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Thread: Who are your favourite pianists - any genre?

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    Who are your favourite pianists - any genre?

    After a few years I still lean heavily toward Bill Evans. The intensity of his music usually matches my sweet-spot, and I get the sense that my personality would jive with his. Most of his stuff just seems to reflect my mood, most of the time.

    When I want to step it up a notch I also listen to Oscar Peterson, when I'm in more of a party, less reflective mood.

    In terms of classical pianists I find it harder to distinguish between them, but I find myself listening to a lot of Vladimir Feltsman, lately. I dabbled a bit with Martha Argerich and Vladimir Horowitz, but have found the selections that Feltsman has chosen to play and record (at least that I can get my hands on) having a little more subtlety and distinction. Where the Argerich and Horowitz recordings I've listened to seem to be played with a little more flare and gusto than I prefer (granted I'm definitely a superficial listener of classical).

    Not many others come to mind as I spend so much time listening to Evans.

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    Liberace and Bobby Crush.

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    Since you asked...

    I like Bill Evans* a lot, but I’m probably not the fan you are. But here are a few I listen to:

    Jelly Roll Morton One of the founding fathers of jazz. I started listening to him as a teenager when I learned to play a couple of his compositions for solo piano from sheet music. When I first heard a recording, as an adult, I almost cried. What I had learned as a teenager was little more than the chords and melody; Jelly Roll played far more notes than I could manage>

    Fats Waller A terrific, and often funny, song writer and fabulous pianist.

    Art Tatum Love that stride.

    Count Basie Kansas City jazz that really swings.

    Duke Ellington ‘nuff said

    Thelonious Monk I love his stuff. His minimalist composing style probably disguises his real piano chops.

    Keith Jarrett Another graduate of the Miles Davis academy (along with Bill Evans). In the seventies I wore out his live solo album The Koln Concert and more recently have downloaded it. Still a great album for a rainy day or a long drive.

    Jason Moran (sorry if I’m flogging a dead horse Rousseau). Contemporary but honors his jazz roots.

    Blues and Boogy Too many to name, but Otis Spann, Champion Jack Dupree, Albert Ammons, Pete Johnson, Meade Lux Lewis, Memphis Slim, the list goes on. I love them all.

    Classical My selections are very weak here because I don’t really follow anybody much. I once wore out a recording of Rudolph Serkin playing the Brahms Second Piano Concerto. Recently I’ve been listening a lot to a French pianist named Pascal Roge, not so much because I think he’s great (although he’s very good) but because he specializes in music I like: Debussy, Satie, Poulenc. I also used to play some of their compositions as a teenager.

    * Just yesterday I listened to his Love Theme from Sparticus which was, I believe, one of the first, if not the very first, double-tracked recordings.

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    Mostly the blues and R&B players of the 30s-60s. Everybody since are all derivative.



    My cable has all music channels. There are very good piano players that are contemporary. Relative modern jazz Macoy Tyner and others.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tharmas View Post
    Since you asked...

    I like Bill Evans* a lot, but I’m probably not the fan you are. But here are a few I listen to:

    Jelly Roll Morton One of the founding fathers of jazz. I started listening to him as a teenager when I learned to play a couple of his compositions for solo piano from sheet music. When I first heard a recording, as an adult, I almost cried. What I had learned as a teenager was little more than the chords and melody; Jelly Roll played far more notes than I could manage>

    Fats Waller A terrific, and often funny, song writer and fabulous pianist.

    Art Tatum Love that stride.

    Count Basie Kansas City jazz that really swings.

    Duke Ellington ‘nuff said

    Thelonious Monk I love his stuff. His minimalist composing style probably disguises his real piano chops.

    Keith Jarrett Another graduate of the Miles Davis academy (along with Bill Evans). In the seventies I wore out his live solo album The Koln Concert and more recently have downloaded it. Still a great album for a rainy day or a long drive.

    Jason Moran (sorry if I’m flogging a dead horse Rousseau). Contemporary but honors his jazz roots.

    Blues and Boogy Too many to name, but Otis Spann, Champion Jack Dupree, Albert Ammons, Pete Johnson, Meade Lux Lewis, Memphis Slim, the list goes on. I love them all.

    Classical My selections are very weak here because I don’t really follow anybody much. I once wore out a recording of Rudolph Serkin playing the Brahms Second Piano Concerto. Recently I’ve been listening a lot to a French pianist named Pascal Roge, not so much because I think he’s great (although he’s very good) but because he specializes in music I like: Debussy, Satie, Poulenc. I also used to play some of their compositions as a teenager.

    * Just yesterday I listened to his Love Theme from Sparticus which was, I believe, one of the first, if not the very first, double-tracked recordings.
    I forgot about Jarrett. I've also listened to Koln quite a bit, and a few of his other albums. I should really start exploring his stuff a little more.

    I also like Ellington, although his work is so extensive that it can be a bit overwhelming (and Spotify is usually littered with stupid compilations).

    Have also spent some time with Monk and even have a record or two of his, might need to give him a more concerted look too.

    (actually, I've listened to all you list, but the above three are those who've gotten the lion's share of my attention)

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    Andre Watts and Vladimir Feltsman.

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    Bill Evans just doesn't do it for me, outside of his work with Miles. I know he's a huge, respected figure in jazz, but I find his music dull -- even the famous Village Vanguard set. He just doesn't convey to me the blues and swing components of jazz. (Lenny Tristano does the same to me.) Art Tatum exhausts me -- the excess decoration is beyond my capacity to listen, unless he's dueting with a horn player.
    I tend toward earthier, bluesier players: Red Garland, Junior Mance (still around at age 90 -- check out his live trio set from the Vanguard of '60 or '61), McCoy Tyner (Uptown/Downtown is a rousing hellacious album, also Live at Sweet Basil), Elmo Hope, Sonny Clark (especially Leapin and Lopin), Horace Parlan, Kenny Barron (one of the best accompanists ever, listen to him accompany Stan Getz at his very last gigs in People Time, a gut-wrenching set), Jaki Byard (a real freak before freak was an 'in' word, look for The Jaki Byard Experience with Roland Kirk), Mal Waldron (especially The Git Go), and the unsung Phineas Newborn (I hope everyone gets to hear The Great Jazz Piano of Phineas Newborn set). I love Oscar Peterson too, especially his live stuff -- at Montreaux he led some thunderous jams. And one more out of left field, Mingus, who on Oh Yeah plays only piano -- the album is a wild jazz orgy that sounds like it could've been recorded in a whorehouse or a backwoods juke -- everyone is flying and Mingus is hooting, singing, chanting, and playing some fine downhome piano. Now that's jazz. And how could I leave out Sun Ra???

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    Quote Originally Posted by ideologyhunter View Post
    Bill Evans just doesn't do it for me, outside of his work with Miles. I know he's a huge, respected figure in jazz, but I find his music dull -- even the famous Village Vanguard set. He just doesn't convey to me the blues and swing components of jazz.
    You can often tell where someone sits on the extraversion spectrum at times like this. I think a lot of people would share your sentiments, even despite the blues/swing arguments. His music crawls, as Evans himself was thoroughly introverted. To me it's perfect, but I can definitely understand why a lot of people would find it boring.

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    Exactly. And fine. That's why God made Blue Note, Prestige, Contemporary, Columbia Jazz Masterworks, Pablo, Galaxy, Candid, Riverside, and all the other angels.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ideologyhunter View Post
    Bill Evans just doesn't do it for me, outside of his work with Miles. I know he's a huge, respected figure in jazz, but I find his music dull -- even the famous Village Vanguard set. He just doesn't convey to me the blues and swing components of jazz. (Lenny Tristano does the same to me.) Art Tatum exhausts me -- the excess decoration is beyond my capacity to listen, unless he's dueting with a horn player.
    I tend toward earthier, bluesier players: Red Garland, Junior Mance (still around at age 90 -- check out his live trio set from the Vanguard of '60 or '61), McCoy Tyner (Uptown/Downtown is a rousing hellacious album, also Live at Sweet Basil), Elmo Hope, Sonny Clark (especially Leapin and Lopin), Horace Parlan, Kenny Barron (one of the best accompanists ever, listen to him accompany Stan Getz at his very last gigs in People Time, a gut-wrenching set), Jaki Byard (a real freak before freak was an 'in' word, look for The Jaki Byard Experience with Roland Kirk), Mal Waldron (especially The Git Go), and the unsung Phineas Newborn (I hope everyone gets to hear The Great Jazz Piano of Phineas Newborn set). I love Oscar Peterson too, especially his live stuff -- at Montreaux he led some thunderous jams. And one more out of left field, Mingus, who on Oh Yeah plays only piano -- the album is a wild jazz orgy that sounds like it could've been recorded in a whorehouse or a backwoods juke -- everyone is flying and Mingus is hooting, singing, chanting, and playing some fine downhome piano. Now that's jazz. And how could I leave out Sun Ra???
    I know Mingus mostly as a bass player and composer. I'll check out Oh Yeah. Also, where’s a good place to start with Red Garland? I only know him from the Miles Davis days. My son has encouraged me to discover Jaki Byard. Time to start listening to him I guess. I partially agree about Art Tatum. He sure plays a lot of notes. I don't make a steady diet there, just dip in for a bit every now and then.

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