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#2071069 - 04/25/13 10:02 PM Pianists who don't enjoy... solo piano? (Jazz)  
Joined: Aug 2011
Posts: 51
Rollin shoulders Offline
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Rollin shoulders  Offline
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WNY

Don't get me wrong, I love hearing solo pianists (sometimes) and truly appreciate the talent and years of dedication to be that talented at creating such great music (as in, composing solo piano works or improvising) or playing pieces (in a classical sense).

I came to the conclusion that I actually love piano as an accompaniment instrument like guitar or organ (think jazz) as opposed to actually listening to one person just play solo piano.

Does anyone else here feel this way? I'm in no way bashing solo piano and saying it's boring or something, but I honestly like hearing a trio or quartet as opposed to just a guy soloing on piano.

I'm currently waiting on whether or not I got accepted into a music program for my B.A in Music education and I had to audition for it. Why I think I prolonged the practicing aspect of it was because I had to learn solo pieces.

I didn't want to cause trouble because, this is the great piano forums and all, but I wanted to see what other pianists thought.


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#2071196 - 04/26/13 02:11 AM Re: Pianists who don't enjoy... solo piano? (Jazz) [Re: Rollin shoulders]  
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Lost Woods Offline
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Lost Woods  Offline
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Can you give examples of what sort of solo jazz piano you don't like? I'm just listening to jazz for 2 years.
For me, I prefer to listen to trios etc. mostly because I like the rhythm, structure and I am a great fan of the double bass. Those things come back in solo jazz piano when listening to Dave Mckenna and Lennie Tristano, really like that. But I have to admit I never listen to "solo" jazz piano records (like Bill Evans or Keith Jarret solo). Not that I don't like the sound, but I like the trios/quartets much more.

Btw, I don't come across many walking bass style solo jazz piano players like Mckenna and Tristano... what's up with that? Doesn't seem to be to popular or I'm just not looking good enough.

#2071250 - 04/26/13 04:54 AM Re: Pianists who don't enjoy... solo piano? (Jazz) [Re: Rollin shoulders]  
Joined: Nov 2012
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Mark Polishook Offline
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Mark Polishook  Offline
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Rollin Shoulders, you gotta a couple of way to go.

1. Maintain your tastes as they are. Accompanying, whether classical jazz or any style, is a nuanced skill that can sound easier than it looks. It's perfectly OK to have an opinion about what you like or don't like. And to just leave it at that.

2. Grow your tastes and expand into some areas your less comfortable with. That's not always easy and it's not always fun and it can seem counter productive at times. But the ability to stretch your taste and enjoy things you didn't previously like only leads to good things. And because you appear to be making a career choice in music, the more skills you have and the more styles you appreciate the better off you'll be. It may be that when you get to university your professors will challenge your choices to purposely help you to expand and grow and consider as many options as possible.

I've never seen or heard or met anyone who was sorry about expanding their tastes and skills. On the other hand, music education is a path many follow because they're more interested in educational and learning process in music rather than high-level artistic accomplishment.

Maybe what could guide you is what you and your professors agree on as the best way to move your musical career forward. You will, for sure, hear a lot of good opinions in this forum and mention of fabulous pianists and recordings.

End of the day, it's your choice as to which facets of your musical abilities and tastes and preferences you choose (or don't choose) to grow.

Last edited by printer1; 04/26/13 04:56 AM.
#2071285 - 04/26/13 06:42 AM Re: Pianists who don't enjoy... solo piano? (Jazz) [Re: Rollin shoulders]  
Joined: Mar 2007
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knotty Offline
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knotty  Offline
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+1 with Printer.

It's a little bit like liking wine, but recognizing that there's something in Whiskey. Maybe you don't like whiskey yet, and maybe never will.

There is something to solo piano that we hardly find in other types of jazz. A good solo recording of Fred Hersh should demonstrate. Keith Jarrett, too. And some Brad Mehldau.

Fresh Hersh plays Jobim.



#2071353 - 04/26/13 08:45 AM Re: Pianists who don't enjoy... solo piano? (Jazz) [Re: Rollin shoulders]  
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Rollin shoulders Offline
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Rollin shoulders  Offline
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WNY
Lost woods- a definite example would be Keith jarett. I don't know what it is, but the fact he freaks out on people in his audience shows that he's very egotistical. Understandably, people cough and stuff, but to stop mid song and make the audience feel like its their fault? I don't know, I just get this vibe that pianists (such as jarett) just sound better in an ensemble.

Printer- I do see where you're coming from with expanding tastes, it took me a long time (and I'm still in the process) to acquire a taste for classical music. I'll try to do the same with solo piano jazz, but it's going to be difficult ha.

Knotty- I like your analogy relateing to wine and whiskey. Very blunt way to put it haha.

At least I know I'm not the only one!


1940's Wurlitzer Spinet
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#2071527 - 04/26/13 12:06 PM Re: Pianists who don't enjoy... solo piano? (Jazz) [Re: Rollin shoulders]  
Joined: Mar 2007
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knotty Offline
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knotty  Offline
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one album I listened to for about a year straight a few years back was Michel Pettrucciani au Theatre des Champs Elysees.
Very different from Hersh but great.


#2071806 - 04/26/13 08:35 PM Re: Pianists who don't enjoy... solo piano? (Jazz) [Re: Rollin shoulders]  
Joined: Nov 2012
Posts: 14
blotchy Offline
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blotchy  Offline
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Tastes change over time. When i first got into jazz it was all about the horns because that's what was new coming from more rock/blues. After years of listening and trying to play piano I love a good piano trio -- i needed to grow into appreciating more subtleties. Then guys like Jarrett or McKenna blow me away -- not that i always have the patience for slower developing Jarrett pieces, and the solo piano is a niche i'm not going to overplay, but it can take freedom and/or virtuosity to a new level.

In a something like a quartet or quintet with a great like Red Garland, i can feel gypped of enough piano solo time. When it's there own solo material, you should get all the piano you need.

#2086386 - 05/21/13 04:44 PM Re: Pianists who don't enjoy... solo piano? (Jazz) [Re: Rollin shoulders]  
Joined: Mar 2013
Posts: 120
Lost Woods Offline
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Well I just started listening to Bill Evans The Solo Sessions Vol. 1 right now.. and it is simply amazing. Wow!! In this album Bill Evans does a lot some kind of, if I remembered it right, implied rhythm by stabbing chords (please help me here lol!). Blows me away!!

#2086414 - 05/21/13 06:03 PM Re: Pianists who don't enjoy... solo piano? (Jazz) [Re: Rollin shoulders]  
Joined: Nov 2012
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Mark Polishook Offline
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Mark Polishook  Offline
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Posts: 1,047
Leicester, UK
thanks lost woods! your mention is the first i've heard of them. just found them on amazon.uk and they will be here soon but not soon enough .. smile

#2086419 - 05/21/13 06:19 PM Re: Pianists who don't enjoy... solo piano? (Jazz) [Re: Mark Polishook]  
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Dfrankjazz Offline
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perhaps you might get a tickle from this:

http://youtu.be/vEMp4TKw-Kc

#2086666 - 05/22/13 08:00 AM Re: Pianists who don't enjoy... solo piano? (Jazz) [Re: Rollin shoulders]  
Joined: Feb 2013
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tend to rush Offline
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tend to rush  Offline
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Art Tatum? Fats Waller?

#2087050 - 05/22/13 08:32 PM Re: Pianists who don't enjoy... solo piano? (Jazz) [Re: Rollin shoulders]  
Joined: Apr 2010
Posts: 13
e440 Offline
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e440  Offline
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...Thelonious Monk? There's something beautiful about the solo-performer. The deeply personal, the nakedness, the silence, nothing is missed, nothing is covered up. And the intervals that guy could get away with...

Last edited by e440; 05/22/13 08:33 PM.

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