or she is uncomfortable with rooted voicings - or if the player requests that you not use them, well, then simply don't use them. It may be that the tuning of the piano (or lack of tuning) makes it difficult for the bassist to double a note against a piano voicing. It may be sometimes that the bassist has intonation troubles for that reason alone, they'd prefer not to hear roots from a pianist (because they'll show the problem they're having with intonation). Digital pianos in general resonate differently than do acoustic pianos. So rooted voicings with DPs can sometimes cause balance and intonation problems. But sometimes not. If just depends on how sensitive (or insensitive) everyone is to overall musical context.

On the other hand, there may be times when the bassist does't really know the changes to some tune or another and in that case, they may appreciate root/seventh or root/seventh/tenth voicings just as a way to help them get through the tune.

Maybe most important of all - as a reference so that you can know when and how to use rooted and rootless voicings LISTEN to how a variety of pianists (in classic recordings) used rooted and rootless voicings. Listen to how those rooted (or rootless) voicings are supported by the bassist and how they might also influence the way the drummer plays. Bottom line:if you have theoretical and AURAL knowledge of historical style , then you have a measure to know where rooted and rootless voicings can be used. Same with roots an octave or more below middle C.

Hope this all helps ...





#1998428 - 12/12/12 03:11 PM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Advanced Players [Re: jazzwee]  
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jazzwee Offline
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Very nice printer1! And Welcome to the discussion. Hope you keep plugging in your 2 cents.


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#1998429 - 12/12/12 03:15 PM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Advanced Players [Re: jazzwee]  
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jazzwee Offline
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So. California
Now I have a question for those that understand the bassist's role. For a good swing,does the bassist play On-The-Beat, Behind-the-beat, Ahead-of-the-Beat?

Listening to recordings, I honestly cannot tell. I'm trying to improve the swing in my band and I'm looking for clues.

I think my bassist tends to push the beat. I think my drummer has no 2 & 4 feel so it sounds rigid. Also, the lack of bass legato affects my feel of swing.

Thoughts?


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