Sunday, August 26, 2007

Miles Davis to Herbie Hancock: "I pay you to practice on my bandstand."

Here's a great article about the innovative jazz pianist, Herbie Hancock. Sounds like a really interesting guy, and one who only began to shine once he played the way he wanted to play. Miles Davis encouraged him early in his career, and the rest, as they say, is history. Check out this update on Herbie, his family, his gadgets, and what makes him tick:

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Wednesday, August 22, 2007

A Great Blog Hub For Great Jazz

This awesome blog has some terrific links, reviews, news, etc., etc. It's a great place to get lost in jazz for a I just was!

100 Greatest Jazz Albums
100 Greatest Jazz albums brings you the best in jazz, highlighting the great jazz albums, selecting the best of the jazz new releases.

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Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Oscar Peterson May Be Aging, But He's Alive And Well In This Detroit Piano Prodigy

Detroit JazzStage - Jazz Spotlite Channel
Here's a really nice brief interview with up-and-coming jazz pianist Steve Richko, followed by his beautiful title piece from his Oscar Peterson tribute album, the sales of which benefit the ALS Foundation (that's Lou Gerhig's disease). Here's a clip from the Jazz Spotlite website:

"Pianist Steve Richko lives in Dearborn, MI. He is a 27-year-old prodigy who fell in love with the music of Oscar Peterson at the age of 12. Since then, Steve has made a thorough study of Oscar's piano artistry and career. Today, Steve Richko is regarded as one the finest young pianists on the Detroit jazz scene. Steve's virtuosic piano technique is astounding and his understanding of ensemble playing and trio arranging makes for a spectacular presentation. He plays with great feeling and charisma, at once lush and rhapsodic, then bluesy and greasy, then lightning fast bebop! Steve Richko's musical star is just now rising and the sky is the limit for this amazing jazz sensation!"

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Saturday, August 18, 2007

The Things You'll Find On The Internet...

Check out this 75-year-old cartoon about Tom and Jerry, the "Piano Tooners" (not the cat and mouse), which features a "jazz" piano performance near the end of the cartoon, after they remove a bad key on the piano like pulling a tooth.

Cute, and a fun little diversion down memory lane...although I don't remember this one!

Tom and Jerry (the human versions, not the cat and mouse) work as piano tuners. After seeing them at work and several creative ways of tuning a piano (such as removing the offending key and cutting the key itself to a shorter length), the two attend an opera singers performance. The singer passes out when the piano plays a wrong note, and Tom and Jerry are pressed into service to re-tune the piano. After pulling the offending key from the keyboard like a bad tooth, the two give the opera audience a jazz piano performance, with the now recovered opera singer joining in.

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Excellent 1964 Jazz Piano Trio Music You've Never Heard

Here's something I think I may have to hunt down for my music collection...a piano trio recording from 1964 by Michael Garrick - "Moonscape".  Just the rarity of it intrigues me.  Check out this snippet from the New York Times:

But “Moonscape” out-rares them all; 99 copies were pressed by Mr. Garrick, a British pianist, after he formed what sounds like an excellent working band but before he became known at home. You’ve never heard it. It has just been issued on CD by Trunk Records. (Nobody could find the original tapes; it’s been mastered from the 10-inch vinyl.) Surprise: It’s another great example of jazz from that liminal period, its swing interrupted by abrupt interludes, streaking catchy melodies with dire, lemon-ice dissonance.

You can find the article and some other jazz news here:

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Saturday, May 12, 2007

Nothing To Do? These Podcasts Will Keep You Busy For A While!

Check out this awesome list of jazz podcasts I found recently - better carve some time out of your schedule for these gems.  Enjoy...

Jazz Podcasts - A New Collection BeginsTrane

We've previously put you in touch with great classical music podcasts (here and here).Now it's time to focus on jazz. Today, we're highlighting 16 podcasts that will keep you current on today's jazz scene. You'll know what's happening in Chicago, Detroit, New York and beyond. You'll also find some podcasts that explore some jazz greats -- namely, John Coltrane and Sonny Rollins. This list will grow as we encounter more quality material. If you see that we're missing a good one, drop us a line. In the future, you'll be able to find these podcasts in our larger collection of Arts & Culture Podcasts. For all of our podcasts, click here.

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Thursday, April 12, 2007

Go "Behind The Fingers" Of Jazz Great, Art Tatum

I should have posted this much earlier, since this series is just brilliant. Not sure when it was done, but Dick Hyman breaks down some of Art Tatum's harmonic devices and licks, making them very accessible, even for beginning-intermediate pianists.

Do yourself a favor and check this out, then study and practice it and see where it gets you. Enjoy!

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