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#3118003 05/15/21 07:07 PM
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Hi folks--I've been youtubing and Googling this for awhile, and found maybe 1 example, which I can't find again--

the question is, are there any pop or jazz pianists who frequently/often/sometimes play either a chorus or an entire piece with only the left hand? This is not counting anyone lacking a right hand.

And I refer to improvising, not a previously practiced setpiece.

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rogerzell Every jazz pianist can improvise, every improvising pianist can do it with every hand; and only he can establish for himself the proportions between the hands.
It should be noted that left hand improvisation will always differ from improvisation with the right.

- from 4:01

Last edited by Nahum; 05/16/21 12:57 AM.
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Nahum, thanks for this.

Now, examples of all improvising pianists please--because this is the 2nd I've seen, and to be fair, alot of the time he's playing basslines--not all the time.

While I have not paid attention to most jazz pianists, none of the ones I have heard do left hand solos at all (always except that one, who played an entire song lh only, and whose name I can't remember).

Bud Powell? Nat COle? George Shearing? Dave Brubeck? Tatum? Waller? as I said, I'm not widely listened, but never heard any lh solos from these guys.

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Hi Rogerzell

Not common, I think would summarise the answer to your question. I have 600 -700 Jazz albums of which the majority are by Jazz Pianists and I can't recall 1 LH solo, which doesn't mean they aren't there, as my memory is shocking these days. Quite a few certainly do unison right and left hands together. Oscar Peterson perhaps being the first to do that.

However I do recall a story about Bud Powell (which now I can't find on-line) where at a gig he was criticised for being a one-handed Piano player. If you're not familiar with his style he played very sparsely in his LH. Mostly shell voicings like root and 7th. Anyway from what I recall, on the next number he proceeded to play LH only and was quite brilliant.

Cheers


Simon

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Elephant Walk -Improv for LH only


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rogerzell
[And I refer to improvising, not a previously practiced set piece.] [ are there any pop or jazz pianists who frequently/often/sometimes play either a chorus or an entire piece with only the left hand

https://ethaniverson.com/two-fisted-piano/

Hazel Scott Scott’s last record from 1980 (she died a year later) has some affinities with the Larkins just above, a mainstream trio disc with Duvivier and a swinging drummer, in this case Oliver Jackson. It’s an expansive mood record of medium tempos and grooves, with a two-fisted bluesy profile next door to someone like Gene Harris, although Scott has a rhythm guitar left hand.

They called Avery Parrish’s “After Hours” the “Black National Anthem” at one point, everyone had to play in it the ’40s and ’50s. In the opening stanza Scott is all the way down in the bottom register, a great effect. Two unaccompanied choruses setting up “St. Louis Blues” is an album highlight, and makes one wish for a larger Scott discography.


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Hi folks, thanx for these--

Nahum--while Parlan was great, he essentially had no right hand, so this doesn't fit in my question.

Dfrank--nifty, and just what I'm looking for.

joggerjazz--I forgot this one! wow!!

dpvjazz--neither of your recordings have a left hand solo--?? Hazel Scott is an amazing technician. I've only heard her on film, where's she's all Hollywood showbizzy, I have no idea if she ever really got down to serious improv.

Simon b--thanks for the memory(lol). You do the work and I get the benefit, just how life should be(lol2). I've got some work around my house for you(lol3).

I suppose my original question was kind of pointless, but fun. My right arm was out of service for awhile, so I started playing lefty only, and it really helped my 2 hand playing.

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Fred Hersch and Brad Mehldau play a lot of melodies in the left hand, and sometimes create counterpoint between the two hands. It's a modern technique (melody in the left hand) that has come into jazz in the last couple of decades. Not sure if this is what you were looking for?

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Here's one that might fit the bill, I tried sending a PM but it wouldn't go through..


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i broke my right shoulder 6 weeks ago and have been playing left only.
i have devised a list of 20 left hand styles I know and I practice them on all the standards, I like to change the lh style every 4 bars as a challenge. i also memorized all of Jarretts LH ballad tricks.
I've also been doing my barry harris' scale and phrase warm ups. also 4 way close blocks in lh. also oscars famous break in bags groove

the other thing I do is lh ballads.
Tenderly has a melody that works well. i play the the first melody phrase with pedal, and then quickly roll its hip chord arpeggio from the bass up into a 6 note jazz scale up to the highest note on the piano. i try to think tatum is in my lh. my left hand has become great at arpeggiating any chord all the way up to the 88th key, I'm amazed I can do it. 321 321 for 6 note scale fingering was the key for me!

Last edited by RinTin; 05/16/21 11:49 PM.

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RinTin--go for it!

I don't know if you addressed this to me, but I may assume so since I started this thread--

I don't know anything about what you say above, from Jarrett lh tricks to hip chord arpeggio--terms unknown to me.

One of my favorites is I'm Confessin that I love you, lots of space to add counterpoint. Surrey with Fringe is very useful, Pennies from heaven also.

My model is Godowsky--if you're not familiar, youtube the Godowsky/Chopin paraphrases for left hand. However, I can't come close to them, as he was one of the most renowned pianists of his time.

Once you've got your rh back, you'll see how usefully your time was spent.

btw, are you related to the famous movie star?

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Originally Posted by RinTin
i broke my right shoulder 6 weeks ago and have been playing left only.
I deeply sympathize with you - for a pianist this is doubly awful!
It's great that you're looking for a variety of one-handed textures; and I assure you that there is more than you have found so far. This is a matter of pure fantasy: each finger is an instrument in itself.

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Dear roger and Nahum, thank you for that! I had a pretty bad accident where I was hurled 10 feet through the air and landed square on my shoulder. The humerus was triple fractured. The only plus side is I can now freely play ballad arpeggios up and down the 88s almost effortlessly. Very pleased with that.


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[Linked Image]

In limiting conditions, fantasy sometimes throws itself into fingering inventions.

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Indeed!

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I read a Monk biography not too long ago. Apparently he complained that a lot of the pianists he knew had "weak left hands." When Monk solos, you'll often see him mix things up - it's almost like he's playing a mallet percussion instrument, and swapping hands as needed. I suspect some of this was from his background in stride piano, where the left hand is super important.


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RinTin--c'mon, dish! Did your family connect with Rin Tin Tin?

I worked with a fella who was distantly related to Roy Rogers, another related to heiress Barbara Hutton--look her up.

and then there's Lassie, Asta and Toto too.

Nahum--did you write this for this thread? or have you been playing it for years?

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Originally Posted by rogerzell
Nahum--did you write this for this thread? ?
Sure , however, over long time I have tried different combinations - influenced by Dave McKenna.


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