For a jazz pianist is considered a giant is not enough to play well, he must have contributed significantly to the jazz history with his instrument leaving a legacy and many players as followers, and he must have been a great composer, otherwise it is just a good or great keyboardist” (J. Sabán).
The Big Three of ragtime (James Scott, Scott Joplin and Joseph Lamb), are necessarily included in the list because without ragtime, one of thre precursive musics of jazz music, simplily there is not jazz.
Moreover, the pioneers of diferents styles of piano-jazz (stride, swing, bebop, cool-jazz, hard-bop, free, avant-garde…) are obviously included. Among bossa pianists just are included Hermeto Pascoal, Jonny Alf, and Sergio Mendes beause other famous bossa-pianists (Tom Jobim, João Donato….), did not play jazz music. Respect to latin-jazz only are included the bests: Charlie and Eddie Palmieri, Arturo O'Farrill, Chucho and Bebo Valdés, Gonzalo Rubalcaba, Jorge Dalto, and Michel Camilo. Inside the world of jazz keyboard just six playerd stands out in organ, the bigs Jimmy Smith, (Brother) Jack McDuff, Lonnie Smith, Jimmy McGriff, Richard "Groove" Holmes and Joey DeFrancesco, and for it they are the only ones in our list of giants. Don Shinn was an excelent pianist and organist of rock progressive but not a jazz player. Among piano blues player only include Roosevelt Sykes, Willie "The Lion" Smith and the authentic father of jazz & blues, both music, the big “Buddy Bolden”. Among jazz piano players that influenced the birth of soul stand out Harold Mabern and Ray Charles, “The Genius”, and among pioneers of rock´n roll and R&B in the piano just include in our list Edward Frank and the big Johnnie Johnson, this last was a jazz & blues & rock´n roll pianist that is considered Father of Rock and Roll by his work with Chuck Berry. Fats Domino, Little Richard, Huey 'Piano' Smith, Allen Toussaint, Jerry Lee Lewis and James Booker played rock´n roll and R&B in piano very well but none of them played also jazz, for it are absent in this list of giants. Among young pianists, two big pianists such as Derek Paravicini or Ethan Bortnick, great piano players of classical music, New Age and just occasionally classic or contemporary jazz music, such as, not be included on this first list either. However Brad Mehldau, Kenny Barron, Matt Savage and Helen Sung are the excepcions in this young group, they plays frequently, non from time to time, jazz music in a very high level although, except Mehldau, something away of the seven bigs of piano jazz all time which are: Art Tatum, Fats Waller, Billy Strayhorn, Bud Powell, Thelonious Monk, Oscar Peterson and Cyrus Chestnut. In our list of giants could not miss, of course, the only three “total pianists” in my opinion: Clare Fischer, Jorge Dalto and Joe Sample. The current great and popular Italian pianist Giovanni Allevi plays all kinds of music except jazz, especially classical music, for it is not included in our selection. Finally, there are in this list many noted absences and so Cole Porter, Irving Berlin, Seymour Simons, George Gershwin, Harold Arlen, Richard Rodgers and many others were great composers of many jazz-standards but not jazz pianists, except a little Gershwin, and for it they are not included in this series.
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In the time of bebop he played “cool jazz” !!!!!, more ten years before of time of this jazz style. He explored the texture of riffs, timbres, and phrases rather than the quantity or speed of notes in any given improvisation. He had a style unusually minimalist style for this period.
Jamal was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He began playing piano at the age of three, when his uncle Lawrence challenged him to duplicate what he was doing on the piano. Jamal began formal piano training at the age of seven with Mary Cardwell Dawson, whom he describes as greatly influencing him. Born to Baptist parents Jamal did not discover Islam until his early 20s. While touring in Detroit (where there was a sizable Muslim community in the 1940s and 1950s), Jamal became interested in Islam and Islamic culture. He converted to Islam and changed his name to Ahmad Jamal in 1950. Shortly after his conversion to Islam, Jamal explained to the New York Times that he "says Muslim prayers five times a day and arises in time to say his first prayers at 5 am. He says them in Arabic in keeping with the Muslim tradition."
His Pittsburgh roots have remained an important part of his identity as pianist ("Pittsburgh meant everything to me and it still does," he said in 2001) and it was there that he was immersed in the influence of jazz artists such as Earl Hines, Billy Strayhorn, Mary Lou Williams, and Erroll Garner.
Jamal also studied with pianist James Miller and began playing piano professionally at the age of fourteen, at which point he was recognized as a "coming great" by the pianist Art Tatum. In the time of bebop (Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie), Jamal took steps in the direction of a new movement, later coined "cool jazz". Jamal explored the texture of riffs, timbres, and phrases rather than the quantity or speed of notes in any given improvisation. Because of this style, Jamal was "often dismissed by jazz writers as no more than a cocktail pianist, a player so given to fluff that his work shouldn't be considered seriously in any artistic sense".
Jamal began touring with George Hudson's Orchestra after graduating from George Westinghouse High School in 1948.
After the recording of the best-selling album But Not For Me, Jamal's music grew in popularity throughout the 1950s, and he attracted media coverage for his investment decisions pertaining to his "rising fortune".
In 1959, he took a tour of North Africa to explore investment options in Africa. Jamal, who was twenty-nine at the time, said he had a curiosity about the homeland of his ancestors, highly influenced by his conversion to the Muslim faith.
Speaking about Jamal, A. B. Spellman of the National Endowment of the Arts said: "Nobody except Thelonious Monk used space better, and nobody ever applied the artistic device of tension and release better." These (at the time) unconventional techniques that Jamal gleaned from both traditional classical and contemporary jazz musicians helped pave the way for later jazz greats like Bill Evans, Herbie Hancock, and McCoy Tyner.
He moved to Chicago in 1950 (where he legally changed his name to Ahmad Jamal), and played with local musicians.
He made his first sides in 1951 for the Okeh label with The Three Strings using the piano-guitar-bass lineup (which would later also be called the Ahmad Jamal Trio, although Jamal himself prefers not to use the term "trio"). The other members were guitarist Ray Crawford and a bassist (at different times, Eddie Calhoun (1950–52), Richard Davis(1953–54), and Israel Crosby (from 1954)).
The Three Strings arranged an extended engagement at Chicago’s Blue Note, but leapt to fame after performing at the Embers in New York City where John Hammond saw the band play and signed them to Okeh Records.
The trio's sound changed significantly when guitarist Crawford was replaced with drummer Vernel Fournier in 1957 and the group worked as the "House Trio" at Chicago's Pershing Hotel. In 1958 they recording “Live at the Preshing Hotel” (Chicago). In 1985, Jamal agreed to do an interview and recording session with his fellow jazz pianist, Marian McPartland. He said that when he grew in popularity from the Live at the Pershing album.
In 1962, House Trio disbanded and Jamal moved to New York City where, at the age of 32, he took a three-year hiatus from his musical career.
In 1964, Jamal resumed touring and recording, this time with the bassist Jamil Nasser. Jamal and Nasser continued to play and record together from 1964 to 1972.
Until 1970, he played acoustic piano exclusively. In the 1970s, he played electric piano as well.
Now in his eighties, Ahmad Jamal has continued to make numerous tours and recordings. His most recently released albums are Saturday Morning, 2013.]and the CD/DVD release "Ahmad Jamal featuring Yusef Lateef Live at L'Olympia", 2014.
He is frequently credited with having a great influence on Miles Davis. Jamal and Davis became friends in the 1950.
Jamal is the main mentor of female jazz piano virtuosa Hiromi Uehara, known as Hiromi.
Some of Ahmad Jamal’s more prestigious awards include the following, in chronological order:
· 1980: Distinguished Service Award from City of Washington D.C., Anacostia Neighborhood Museum, Smithsonian Institution
· 1981: Nomination for the Best R&B Instrumental Performance (“You’re Welcome,” “Stop on By”) from NARAS
· 2001: Induction into The Kelly-Strayhorn Gallery of Stars for Achievements as Pianist and Composer from East Liberty Quarter Chamber of Commerce
· 2003: American Jazz Hall of Fame from New Jersey Jazz Society
· 2007: Named Living Jazz Legend by the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Officier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres on June 2007 (French government)
· 2011: Induction into Downbeat Magazine’s 76th Readers' Poll Hall of Fame
2-Alan Broadbent (1947)
Alan Leonard Broadbent was born in Auckland, New Zealand. He is a jazz pianist, arranger and composer best known for his work as sideman of artists such as Charlie Haden, Woody Herman, Chet Baker, Irene Kral, Sheila Jordan, Natalie Cole, Warne Marsh, Bud Shank, and many others.
Broadbent studied piano and music theory in his own country, but in 1966 went to the US to study at the Berklee College of Music. Alan Broadbent's first professional gig was in a jazz trio with bassist Kevin Haines and drummer Tony Hopkins at Club 81 in Auckland New Zealand in the mid-1960s.
Broadbent's first two albums were recorded in 1985 in New Zealand on the Tartar label (respectively TRL-043 and TRL-052). Those early albums show a fascination with reinterpreting a broad range of standards; he covers material as diverse as "What is this Thing Called Love?" (Cole Porter) and "Oleo" (Sonny Rollins). He contributes as compositor with two pieces: "Nictation" and "Don't Ask Why".
Broadbent's first U.S. release, Everything I Love, was recorded in Hollywood in April 1986 and released on the Discovery label (DS-929). Again, Broadbent covers standards ranging from Oscar Hammerstein ("Softly as in a Morning Sunrise") to John Coltrane ("Lazy Bird"), and contributes two original compositions ("Continuity" and "Mendocino Nights").
In the early 90s he was asked to be a part of Natalie Cole's famous "Unforgettable" cd, at which time he toured as her pianist and, a little while later, as her conductor. At this time he wrote an orchestral arrangement for her second video with her dad, "When I Fall In Love" (by Nat King Cole), which won him his first Grammy for "Best Orchestral Arrangement Accompanying a Vocal".
During the 1990s Broadbent was part of Charlie Haden's "Quartet West."
It was while he was with Charlie Haden's Quartet West that he won his second Grammy, an orchestral accompaniment written for Shirley Horn of Leonard Bernstein's "Lonely Town".
As a soloist and with his jazz trio, Broadbent has been nominated for Grammys twice for best instrumental performance, in the company of such artists as Herbie Hancock, Sonny Rollins and Keith Jarrett. In 2007 he was awarded the New Zealand Order of Merit, an honor he holds in high regard.
Broadbent is Diana Krall's conductor for her occasional orchestra concerts and is the conductor on her "Live in Paris" DVD.
Recently he has been the arranger on Glenn Frey's cd with strings, "After Hours", and wrote six string arrangements for Sir Paul McCartney's "Kisses On The Bottom" with the London Symphony.
He has just returned from solo piano concerts in the UK, Poland and France. It has been his lifelong goal, through his orchestral arrangements and jazz improvisations, to discover, in popular music and standard songs, deeper feelings of communication and love.
In the November 2013 issue of downbeat Magazine his trio CD, Heart To Heart garnished a rare 5 star rating.
3-Albert Ammons (1907 –1949)
He was an American pianist and player of boogie-woogie, a bluesy jazz style popular from the late 1930s into the mid-1940s. Boogie-woogie, “eight-to-the-bar” piano style!!! vs “twelve-to the-bar” of blues music & rock´n roll." (although primitive blues had eight-to-the bar: example: “Blues of Buddy Bolden”).
His interest in boogie-woogie is attributed to his close friendship with Meade Lux Lewis and also his father's interest in the style. Both Albert and Meade would practice together on the piano in the Ammons household.
In the early to mid-1920s Ammons worked as a cab driver for the Silver Taxicab Company. In 1924 he met back up with boyhood friend and fellow taxi driver Meade Lux Lewis !!!!!!!!!!. Soon the two players began working as a team, performing at club parties.
Ammons moved from Chicago to New York, where he teamed up with another pianist, Pete Johnson. The two performed regularly at the Café Society, occasionally joined by Meade Lux Lewis, and performed with other jazz musicians such as Benny Goodman and Harry James.
In 1938 Ammons appeared at Carnegie Hall with Johnson and Lewis at From Spirituals to Swing, an event that helped launch the boogie-woogie craze. Two weeks later, record producer Alfred Lion, started Blue Note Records, recording nine Ammons solos including "The Blues" and "Boogie Woogie Stomp", eight by Lewis and a pair of duets in a one-day session in a rented studio.
Although the boogie-woogie fad began to die down in 1945, Ammons had no difficulty securing work. He continued to tour as a solo artist, and between 1946 and 1949 recorded his last sides for Mercury Records, with bassist Israel Crosby, and took on the position of staff pianist with the Lionel Hampton Orchestra. In tha same year, 1949, he played at President Harry S. Truman's inauguration.
Just four days before he died he had been at the Yancey apartment listening to Don Ewell and Jimmy Yancey play.
Ammons has had wide influence on countless pianists, such as Jerry Lee Lewis, Dave Alexander, Dr. John, Hadda Brooks, Johnnie Johnson, Ray Bryant, Erroll Garner, Katie Webster, Axel Zwingenberger and Henri Herbert.
4-Alice Coltrane (1937 – 2007)
The only one pianist and, at the same time, harpist in the jazz history.
She began playing jazz as a professional in Detroit, with her own trio and as a duo with vibist Terry Pollard. She married Kenny Hagood in 1960 and had a daughter. From 1962-63 she played with vibraphonist Terry Gibbs's quartet, during which time she met John Coltrane. In 1965 they were married in Juárez, Mexico. John Coltrane became stepfather to Alice's daughter Michele and the couple had three children: a drummer ((John Jr. (1964–1982)); and two saxophonists: Oranyan (b. 1967), who played saxophone with Santana for a period of time; and Ravi (b. 1965).
In January 1966 she replaced McCoy Tyner as pianist with John Coltrane's group. She subsequently recorded with him and continued playing with the band until his death on July 17, 1967.
After her husband's death she continued to play with her own groups, later including her children, moving into progressively more meditative music.
In 1972, she moved to California, where she established the Vedantic Center in 1975. By the late 1970s she had changed her name to Turiyasangitananda (Coltrane was a devotee of the Indian guru Sathya Sai Baba). On rare occasions, she continued to perform publicly under the name Alice Coltrane.
The 1990s saw renewed interest in her work, which led to the release of the compilation Astral Meditations, and in 2004 she released her comeback albumTranslinear Light.
Following a 25-year break from major public performances, she returned to the stage for three U.S. appearances in the fall of 2006, culminating on November 4 with a concert for the San Francisco Jazz Festival with her son Ravi, drummer Roy Haynes, and bassist Charlie Haden.
Alice Coltrane died of respiratory failure at West Hills Hospital and Medical Center in suburban Los Angeles, aged 69. She is buried alongside her late husband John Coltrane in Pinelawn Memorial Park, Farmingdale, Suffolk County, New York.
Paul Weller dedicated his song "Song For Alice”, dedicated to the Beautiful Legacy of Mrs. Coltrane.
The virtuous and visually impaired pianist who did not want to ride the bebop fashion, with an encyclopedic memory for Major League Baseball.
Arthur "Art" Tatum Jr was born in Toledo, Ohio. His father, Arthur Tatum, Sr., was a guitarist and an elder (dignatario) at Grace Presbyterian Church, where his mother, Mildred Hoskins, played piano. From infancy he suffered from cataracts (of unknown origen) which left him blind in one eye and with only very limited vision in the other. A number of surgical procedures improved his eye condition to a degree but some of the benefits were reversed at age 20. Influences: Tatum drew inspiration from the pianists James P. Johnson and Fats Waller, who exemplified the stride piano style, and from the more "modern" Earl Hines, six years Tatum's senior. Tatum identified Waller as his main influence, but according to pianist Teddy Wilson "Art Tatum's favorite jazz piano player was Earl Hines”.
In 1925, Tatum moved to the Columbus School for the Blind, where he studied music and learned braille. He subsequently studied piano with Overton G. Rainey at either the Jefferson School or the Toledo School of Music. Rainey, who was also visually impaired, taught Tatum in the classical tradition, but Rainey did not improvise and discouraged his students from playing jazz, Arthur ignored him and shortly after he became in a reference pianistic in such music and was idolized by many jazz musicians.
In 1931, vocalist Adelaide Hall commenced a world tour that lasted almost two years. During the tour, Adelaide discovered Tatum in Toledo and employed him as one of her stage pianists. In 1932, Hall returned to New York with Tatum and introduced him to Harlem on stage at the Lafayette Theatre. In August 1932, Adelaide Hall made four recordings using Tatum as one of her pianists including the songs "Strange As It Seems" and "You Gave Me Everything But Love.
In 1941, Tatum recorded two sessions for Decca Records with singer Big Joe Turner, the first of which included "Wee Wee Baby Blues", which attained national popularity. Arthur love the Guitar and when his popularity faded in the mid to late 1940s with the advent of bebop– a movement which Tatum did not embrace-, he formed a trio in 1943 with guitarist Tiny Grimes and bassist Slam Stewart, whose perfect pitch enabled him to follow Tatum's excursions. Tatum recorded exclusively with the trio for almost two years, but abandoned the trio format in 1945 and returned to solo piano work.
Tatum built upon stride and classical piano influences to develop a novel and unique piano style. He introduced a strong, swinging pulse to jazz piano, highlighted with spectacular cadences that swept across the entire keyboard. His interpretations of popular songs were exuberant, sophisticated and intricate. Jazz soloing in the 1930s had not yet evolved into the free-ranging extended improvisations that flowered in the bebop era of the 1940s, 1950s and beyond. In 1943 Tatum won Esquire Magazine´s first jazz popularity poll. A Curious fact in the life of Tatum was that while playing piano was the most obvious application of his mental and physical skills, he also had an encyclopedic memory for Major League Baseball statistics.
Art Tatum died on November 1956 at Queen of Angels Medical Center in Los Angeles, California, as a result of Kidney failure. He was originally interred at Angelus Rosedale Cemetery in Los Angeles, but was moved by his wife, Geraldine Tatum, to the Great Mausoleum of Glendale's Forest Lawn Cemetery in 1991, so she could ultimately be buried next to him, although his headstone was left at Rosedale to commemorate where he was first laid to rest. Geraldine died on May 4, 2010 in Los Angeles, and was interred beside Art at Forest Lawn Cemetery.
Tha “pan-latin” musician who was able to integrate the textures and rhythms of all South America and the Caribbean.
Pianist and organist Arturo O'Farrill is a jazz musician, the son of cuban trumpeter Chico O'Farrill, Latin jazz musician, arranger, bandleader, who in his early years was much more preoccupied with jazz than the actual melodic content of Cuban music but finally his music was undeniably Afro-Cuban in nature.
Arturo is the current pianist, composer, and director for the Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra.
He is best known for his contributions to contemporary Latin Jazz, (more specifically Afro-Cuban jazz,) having received one Grammy Award and two Grammy nominations for his work in the genre, though he has also trained in other musical forms such as free jazz and even experimented briefly with hip hop.
Arturo O'Farrill was born in Mexico City!!!!!!!, Mexico to Lupe Valero and Chico O'Farrill on June 22, 1960. His mother Lupe was a singer from Mexico, and his father Chico was a jazz trumpeter and composer originally from Havana, Cuba. The family lived in Mexico until 1965, when they moved to New York City.
In NY his father Chico found work as music director for the CBS program "Festival of Lively Arts," where he formed relationships with american jazz musicians Count Basie, Dizzy Gillespie, Gerry Mulligan, and Stan Getz However Chico also worked with many Latin music artists such as Tito Puente, Machito, Celia Cruz, and La Lupe, which, for son Arturo, led to a "psychotic upbringing" in which he was unsure of his own cultural identity.
At the age of six O'Farrill began taking piano lessons. At 12 he began to receive a formal musical education graduating from LaGuardia High School for Music and Art[ and then studying at the Manhattan School of Music, the Conservatory of Music at Brooklyn College (from which he received the Distinguished Alumnus Medal), and the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College.
In 1979, O'Farrill was playing in an upstate New York bar when he was noticed by jazz pianist, organist, and composer Carla Bley. Impressed with his talent, Bley recruited the then 19-year-old O'Farrill to play with her band in Carnegie Hall.
He remained with her band for three years afterwards, playing in such events as the Berlin Jazz Festival where the band was billed alongside O'Farrill's childhood idol Chick Corea. In addition to his regular role as a pianist, O'Farrill sometimes played organ with the band.
In 1987 O'Farrill found long-term employment as the singer and music directorn Harry Belafonte, the “Calypso” King in the 50s.
In the early 90s, O'Farrill, in that period more bandleader than pianist, slowly began to return to his Latin roots contacting with Gonzalez brothers, Andy (bassist) and Jerry (pianist) as well as Larry Willis, also pianist who alternated with Jerry in the band.
In 1995 he was named pianist and music director of the orchestra of his father. In 1997 the Chico O'Farrill Afro-Cuban Jazz Orchestra began to play at Birdland each Sunday night, and when his father died in 2001 Arturo became bandleader.
Wynton Marsalis – artistic director of the Jazz at Lincoln Center program and musical director of the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra –offered O'Farrill the opportunity to form and lead an Afro-Cuban jazz band that would perform regularly at Lincoln Center, which O'Farrill accepted.
He named the new band the Afro-Latin Jazz Orchestra (ALJO), and opted for traditional jazz big band instrumentation with the addition of a three-piece Cuban percussion section.
In 2007, O'Farrill and the ALJO left Jazz at Lincoln Center "to pursue its own educational and performance opportunities,"moving their performances to New York's Symphony Space.That same year he established the nonprofit organization the Afro Latin Jazz Alliance, which provides instruments and musical lessons for New York City public schoolstudents.
In December 2010 Arturo O'Farrill travelled to Cuba with his mother, sons, and the Chico O'Farrill Afro Cuban Orchestra in order to bring his father's music back to the island.
In 2011, once he had returned from Cuba, recorded “40 Acres and a Burro” (see later) and O'Farrill directed the Chico O'Farrill Afro Cuban Jazz Orchestra's final show at Birdland, capping 15 straight years of regular performances.Later that year he released his third Grammy-nominated album with the ALJO titled 40 Acres and a Burro. O'Farrill's most recent recording is 2014's The Offense of the Drum, his fourth album with the Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra.
Unlike his father, whose music was undeniably Afro-Cuban in nature, Arturo O'Farrill's casts a wider net, capturing sounds from throughout Latin America. Aiming to reflect the big band traditions in Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Mexico, and elsewhere.
Critic Dan Bilawsky describes O'Farrill as stylistically "pan-Latin."
7-Barry Harris (1929)
American bebop jazz pianist and educator (from 1950s). Harris's playing is noted for its similarity to Bud Powell. Dr. Harris has devoted his life to the advancement of Jazz and in the 1980’s founded the Jazz Cultural Theatre. Respect to the jazz harmony, he boosted the use of major and minor 6th chords and major and minor 6th diminished scales. He is de creator of the concept of "borrowing notes”. Really is the more important jazz harmony teacher all time.
Nothing is known about his childhood and youth.
He was an important part of the Detroit jazz scene of the 1950s, Harris recorded his first set as a leader while in 1958, and moved to New York in 1960, where he spent a short period with Cannonball Adderley's Quintet. He also was with Coleman Hawkins off and on throughout the decade (including Hawk's declining years).
During the 1970s, Harris lived with Monk at the Weehawken, New Jersey home of the jazz patroness Baroness Pannonica de Koenigswarter, and so was in an excellent position to comment on the last years of his fellow pianist.
Barry Harris has mostly worked with his trio since the mid-'70s.
In 1982, Larry Ridley, Barry Harris, Jim Harrison, and Frank Fuentes were partners in creating the Jazz Cultural Theater, Located at 368 Eighth Avenue in New York City in a storefront between 28th and 29th Streets in Manhattan. It was primarily a performance venue featuring prominent jazz artists and also hosted jam sessions. Additionally, it was known for Barry's music classes for vocalists and instrumentalists, each taught in separate sessions. Several artists recorded albums at the club, including guitarists Ted Dunbar and Peter Leitch.
In 1987 The Jazz Cultural Theater (JCT) enjoyed a vibrant five-year run until August 14, 1987, when its lease ran out and the rent was increased. Barry simply moved his jazz instrumental and vocal instructional classes to other venues in New York City, Japan, and Europe. Unbelievely he was the teacher not only of future professional pianists (Vahagn Hayrapetyan) but of professional guitarists (Roni Ben-Hur and Pasquale Grasso) and even saxophonists (Luigi Grasso, sax alto).
Since 1991, Barry Harris has collaborated with Toronto-based pianist and teacher Howard Rees in creating a series of videos and workbooks documenting his unique harmonic and improvisational systems and teaching process.
Barry Harris continues to perform and teach worldwide. When he is not traveling, he holds weekly music workshop sessions in New York City for vocalists, students of piano and other instruments.
Over many years Barry has developed a codified methodology and approach to the teaching of jazz. His approach, drawing primarily from the melodic and harmonic concepts/techniques utilized by Charlie Parker and Bud Powell, relies upon using the major and minor 6th chords and major and minor 6th diminished scales as a basis for creating melody and harmony. The major 6th diminished scale is a major scale with an extra note between the 5th and 6th scale degrees. The same concept applies as well to the minor 6th diminished scale.
Dr. Harris also stresses the relationship of the major 6th chord to the minor 7th chord. Both share the same 4 notes and differ only by what note is considered the bass. The same relationship occurs between the minor 6th chord and the half-diminished 7th chord, that is, that C minor6 and A minor7b5 are almost interchangeable.
Equally important are the step of the dominant seventh to diminished, and the dominant seven flat five to diminished scale. Extending this concept, Barry relates all chord alterations (flat and sharp 9’s, sharp 11’s, flat 13’s, etc.) to the tritone's minor sixth-diminished scale (Ab minor 6th diminished scale for G7altered), which provides options for moving the alterations through the scales. He has also formulated scales of chords, which allow pianists and guitar players greater freedom in accompaniment and to play, in his own words, “movement, not chords.”
Awards and recognition:
Harris is a recipient of the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. Dr. Harris is the recipient of an Honorary Doctorate from Northwestern University. He has received the Living Jazz Legacy award from the Mid-Atlantic Arts Association, and an American Jazz Masters Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. In addition, Dr. Harris received the Manhattan Borough President Award for Excellence.
8-Bebo Valdés (1918-2013)
One of the founders of Latin jazz, and a pioneer in bringing Afro-Cuban sacred rhythms to popular dance music. The creator of “batanga rythm”
Dionisio Ramón Emilio Valdés Amaro better known as Bebo Valdés, was a Cuban pianist, bandleader, composer and arranger. He was a central figure in the golden age of Cuban music, led two famous big bands, and was one of the "house" arrangers for the Tropicana Club.
Valdés was born in Quivicán, and started his career as a pianist in the night clubs of Havana during the 1940s.
In the late 1950s he recorded with Nat 'King' Cole.
In 1960 lived briefly in the United States before touring Europe, and eventually settled in Stockholm!!!!!!!!!!!!!!, where he lived until 2007. In the meantime Valdés' career got a late career boost in 1994 when he teamed up with saxophone player Paquito D'Rivera to release a CD called Bebo Rides Again.
Valdés was in the middle of the treatment of Alzheimer's disease ¿¿¿¿????, which he had suffered for several years, when he died in Stockholm, Sweden on March 22, 2013, aged 94, ¿¿¿playing the piano every day????.
Awards: Valdés won seven Grammy Awards: two for El Arte del Sabor (2002), one for Lágrimas Negras (Best Traditional Tropical Album in Latin Grammy Awards) (¿¿¿¿best traditional tropical album????),and two for Bebo de Cuba in 2006 (in the categories "Best Traditional Tropical Album" and "Best Latin Jazz Album"). His last musical production was one fittingly recorded with his son: 2008’s Bebo y Chucho Valdés: Juntos para Siempre (Together Forever), winner of the Grammy Award for Best Latin Jazz Album at the 52nd Grammy Awards in 2010;they also won the Latin Grammy Award on the same field.
Social events: Valdés was first married to Pilar Valdés. This marriage produced five children, one of whom is the pianist Chucho Valdés. In 1963 he stopped in Sweden on a tour with the Lecuona Cuban Boys. There he met the 18-year-old Rose Marie Pehrson (August 28, 1928), a cavalry (caballería) officer's daughter."They remained together until her death in 2012.
9-Bennie Moten (1894 –1935)
The father of “Kansas City Jazz Style” and beyond he helped to develop the riffing style that defined many of the 1930s Big Bands.
Bennie Moten was a noted American jazz pianist and band leader born in Kansas City, Missouri. He led the Kansas City Orchestra, the most important orchestra active in the Midwest in 1920s, and helped to develop the riffing style, supported by a ostinato phrase, that would come to define many of the 1930s Big Bands. The main musician of early Bennie Moten´s band was Walter Page (tuba & double bass, the “big one” bassist). Walter Page, Wellman Braud and Jimmie Blanton were the parents of “walking bass”,. Wellamn Braud, later bassist with Duke Ellington was the real father of walking bass. Jimmie Blanton was the creator moreover of pizzicato and arco bass. Walking bass lines was a revolution in jazz bass giving the music an entirely new feel coloured by Basie's understated (discreto) and syncopated piano fills.
This first band of Moten lasted a short time because in 1923 Walter page left Bennie Moten´s band to joing group that toured the TOBA (Theater Owners Booking Association), 8 theaters between Phladelphia and Texas. Moreover Walter formed in Oklahoma the band “Walter Page & Blued Devils” in 1925, recruiting from Bennie Moten´s Band the trumpeter Hot Lips Page, the singer Jimmy Rushing and the pianist Count Basie. The Blue Devils only recorded once, in 1929, radio station WDAF in Kansas City. In 1929 many of the Blue Devils got back to Moten´s group, they were the pianist Count Basie, trumpeter Hot Lips Page and the singer Jimmy Rushing. In 1933 Moten incorporates the great Lester Young (saxophonist). Count Basie formed his Orchestra in 1936, featuring Lester Young, a year after that Moten died in 1935.
10-Bill Evans (1929-1980)
One of the most influential figures of the post-bebop jazz piano. He had a weak body with a big talent. He lived a dramatic life.
Bill Evans was born in Plainfield, New Jersey in a family with alcoholic father, his first drama. Began his music studies at age 6. Classically trained on piano; he also studied flute and violin as a child. Evans' older brother Harry, two years his senior, was his first pianistic influence. Harry was the first one in the family to take piano lessons, and Bill began at the piano by mimicking him. He worshipped his older brother and tried to keep up with him in sports too. By age 12 he was substituting for his older brother in Buddy Valentino's band, where at one point he discovered a little blues phrase by himself during a stock arrangement performance of "Tuxedo Junction." It was only a Db-D-F phrase in the key of Bb, but it unlocked a door for him.
He graduated with a degree in piano performance and teaching from Southeastern Louisiana College in 1950, and studied composition at Mannes College of Music in New York.
Influences: 20th century composers: Debussy, Stravinsky, Darius Milhaud and particularly Petrouschka (perhaps the most difficult piano composition ever).
Work with Leaders: in 1958, Miles Davis ((Miles Davis shared Evan's love of the French impressionists Ravel and Debussy)) asked him to join his group (which also featured John Coltrane and Cannonball Adderley). He stayed for nearly a year, touring and recording, and subsequently playing on the all-time classic Kind of Blue album -- as well as composing "Blue in Green", now a jazz standard.
His famous trio-ensemble was built in 1959. Evans founded his most innovative trio with the now-legendary bassist Scott LaFaro and with Paul Motian on drums for two intensive years. LaFaro was dead in a car accident in 1961, as dramatic as the accident of the great saxophonist Chu Berry in 1941, an event, the LaFaro´s death, which personally devastated Bill and sent the pianist into seclusion (reclusion / retiro) for one year, after which he returned to the trio format later in 1962, with Motian again, and Chuck Israels on bass. The great bassist Eddie Gomez began a fruitful eleven year tenure with Bill in 1966, in various trios with many drummers ((Marty Morell, Philly Joe Jones, Jack DeJohnette and others)) -- contributing to some of the most acclaimed club appearances and albums in Evans's career.
Guitarists preferred: Mundell Lowe, in the beginning of his career, who brought precisely the young pianist to the attention of producer Orrin Keepnews at Riverside Records, and Jim Hall in his last period.
Main contribution / Legato / Disciples: Bill was known for his highly nuanced touch, the clarity of the feeling content of his music and his reform of the chord voicing system pianists used. His rich legacy (he recorded over fifty albums as leader) remains undiminished, and his compositions have enjoyed rediscovery by jazz players and even some classical musicians. Even almost 30 years after his passing, Bill Evans' music continues to influence musicians and composers everywhere and all those who have been deeply touched by his expressive genius and sensitive, lyrical artistry.
Memorable /recording sessions: Evans' first significant record date was the Jazz Workshop album for George Russell (avant-garde composer) in 1956. Evans' first jazz album was New Jazz Conceptions, too in 1956, which featured the first recording of his most loved composition, "Waltz for Debby”.
Movements: Bill was one of the most influential figures of the post-bebop jazz piano, was open to new musical approaches (electric piano) (avant-garde).
Award / knowledgment: received five Grammy awards. He spawned a school of "Bill Evans style" who include some of the best known artists of our day, including Michel Petrucciani, Andy Laverne, Richard Beirach, Enrico Pieranunzi and Warren Bernhardt.
Events / setback (contratiempos): two failed marriages (the first ending in a dramatic suicide), and an early death. Bill was devastated by the death of Lafaro in 1961 and the death of his brother in 1979 at the age of 52.
At September 15, 1980, in New York, weak of health all his life, he died in the Mount Sinai Hospital at the age of 51 from digestive bleeding (stomach ulcer or oesophageal varices) as a complication of his liver cirrhosis after a lifelong drug abuse (From Jazz and Death by Frederick Spencer, MD, University Press of Mississippi, 2002). Bill Evans picked up the heroin addiction in 1958 as a member of the Miles Davis Sextet, playing in black clubs, where he was the only white musician.
Curiously he was a Studio musician more than a performance musician: "Jazz will never be a mass appeal music but there is nothing more that I can give an audience than I give myself. I'm not trying to be abstract or esoterical. I'm just trying to play my conception of music, and I have to direct myself to that rather than the audience because I'm the only one who can tell if I'm achieving that objective." (From a former interview with Bill Evans by Brian Hennessey in Jazz Journal International, October 1985). Someone described Bill Evans in the sixties as “He looked like a Harvard professor on a Harlem street corner.”
11-Billy Strayhorn (1915-67)
Soul mater of Duke Ellington and one of the greatest composers in the history of American music in addition to a great pianist. On the other hand, he was pioneer socially because he was one of the few jazzmen to be declared openly homosexual, the early representative of the gay pride.
William Thomas Strayhorn, with nickname “Billy”, with a short career, he was de alter ego / soul mater of Duke Ellington and the creator of a body of work that includes such standards as "Take the 'A' Train, Lush Life & Satin Doll".
Born in Dayton, Ohio, in 1915, grew up near Pittsburgh. His family soon moved to the Homewood section of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. His mother's family was from Hillsborough, North Carolina, and she sent him there to protect him from his father's drunken sprees (juergas). Strayhorn spent many months of his childhood at his grandparents' house in Hillsborough. In an interview, Strayhorn said that his grandmother was his primary influence during the first ten years of his life.
He first became interested in music while living with her, playing hymns on her piano, and playing records on her Victrola record player. Strayhorn returned to Pittsburgh, and attended Westinghouse High School, later attended by jazz men Erroll Garner and Ahmad Jamal.
In Pittsburgh, he began his musical career, studying classical music for a time at the Pittsburgh Music Institute, forming a musical trio that played daily on a local radio station, and, while still in his teens, composing (with lyrics) the songs "Life Is Lonely" (later renamed "Lush Life"), "My Little Brown Book", and "Something to Live For". While still in grade school, he worked odd jobs to earn enough money to buy his first piano. By age 19, he was writing for a professional musical, Fantastic Rhythm, which was performed for several years with young Billy Eckstine starring.
After Strayhorn was hired by Ellington, he gave up his apartment and moved in with Ellington's family. But later on, he moved in with pianist Aaron Bridgers.
Profile as musician: Still a teenager, Strayhorn composed what is arguably his masterpiece, "Lush Life," which not only endures as one of the great songs of the past century but also defines the composer's signature style: achingly interwoven melodies. Even today, as we are transported by the truth of its longing and regret, it's astounding to think that the song was written by a teenager.
Teacher: While in high school, he played in the school band, and studied under the same teacher, Carl McVicker, who had also instructed jazz pianists Erroll Garner and Mary Lou Williams.
Work with Leaders: Yet all his life Strayhorn was overshadowed by his friend and collaborator Duke Ellington, with whom he worked for three decades as the Ellington Orchestra's ace songwriter and arranger. While there can be no doubt about Duke Ellington's genius, some say that a good part of that genius is owed to the contributions of the little guy in the background, Billy Strayhorn. Strayhorn was 23 when he met Ellington, but the bandleader waited a year before hiring him as his collaborator. In 1939, the Ellington orchestra performed its first Strayhorn tune, "Something to Live For” that you can listen to and see in our video clips collection. But what truly cemented the partnership (sociedad) was a nationwide radio strike in 1941, which necessitated a new set of songs for a big date on the West Coast. Strayhorn and the boss' son, Mercer Ellington, boarded a train in Chicago and emerged a few days later in Los Angeles with a whole new band book, whose songs included "Take the 'A' Train," "Johnny Come Lately”," "Chelsea Bridge" and "After All". When complimented on a song such as "Satin Doll," Ellington would often note Strayhorn's contribution, but the music continued to be identified primarily as Ellington's. Although it was standard practice back then for a bandleader to claim composing credit on something written by someone else for his group, Ellington didn't do that very often, except on "Something to Live For," which was actually written while Strayhorn was still a teenager and before he even met Ellington. In opinion of Mark Stryker the work of Strayhorn and Ellington in the soundtrack of film Anatomy of a Murder, directed by Otto Preminger in 1959, with James Stewart, Lee Remick, Ben Gazzara, Arthur O'Connell, is indispensable to realize of chemistry among both, and so we can listen to this chemistry in the essential masterpiece suites of film such as Such Sweet Thunder and The Far East Suite.
While the jazz world wasn't known for being very tolerant back then, and Strayhorn did have his run-ins with other musicians, he never went out of his way to hide his sexual orientation before the mythic date of 28 June 1969, when a group of LGBT people rioted following a police raid on the Stonewall Inn, a gay bar at 43 Christopher Street, New York City. Sylvia Rivera, a transgender rights activist and founding member of both the Gay Liberation Front and the Gay Activists Alliance, is credited by many as the first to actually strike back at the police and, in so doing, spark the rebellion. Further protests and rioting continued for several nights following the raid. The Stonewall riots are generally considered to be the beginning of the modern gay rights movement. His life was tragically cut short by cancer and alcohol abuse,. If you want know better the life of this great music you can read more in “Lush Life: A Biography of Billy Strayhorn” by David Haidu and you can see a film of Filmmaker Robert Levi also title “Lush Life”. "Lush Life" the film isn't just a documentary on a composer. It's also a documentary about a fascinating and complicated guy, who drank and smoked far too much, who died young, who was very active in the civil rights movement in the early '60s and who was also pretty openly gay at a time when no one was openly gay, or so we tend to think. The Billy Strayhorn Foundation, Inc., a non profit incorporated in the State of New York, exists to celebrate the music and life of the composer, arranger, pianist Billy Strayhorn and to develop an appreciation of his music among all people. The BSF supports this purpose through live music performance, lectures, and symposia
12-Billy Taylor (1921-2010)
Lover of both, classic jazz and latin jazz. One of only three jazz musicians to be appointed to the National Council of the Arts The other two: Buddy DeFranco (clarinet) & Little Jimmy Scott (singer). Taylor played at the prestigious Birdland club (NYC), as house pianist, longer than any other pianist in the history of the club.
Taylor was born in Greenville, North Carolina, but moved to Washington, D.C., when he was five years old. He grew up in a musical family and learned to play different instruments as a child, including guitar, drums and saxophone. He was most successful at the piano, and had classical piano lessons with Henry Grant, who had educated Duke Ellington ¡!!!!! a generation earlier. Before of Grant lessons he went to Virginia State College graduating with a degree in music in 1942.
Taylor made his first professional appearance playing keyboard at the age of 13 and was paid one dollar.
Taylor moved to New York City after graduation and started playing piano professionally from 1944, first with Ben Webster's Quartet on New York's 52nd Street. The same night he joined Webster's Quartet, he met Art Tatum, who became his mentor.
Among the other musicians Taylor worked with was the cuban singer Machito and his mambo band, from whom he developed a love for Latin music. His better work in this style: “Billy Taylor Trio with Candido (percussionist)”.
After an eight-month tour with the Don Redman Orchestra in Europe, Taylor stayed there with his wife Theodora and worked in Paris and Holland.
A year later, he became the house pianist at Birdland and performed with Charlie Parker, J. J. Johnson, Stan Getz, Dizzy Gillespieand Miles Davis. Taylor played at Birdland longer than any other pianist in the history of the club. In 1949, Taylor published his first book, a textbook about bebop piano styles.
In 1952 Taylor composed one of the his most famous tunes, "I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel to Be Free". It was selected as "one of the greatest songs of the sixties" by the New York Times and was the theme music of the 1996 film Ghosts of Mississippi.It was selected as "one of the greatest songs of the sixties" by the New York Times and was the theme music of the 1996 film Ghosts of Mississippi. Nina Simone covered the song in her 1967 album Silk & Soul. The tune is widely known in the UK as a piano instrumental version, used for BBC Television's long-running Film programme.
A jazz activist, Taylor sat on the Honorary Founders Board of The Jazz Foundation of America, an organisation he started in 1989, with Ann Ruckert, Herb Storfer and Phoebe Jacobs, to save the homes and the lives of America's elderly jazz and blues musicians, later including musicians who survived Hurricane Katrina.
He made dozens of recordings in the 1950s and 1960s.
Taylor was also a jazz educator and in 1958, he became the Musical Director of NBC's The Subject Is Jazz, the first ever television series focusing on jazz. The 13-part series was produced by the new National Educational Television Network (NET) and hosted guests including Ellington, Aaron Copland, Bill Evans, Cannonball Adderley, Jimmy Rushing and Langston Hughes. In 1961, he founded New York's Jazzmobile, which provides an arts education program via workshops, master classes, lecture demonstrations, arts enrichment programs, outdoor summer mobile concerts, special indoor concerts and special projects. As educator he was also the Wilbur D. Barrett Chair of Music at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and a Duke Ellington Fellow at Yale. Besides publishing instructional books on jazz, he taught jazz courses at Howard University, Long Island University, the Manhattan School of Music, and the University of Massachusetts Amherst (where he had earned his Master's and Ph.D in 1975).
During the 1960s, the Billy Taylor Trio was a regular feature of the Hickory House on West 55th Street in Manhattan.
From 1969 to 1972, he served as the music director forThe David Frost Show and was the first African American to lead a talk-show band.
In 1981, after being profiled by CBS News Sunday Morning, Taylor was hired as an on-air correspondent and then conducted more than 250 interviews with musicians. He received an Emmy Award for his segment on the multi-talented Quincy Jones
In 1989, Taylor formed his own "Taylor Made" record label to document his own music.
Taylor appeared on hundreds of albums and composed more than 300 songs during his career, which spanned over six decades.
From 1994 was the artistic director for jazz at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C.
Taylor had more than 23 honorary doctoral degrees, and was also the recipient of two Peabody Awards for Jazzmobile, NEA Jazz Masters Award (1998), an Emmy Award (1983) for carrying out over 250 interviews for CBS News Sunday Morning. Down Beat magazine's Lifetime Achievement award (1984), Tiffany Award (1991), National Medal of Arts (1992). In 1997, he received the New York state governor's art award. He was also honored in 2001 with the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) Jazz Living Legend Award, and election to the Hall of Fame for the International Association for Jazz Education. He received a Grammy Award (2004). Taylor was inducted into the North Carolina Music Hall of Fame in 2010.
He performed at the White House seven times.
Taylor suffered from a 2002 stroke, which affected his right hand, but he continued to perform almost until his death. He died after a heart attack on December 28, 2010, in Manhattan, at the age of 89.
Critic Leonard Feather once said, "It is almost indisputable that Dr. Billy Taylor is the world's foremost spokesman (portavoz) for jazz."
13-Bobby" Timmons (1935 –1974)
The father of soul-funky jazz style.
Robert Henry "Bobby" Timmons was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the son of a minister. Both of his parents, and several aunts and uncles, played the piano. From an early age Timmons studied music with an uncle, Robert Habershaw, who also taught McCoy Tyner. Timmons first played at the church where his grandfather was minister;this influenced his later jazz playing.
Carter identified Powell and Garland as the primary influences on Timmons.
He played with the noted Kenny Dorham in 1956, making his recording debut with the trumpeter in a live set in May of that year. Moreover, he played and recorded with Chet Baker in 1956–57 (bassist Scott LaFaro was part of this band for a time), Sonny Stitt in 1957, and Maynard Ferguson in 1957–58.
Timmons was strongly associated with the soul jazz style that he helped initiate; The Encyclopedia of Jazz states that his compositions "Moanin'" (from the 1958 album of the same title), "This Here" (sometimes "Dis Here"), and "Dat Dere" "helped generate the gospel-tinged 'soul jazz' style of late '50s and early '60s." Timmons left Blakey for the second time in June 1961, encouraged by the success of his compositions. Timmons then formed his own bands, initially with Ron Carter on bass and Tootie Heath on drums. They toured around the US, including the West Coast, but played most in and around New York. According to Tootie Heath, Timmons was at the peak of his fame at that point, but was addicted to heroin, and used a lot of the money that the band was paid maintaining his habit.
The Penguin Guide to Jazz suggested that "Timmons' characteristic style was a rolling, gospelly funk.
Timmons started playing vibraphone and organ in the mid-1960s but he just recorded occasionally with these instruments.
The drug and alcohol addiction led to a decline in his career. According to saxophonist Jimmy Heath, Timmons joined Clark Terry's big band for a tour of Europe in 1974.He was unwell and drank on the plane to Sweden, and fell while drinking at the bar before the band's first concert, in Malmö.
Timmons died, aged 38, from cirrhosis. His contribution to jazz remains undervalued. Jazz writer Marc Myers commented in 2008 that "today, Timmons' contribution to jazz – as an accompanist, writer, leader and innovator of a new sound – is vastly overlooked and undervalued."
14-Brad Mehldau (1970)
The near-total pianist. Moreover of jazz, aspects of pop, rock, country, and classical music, including German Romanticism, have been absorbed into Mehldau's writing and playing. Unlike the big Clare Fischer, the only “total pianist”, Mehldau do not play latin-jazz.
Bradford Alexander "Brad" Mehldau is an American jazz pianist, composer, and arranger.
Mehldau was born in Jacksonville, Florida. His father, Craig Mehldau, was a doctor; and his mother, Annette, was a homemaker. There was always a piano in the house during Mehldau's childhood, and he initially listened to pop and rock music on the radio.
His family moved to West Hartford, Connecticut, when Mehldau was 10, where the move brought him a new piano teacher, who introduced him to classical music. This new interest lasted for a few years, but by the age of 14 he was listening more to jazz, including recordings by saxophonist John Coltrane and pianist Oscar Peterson.
Mehldau attended William H. Hall High School and played in its concert jazz band.
In his junior year at the school he won Berklee College's Best All Round Musician Award for school students.
In 1989 Mehldau was part of saxophonist Christopher Hollyday's band.
Main influences: Early influences: Wynton Kelly and McCoy Tyner. Late influences: Mehldau cites pianists Larry Goldings (for "his full approach to the instrument") and Kevin Hays (for adding alternative harmonies to the set one), as well as guitarists Kurt Rosenwinkel and Peter Bernstein (for showing the value of playing melodic phrases instead of just rehearsed patterns) and as direct influences on his own playing, in addition to saxopnonists: Jesse Davis, David Sánchez and Mark Turner, and the other members of his own trio. He has stated that Hersch was his biggest influence as a player of solo piano.
Mehldau's first recording and first tour were for Christopher Hollyday's The Natural Moment in 1991.
He led his own trio in 1992, when he played at New York's Village Gate. Mehldau also played as sideman with a variety of musicians around this time. His performances with saxophonists Perico Sambeat and Joshua Redman.
Mehldau graduated from The New School in 1993.
He formed his first long-term trio in 1994, with bassist Larry Grenadier and drummer Jorge Rossy. In the following year, Mehldau recorded Introducing Brad Mehldau for Warner Bros., his first album as sole leader. It was well received, with The Penguin Guide to Jazz commenting that "it's as if he were aware of jazz tradition but entirely unencumbered by it."
By the mid- to late 1990s the critics was divided between Mehldau and Bill Evans. The famous critic John Fordham had it clear: described Mehldau as "the next great keyboard star of jazz".
Mehldau became established on the international jazz festival scene in the mid- to late 1990s, having played at events such as the
In 1996 Mehldau made the first of several recordings with saxophonist Lee Konitz and bassist Charlie Haden. Then, he played in Montreal International Jazz Festival and the Montreux Jazz Festival in 1997 and the North Sea Jazz Festival in 1998.
Mehldau studied music at The New School, and toured and recorded while still a student. He was a member of saxophonist Joshua Redman's Quartet with bassist Christian McBrideand drummer Brian Blade in the mid-1990s, and has led his own trio since at least 1992.
Aspects of pop, rock, and classical music, including German Romanticism, have been absorbed into Mehldau's writing and playing.
Mehldau's interest in figures of 19th century German Romanticism, including Brahms, Schubert, and Schumann, influenced his first solo piano release, Elegiac Cycle, which was recorded in 1999 and broke the sequence of trio recordings under his name.
In 2001 Mehldau expanded from playing on film soundtracks.
In the summer of 2004 he toured Europe for three weeks with a band that included guitarist Kurt Rosenwinkel and Redman.
Mehldau also collaborated with guitarist Pat Metheny from 2005 – they recorded two albums together that year, along with Grenadier (bassist) and Ballard (drummer), and in 2007 went on a worldwide tour.
Another Village Vanguard recording, Brad Mehldau Trio Live, was recorded in 2006 and released two years later. This also contained unbelievably a variety of sources of material, including "Wonderwall" by rock band Oasis, "Black Hole Sun" by grunge band Soundgarden, and Chico Buarque's samba "O Que Será".
Later that decade, Carnegie Hall awarded Mehldau another commission – to write the song cycle Love Songs for singer Anne Sofie von Otter; they premiered it together in 2009 and recorded the songs the following year.
In 2009 Mehldau also recorded Highway Rider, an album that combined his usual trio with guest musicians and a 28-piece orchestra.
During 2010–11 Mehldau held Carnegie Hall's Richard and Barbara Debs Composer's Chair, the first jazz musician to do so.
In 2011 he did a piano–mandolin duet with Chris Thile.
In 2012 Mehldau and the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra performed his "Variations for Piano and Orchestra on a Melancholy Theme" in Europe.
In 2013 Mehldau began touring with drummer Mark Guiliana as a synthesizer-oriented duo that was given the portmanteau name "Mehliana".
Mehldau often plays a separate melody with each hand, and one of the central features of his music is the playing of improvised counterpoint.
Mehldau is married to Dutch jazz vocalist Fleurine, with whom he has recorded and toured. They met in 1997, and have three children.
Mehldau won Down Beat's Readers Poll piano award in 1999, 2000, 2002, 2004, 2007, 2011, and 2012. He was the 2006 winner of the Miles Davis Prize, awarded by the Montreal International Jazz Festival for "jazz artists who have made significant artistic and innovative contributions to the genre".
As of December 2014 Mehldau had been nominated for five Grammy Awards. He was nominated for Best Jazz Instrumental Solo on "Blame It on My Youth" from The Art of the Trio Volume One in 1998, Best Jazz Instrumental Performance, Individual or Group for Art of the Trio 4: Back at the Vanguard in 2000, Best Jazz Instrumental Album, Individual or Group for Brad Mehldau Trio Live in 2009, Best Improvised Jazz Solo for the title track of Ode in 2013, and Best Improvised Jazz Solo for "Sleeping Giant" from Mehliana: Taming the Dragon in 2015.
In 2013 Chinen stated that "Mehldau is the most influential jazz pianist of the last 20 years". Pianist Ethan Iverson, a contemporary of Mehldau's, stated that Mehldau was the principal influence on his peers, beginning in the late 1990s. Pianist Gerald Clayton (born 1984) summarized Mehldau's importance in a 2013 interview: "He brought in a new feel and sound in jazz. I don't know a single modern pianist who hasn't taken something from Brad. I told him that I should be arrested for all the stuff I've stolen from him." Redman said in 2010 that Largo had been particularly important to musicians: "Brad has had a lot of influential records, [...but] if you talk to musicians, especially younger musicians, so many of them will name that as a defining record."] Marco Benevento and Aaron Parks are among the improvisers who have been affected by the 2002 album.
Moreover to be a fantastic pianist, Mehldau is expert in philosophy and literature.
15-Bruce Barth (1958)
Bruce was born into a musical family and he has played the piano since the age of five. When he turned eight, his family moved to New York, where he studied piano and musicianship with Tony and Sue LaMagra for the next decade. For his fifteenth birthday, Bruce’s older brother, Rich, gave him his first jazz record, Mose Allison’s Back Country Suite.
Inspired, he taught himself to play jazz by listening to records and imitating his many favorite pianists and horn players. Later on, he studied privately with Norman Simmons and Neil Waltzer, and eventually enrolled in New England Conservatory in Boston, where he studied with Jaki Byard, Fred Hersch, and George Russell.
Bruce’s first professional recording was Russell’s masterpiece, The African Game, captured live on Blue Note Records.
Barth's career had included major work with ensembles, as well as solo work.
In addition to traveling widely performing his own music, he has also performed with revered jazz masters, as well as collaborated with leading musicians of his own generation.
Bruce arrived on the New York jazz scene in 1988, and soon joined the great tenor saxophonist Stanley Turrentine; their musical collaboration spanned a decade. In the meantime, in 1990, Bruce joined the trumpeter Terence Blanchard Quintet; the band toured extensively, and also recorded six CDs, as well as several movie soundtracks. While in Terence Blanchard’s band, Bruce recorded his first two CD’s as a leader, In Focus and Morning Call for the Enja label; both were chosen for the New York Times’ top ten lists. In 1992, Bruce played piano on-screen in Spike Lee’s Malcolm X . These recordings displayed not only Bruce’s powerfully fluent piano playing, but also the scope of his own compositions and his imaginative arrangements of jazz standards.
Moreover, he have toured Japan with Nat Adderley (cornet and trumpet player), and toured Europe and recorded with Vincent Herring’s quintet with trumpeter Dave Douglas.
Throughout his professional life, Bruce has had extended collaborations with Tony Bennett, David Sanchez, Phil Woods, Freddie Hubbard, Wynton Marsalis, Art Farmer, John Patitucci and the Mingus Big Band.
In 2001, Bruce released East and West, which Stereophile called “one of the best jazz albums in recent memory.” It featured an all-star septet playing Bruce’s compositions. Bruce continues to compose extensively for that septet, which has appeared at major jazz clubs in Manhattan including The Jazz Standard and Smoke, as well as at many European jazz festivals.
In recent years, Bruce has made three solo piano tours of Japan, and has also performed with his trio (Bruce Barth trio) throughout the United States and Europe, featuring Doug Weiss on bass and Montez Coleman on drums.
Bruce served two years on the panel for the U.S. State Department “Jazz Ambassadors” program, choosing jazz bands to represent the United States overseas.
Finally, Bruce is a dedicated teacher, with more than ten years on the jazz faculty of Temple University in Philadelphia. He has also taught at Berklee College of Music, Long Island University, and currently teaches private lessons to City College University. He also maintains a private teaching studio, with students from the U.S., South America, Europe, and Japan.
Bruce has performed on over one hundred recordings and movie soundtracks. He is also a Grammy nominated producer, with more than twenty CDs to his credit.
In a recent review in the Newark Star-Ledger, Zan Stewart writes “No one sounds quite like Barth. His solos are characterized by robust swing, his ability to tell a story, and by his rich, beguiling sound.”
16-Bud Powell (1924-1966)
Earl Rudolph "Bud" Powell was a jazz pianist who was born and raised in Harlem, New York City. Along with Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie, Powell was a key player in the development of bebop. He had a short career.
Nickname: his virtuosity as a pianist led many to call him the Charlie Parker of the piano. Bud was the first pianist to take Charlie Parker's language and adapt it successfully to the piano.
His career was developed in USA and Europe and so moved to Paris in 1959, in the company of his girlfriend Altevia "Buttercup" Edwards, whom he had met after an incarceration (encarcelamiento) in 1954. In Paris, Powell worked in a trio with Pierre Michelot and Kenny Clarke.
He was born in a family of musicians: Powell's father was a stride pianist. Powell took to his father's instrument and started to learn classical piano at age five from a teacher his father hired. By age ten, he had also showed interest in the jazz that could be heard all over the neighborhood. Bud's older brother, William, played the trumpet whereas Bud's younger brother, Richie, and his teenage friend Elmo Hope, were also accomplished pianists who had significant careers.
Influences: In his youthfulness or young time he mimicked Fats Waller's and James P. Johnson's playing styles but his greatest influences on his instrument were Thelonious Monk, who became his close friend, and Art Tatum. By age fifteen, he had become familiar with Art Tatum, whose overwhelmingly virtuosic technique Powell then set out to equal.
Work with Leaders: In the early 1940s, Powell played in a few dance orchestras, including that of Cootie Williams. Powell was the pianist on a handful of Williams's recording dates in 1944, the last of which included the first-ever (por primera vez) recording of Monk's "'Round Midnight".
Profile as musician: Powell soon became renowned for his ability to play at fast tempos. His percussive punctuation of certain phrases, as well as his predilection for speed, showed the influence of Parker and other modern horn soloists.
Main contribution / Legato / Disciples: Jazz pianist Bill Cunliffe, whose music was influenced by Bud Powell, said in an interview with All About Jazz: Bud Powell is the most important pianist in jazz and one of the most underrated (infravalorado) because he spent over a third of his life in mental and medical hospitals. He was beaten by the police when he was twenty and he never fully recovered from that beating and as a result, he suffered pain and had to take drugs to alleviate the pain.
Memorable /recording sessions: Powell was demanded by various small-group leaders for nightclub engagements in the increasingly integrated midtown scene at New York. His 1945-46 recordings were the result of his sudden visibility on the club scene with Frank Socolow, Dexter Gordon, J. J. Johnson, Sonny Stitt, Fats Navarro, and Kenny Clarke. “Bebop in Pastel (Bouncing with Bud)” was first recorded on August 23 1946 and became a jazz standard. Pay attention to this title: Bebop in pastel. Powell's career advanced when Parker chose him to be his pianist on a quintet record date, with Miles Davis, Tommy Potter, and Max Roach in May 1947. Powell demonstrated his mature style on the third complete take of "Donna Lee", where he got a brief solo spot and used his jocular (jocose, festive) chord fills while the horn players paused to breathe during "Buzzy", the last tune recorded. The first Blue Note session, in August 1949, features Fats Navarro, Sonny Rollins, Powell, Tommy Potter and Roy Haynes. The second Blue Note session in 1951 was a trio with Russell and Roach, includes "Parisian Thoroughfare" and "Un Poco Loco / A Little Crazy", later popularized by Tito Puente; this song, played by Bud, was selected by literary critic Harold Bloom for inclusion on his short list of the greatest works of twentieth-century American art. His 1960 live recording of the Essen jazz festival performance (with Clarke, Oscar Pettiford and, on some numbers, Coleman Hawkins) is particularly notable. ]
Movement: bebop. Bud was soon exposed to the exciting, musically adventurous atmosphere at Uptown House and at Minton's Playhouse., NewYork, where he met with Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillispie and Thelonious Monk, the parents of bebop. Bud had not award nor special knowledgments.
Regarding events / setback (contratiempos): In January 1945 he got separated from the band (Cootie Williams) after a Philadelphia dance engagement and was apprehended, drunk, by railroad police inside a station. He was beaten by them, and then briefly detained by the city police. Shortly after his release and return to Harlem, he was hospitalized—first in Bellevue and then in a psychiatric hospital, sixty miles away. He stayed there for two and a half months. Powell was inactive for most of 1947. In November, he had an altercation with another customer at a Harlem bar. In the ensuing fight, Powell was hit over his eye with a bottle. When Harlem Hospital found him incoherent and rambunctious, it sent him to Bellevue, which had the record of his previous confinement there and in a psychiatric hospital. It chose to institutionalize him again, though this time at Creedmoor State Hospital, a facility much closer to Manhattan. He was kept there for eleven months. From February to April 1948, he received electroconvulsive therapy. He was eventually released, in October 1948. He was emotionally unstable for the rest of his career and his playing after his release from hospital began to be seriously affected by Clorpromazine, taken for the treatment of schizophrenia. Despite it Powell recorded for both Blue Note and Granz throughout the fifties, interrupted by another long stay in a mental hospital from late 1951 to early 1953, following arrest for possession of marijuana.. In 1956, his brother Richie was killed in a car crash alongside (junto a) trumpet player Clifford Brown. In 1963, Powell contracted tuberculosis, and the following year returned to New York with Francis Paudras, a French young jazz fan who met Powell in the late 1950s, for a return engagement at Birdland accompanied by drummer Horace Arnold and bassist John Ore. Arnold calls it, "The Ultimate Performance experience of my life”. The original agreement had been for the two men to go back to Paris, but Paudras returned alone although Powell did record in Paris, with Pettiford and Clarke, in July 1964. In 1965, Powell played only two concerts: one a disastrous performance at Carnegie Hall, the other a tribute to Charlie Parker on May 1 with other performers on the bill, including Albert Ayler. Little else was seen of him in public. Powell was hospitalized in New York after months of increasingly erratic behavior and self-neglect (indigencia), behavioral condition in which an individual neglects to attend to their basic needs, such as personal hygiene, appropriate clothing, feeding, ... At 1966, he died of tuberculosis (as Charlie Christian) malnutrition, and alcoholism.
Tribute: The pianist Bill Evans paid Powell a tribute in 1979: If I had to choose one single musician for his artistic integrity, for the incomparable originality of his creation and the grandeur of his work, it would be Bud Powell. In 1986 Francis Paudras wrote a book about his friendship with Powell, translated into English in 1997 as Dance of the Infidels: A Portrait of Bud Powell. The book was the basis for Round Midnight, a film inspired by the lives of Powell and Lester Young, in which Dexter Gordon played the lead role of an expatriate jazzman in Paris. In February 2012 a biography titled Wail: The Life of Bud Powell by Peter Pullman was released as an ebook.
17-Carla Blay (1936)
“Carla Borg”, later “Carla Bley” (the last name of his ex-husband Paul Bley) is an American jazz composer, pianist, organist and bandleader. An important figure in the free jazz movement of the 1960s, she is perhaps best known for her jazz opera Escalator Over The Hill (released as a triple LP set), as well as a book of compositions that have been performed by many other artists, including Gary Burton, Jimmy Giuffre, George Russell, Art Farmer, John Scofield and her ex-husband Paul Bley.
Carla Borg was born in Oakland, California. Her father, a piano teacher and church choirmaster, encouraged her to sing and to learn to play the piano.
After giving up the church to immerse herself in roller skating at the age of fourteen, she moved to New York at seventeen and became a cigarette girl at Birdland, where she met jazz pianist Paul Bley, whom she married in 1957. He encouraged her to start composing. The couple later divorced but she kept his surname professionally.
A number of musicians began to record her compositions: George Russell recorded "Bent Eagle" on his 1960 release Stratusphunk in 1960; Jimmy Giuffre recorded "Ictus" on his album Thesis; and Paul Bley's Barrage consisted entirely of her compositions.
In 1964 she was involved in organising the Jazz Composers Guild which brought together the most innovative musicians in New York at the time. She then had a personal and professional relationship with Michael Mantler, with whom she had a daughter, Karen, now also a musician in her own right. Bley and Mantler were married from 1967-92.
With Mantler, she co-led the Jazz Composers' Orchestra and started the JCOA record label which issued a number of historic recordings by Clifford Thornton, Don Cherry andRoswell Rudd, as well as her own magnum opus Escalator Over The Hill and Mantler's The Jazz Composer's Orchestra LPs.
Bley and Mantler followed with WATT Records, which has issued their recordings exclusively since the early 1970s.
Bley has collaborated with a number of other artists, including Jack Bruce, Robert Wyatt and Pink Floyd drummer Nick Mason, whose 1981 solo album Nick Mason's Fictitious Sports was a Carla Bley album in all but name.
She contributed to other Willner projects, including the song "Misterioso" for the tribute to Thelonious Monk entitled "That's the Way I Feel Now", which included Johnny Griffin as guest musician on tenor saxophone, and the Willner-directed tribute to Kurt Weill, entitled "Lost in the Stars", where she and her band contributed an arrangement of the title track, with Phil Woods as guest musician on alto saxophone.
She has continued to record frequently with her own big band.
Her current partner, the bassist Steve Swallow, has been her closest and most consistent musical associate in recent years and the two have recorded several duet albums. In 1997, a live version of Escalator over the Hill (re-orchestrated by Jeff Friedman) was performed for the first time in Cologne, Germany; in 1998 "Escalator" toured Europe, and another live performance took place in May 2006 inEssen, Germany.
She lives in Woodstock, New York.
Bley was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1972 for music composition.
In 2009, she was awarded the German Jazz Trophy "A Life for Jazz".
On June 25, 2014 it was announced that Bley will receive the NEA Jazz Masters Award 2015
One of the pioneers of free jazz beside Lennie Tristano, Gil Evans and Carla Blay.
His music is characterized by an extremely energetic (his piano technique has been likened to percussion), frequently involving tone clustersand intricate polyrhythms. for example described as "eighty-eight tuned drums" (referring to the number of keys on a standard piano). He has also been described as "like Art Tatum with contemporary-classical leanings".
Taylor began playing piano at age six and studied at the New York College of Music and New England Conservatory.
Taylor's Quartet featuring Lacy also appeared at the 1957 Newport Jazz Festival.
Throughout the 1950s and 1960s, Taylor's music grew more complex and moved away from existing jazz styles.
By 1961, Taylor was working regularly with alto saxophonist Jimmy Lyons, one of his most important and consistent collaborators. Taylor, Lyons and drummer Sunny Murray (and later Andrew Cyrille) formed the core personnel of The Unit. Lyons, strongly influenced by jazz icon Charlie Parker, had a premature death in 1986.
Taylor began to perform solo concerts in the second half of the sixties and lecturing as an in-residence artist at universities, and eventually being awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1973 and then a MacArthur Fellowship in 1991.
Taylor formed the Feel Trio in the early 1990s with William Parker (bass) and Tony Oxley (drums). The Feel Trio had a more abstract approach, tethered less to jazz tradition and more aligned with the ethos of European free improvisation.
His extended residence in Berlin in 1988 was extensively documented by the German label FMP, resulting in a massive boxed set of performances in duet and trio with a who's who of European free improvisors, including Oxley, Derek Bailey, Evan Parker, Han Bennink, Tristan Honsinger, Louis Moholo, Paul Lovens, and others
The classical label Bridge released his 1998 Library of Congress performance Algonquin, a duet with violinist Mat Maneri.
A documentary entitled "All the Notes", was released on DVD in 2006 by director Chris Felver.
In 2004, the Cecil Taylor Big Band at the Iridium 2005 was nominated a best performance of 2004 by All About Jazz, and the same in 2009 for the Cecil Taylor Trio at the Highline Ballroom in 2009.
In 2013, he was awarded the Kyoto Prize for Music.
In 2014, his career and 85th birthday were honored at the Painted Bride Art Center in Philadelphia with the tribute concert event "Celebrating Cecil".
Taylor is a poet, citing Robert Duncan, Charles Olson and Amiri Baraka as major influences. He often integrates his poems into his musical performances, and they frequently appear in the liner notes of his albums. The CD Chinampas, released by Leo Records in 1987, is a recording of Taylor reciting several of his poems, accompanying himself on percussion.
According to Steven Block, free jazz originated with the performances of Cecil Taylor at the Five Spot Cafe in 1957 and Ornette Coleman in 1959.
The Detroit-born jazz pianist, raised in the city’s Black Bottom district, has been playing for nearly as long as he can remember — encouraged at an early age by his adoptive mother’s cousin, the legendary Fats Waller.
Boles has toured with artists such as B.B. King, Aretha Franklin, Marvin Gaye, Etta James, Dinah Washington and many others. He was part of B.B. King’s band during the late ’60s. “I never thought about having a guitar lead.”
Boles, who still lives in Detroit with his third wife. He also has eight children, 23 grandchildren and “somewhere between 25 and 30” great-grandchildren. With 81 years he play every Tuesday night at the Dirty Dog Jazz Cafe in Grosse Pointe since mid-2012. The band is called currently: The Charles Boles Quartet featuring Ron English (guitarist). The band includes bassist John Dana and drummer Renell Gonsalves.
He was educated via Berklee School of Music correspondence course.
As teacher, he taught for eight years at Oakland University and 15 for the Detroit Public Schools system”.
In the case of “Blue Continuum,” his last CD (2012), is actually somewhere Boles has never been before. The 11-track album, which features five of his own compositions — some dating back to the ’80s — features a quartet that includes guitarist Ron English, an old friend and fellow educator.
“I grew up in an era where saxophone or trumpet was the thing — Charlie Parker, Miles (Davis), that kind of thing — or sometimes I’d have a band where I would use trombone,” `
On the new release by the , Boles’ piano playing is a perfectly seasoned mix of post bop jazz and blues.
Boles’ favorite track on , “Liz,” is dedicated to his mother, herself a piano player who provided much of his early musical inspiration.
Influences: his cousin Fats Waller and Barry Harris. +
Charles Boles is more than just another great jazz artist in Detroit—and indeed there are many. He is one of the last standing of an old vanguard, a Detroit gem and a musical torchbearer who can still light up a stage every week.
20-Charlie Palmieri (1927 –1988)
As a child, Palmieri taught himself to play the piano by ear.
At age 7, his father enrolled him at The Juilliard School, where he took piano lessons.
By the time Palmieri was 14 years old, he and his 5-year old brother, Eddie, participated in many talent contests, often winning prizes.
In 1943, when still only 16 years old and still in high school, he made his professional debut as a piano player for the Osario Selasie Band.
He made his recording debut with the song "Se Va La Rumba" as a member of the Rafael Muñiz Band.
Palmieri also formed a couple of bands that performed at the Palladium Ballroom - these were however short-lived because of a lack of work. During this time, he also worked as an accompanist for other bands.
Palmieri worked for several years in Chicago, but returned to New York and formed a band called "Charanga La Duboney".
When the Charanga craze declined in popularity, Palmieri switched to the new trend, the Boogaloo, by replacing the flute and violins with three trumpets and two trombones, he also dropped the word "Charanga" from his bands' name and it became known simply as "La Duboney".
In the 1970s, Palmieri worked as the musical director for Tito Puente's television show "El Mundo de Tito Puente" (Tito Puente's World).
Among the artists Palmieri worked with at one time or another were his brother Eddie, Celia Cruz, Tito Puente, Herbie Mann, Ismael Rivera, Rafael Cortijo, Ismael Quintana, Bobby Capó, Mongo Santamaría and Ray Barretto.
In 1980, Palmieri moved back to Puerto Rico but returned to New York for business - on one trip there he suffered a massive heart attack and stroke. He soon recovered and returned to the music world as the member of various bands.
Four days before his death, Palmieri gave a private show at La Fortaleza in San Juan, Puerto Rico, where he performed solo at the piano for the Governor of Puerto Rico (at the time, Rafael Hernández Colón) and his guests. On September 12, 1988, Charlie Palmieri suffered another heart attack upon his arrival at New York where as the musical director of the Joe Cuba Sextet he was to arrange a concert. He died later that day at Jacobi Hospital in the Bronx.
A notable friend and colleague of Palmieri's, as well as a great admirer, was the late Clare Fischer, who chose to kick off his 1989 album,Lembranças (Remembrances), with "C.P.", a piece dedicated to the composer's recently departed role model. In Fischer's words:"C.P. - Charlie Palmieri - is dedicated to the wonderfully exciting pianist whom I have idolized for years! Charlie left us last year and the sadness I felt shows itself in some of the segments interspersed among the more spirited sections. We will miss him!".
21-Chick Corea (1941)
With Herbie Hancock, the parents of electric jazz fusion movement.
Armando Anthony Corea, “Chick Corea”, was born in Chelsea, Massachusetts. He is of southern Italian and Spanish descent. His father, a jazz trumpet player who had led a Dixieland band in Boston in the 1930s and 1940s, introduced him to the piano at the age of four. Teacher: A notable influence was concert pianist Salvatore Sullo, from whom Corea started taking lessons at age eight and who introduced him to classical music. At eight Corea also took up drums, which would later influence his use of the piano as a percussion instrument. He was influenced at an early age by bebop and stars such as Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker, Bud Powell, Horace Silver, and Lester Young. He enjoyed listening to Herb Pomeroy's band at the time, and played also frequently Horace Silver's music at a local jazz club with his first trio. He eventually decided to move to New York City and his music scene became the starting point for his professional career: Corea's first major professional gig was with Cab Calloway and Blue Mitchell's quintet, being Mitchell a famous trumpeter at that time. After it Corea started his real professional career in the 1960s in a latin style playing with Herbie Mann (among the first jazz musicians to specialize on the flute), Willie Bobo (percussion instruments) and Mongo Santamaría (congas). His first album as a leader was Tones for Joan's Bones in 1966, two years before the release of his album Now He Sings, Now He Sobs, with Roy Haynes on drums and s on bass.
In 70ths Corea had associations with avant garde players but just before of it played with the great Miles and so in September 1968 Corea replaced Herbie Hancock in the piano chair in Davis' band and appeared on landmark albums such as Filles de Kilimanjaro, In a Silent Way, and Bitches Brew. Playind with Miles, Corea experimented with using electric instruments, mainly the Fender Rhodes electric piano. In live performance he frequently processed the output of his electric piano with a device called a ring modulator. Using this style, he appeared on multiple Davis albums, including Black Beauty: Live at the Fillmore West and Miles Davis at Fillmore: Live at the Fillmore East. Dave Holland (double bassist) and Corea left to form their own group, Circle, active in 1970 and 1971. In this free jazz group Corea played his solos in an atonal style.
In the early 1970s, Corea took a profound stylistic turn from avant garde playing to a crossover jazz fusion style that incorporated Latin jazz elements. In 1971, Corea founded Return to Forever with Joe Farrell's flute and soprano. This band had a fusion sound and even though it relied on electronic instrumentation it drew more on Brazilian and Spanish styles than on rock music. Bill Connors (Guitar) (Hymn of the Seventh Galaxy was the only record Bill Connors appeared on) joined Corea and Stanley Clarke (bass) to form the second version of the group. The third and most popular version included Al Di Meola on guitars and focused on jazz-rock, later called "fusion".
Corea's compositions "Spain" & “My Spanish Heart” combined jazz & flamenco. “Spain” first appeared on the 1972 Return to Forever album Light as a Feather. This is probably his most popular piece, and it has been recorded by a variety of artists. Corea usually performs "Spain" with a prelude based on Joaquín Rodrigo's Concierto de Aranjuez (1940), which earlier received a jazz orchestration on Davis and Gil Evans' Sketches of Spain. In 1976, he issued “My Spanish Heart”, influenced by Latin American music and featuring vocalist Gayle Moran (Corea's wife) and electric violinist Jean-Luc Ponty. The record was somewhat misunderstood at the time, but it is considered nowadays as a true example of Corea's ability to write fusion material. The album combined jazz & flamenco.
Corea's other bands included the Chick Corea Elektric Band, the Akoustic Band and The Chick Corea New Trio with Avishai Cohen (double bass) and Jeff Ballard (drums). Akoustic Band is a 1989 jazz album by the Chick Corea Akoustic Band, featuring Chick Corea with John Patitucci on double bass and Dave Weckl on drums. The group received the 1990 Grammy Award for Best Jazz Instrumental Performance, Group at the 32nd Annual Grammy Awards., and the The Akoustic Band marked a turn back toward traditional jazz in Corea's career, and the bulk of his subsequent recordings have been acoustic ones. The Akoustic Band also provided the music for the 1986 Pixar short Luxo Jr. with their song "The Game Maker". In 2001 the Chick Corea New Trio released the album Past, Present & Futures. The 11-song album includes only one standard composition (Fats Waller's "Jitterbug Waltz"). The rest of the tunes are Corea originals.
Corea has been nominated for 59 Grammy Awards, out of which he has won 20. Corea has also won two Latin Grammy Awards. The Enchantment (with Bela Fleck, banjo player ) Forever ((with Stanley Clarke (double bass)) and Lenny White (jazz fusion drummer)).
22-Chucho Valdés (1941)
One of the the best afrocuban pianists all time.
Jesús Valdés Rodríguez, better known as Chucho Valdés is a Cuban pianist,bandleader, composer and arranger whose career spans over 50 years. Both his father, Bebo Valdés, and his son, Chuchito, are pianists as well.
In 1964 Chucho Valdés recorded first sessions as a leader in the Areíto Studios of Havana (former Panart studios) owned by the newly formed EGREM. These early sessions included Paquito D'Rivera on alto saxophone and clarinet.
In 1967, Chucho and his bandmates became founding members of Orquesta Cubana de Música Moderna, together with many other well-known Cuban musicians. This all-star big band would back singers such as Elena Burke and Omara Portuondo.
He would simultaneously continue his solo career, eventually signing with Blue Note Records, which allowed him to get international exposure.
In the late 1990s, Chucho decided to focus on his solo career, and his son Chuchito replaced him as the pianist/director of Irakere.
Since 2010, Chucho performs with a backing band known as The Afro-Cuban Messengers. Moreover, Chucho and his father Bebo occasionally played together until the latter's death in 2013.
Awards: He has won five Grammy Awards and three Latin Grammy Awards. Chucho has won five Grammy awards: in 1978 for the album Live at Newport by Irakere; in 1998 for his contribution to the CD Havana by Roy Hargrove's bandCrisol (formed in 1997), with two songs - "Mr. Bruce" and "Mambo para Roy" - written by Chucho; in 2003 for his album Live at the Village Vanguard; in 2009 for his collaboration with his father, Juntos Para Siempre; and in 2011 for his album Chucho's Steps.
23-Clare Fischer (1928-2012)
A fun of Jobim, a total pianist (jazz, latin-jazz, bossa, mexican music, rock, pop, soul….), Clare was the major influence for Herbie Hancock. Only he is able to merge jazz, latin-jazz, bossa nova and mambo, with the harmonic depth of Bach, Shostakovich and Stravinsky. The other two toal pianists of jazz history are: Joe Sample and Jorge Dalto.
Douglas Clare Fischer was born in Durand, Michigan. His parents were of German, French, Irish-Scot, and English backgrounds. In grade school he started his general music study with violin and piano as his first instruments. At the age of 7 he began to study harmony on the piano. After two years of piano lessons the family moved to Grand Rapids, Michigan, where Fischer began composing classical music and making instrumental arrangements for dance bands.
Fischer started his own band at 15, for which he wrote all the arrangements. During his teens there were no funds for him to study piano, so he was mostly self-taught.
After graduating in 1946, he began undergraduate studies in 1947 at Michigan State University, studying with H. Owen Reed. Fischer's roommates at the Michigan State University were Latin Americans, as were the majority of his friends outside the music department. He was introduced to the music of Tito Puente, Tito Rodriguez, Machito and others.
Fischer graduated in 1951 with a B.M., cum laude, and began his first year of graduate work in composition. The U.S. Army drafted him the next year, there he played alto saxophone in the band. After the army, Fischer returned to Michigan State. In 1955 he received his Master of Music.
After graduating from Michigan State University he became the pianist and arranger for the vocal group The Hi-Lo’s in the late 1950s. Over the next five years, Fischer recorded several albums with the group, serving as pianist and, on occasion, arranger; it was these arrangements that Herbie Hancock would later point to as a major influence.
When Fischer moved to Hollywood in 1958, he went to East L.A. to play and learn more about Latin-Jazz. He started in a charanga group with Modesto Duran. In that time he composed the Latin jazz standard, "Morning", and the jazz standard, "Pensativa".
In 1961, Fischer became interested in Brazilian music through the recordings of Elizete Cardoso and Joao Gilberto. This discovery, coupled with his introduction to the music of Mexican composer Mario Ruiz Armengol, led to Fischer's subsequent collaboration with Cal Tjader, a 1962 LP devoted jointly to Armengol's music and that of assorted contemporary Brazilian composers. That same year Clare recorded First Time Out, Surging Ahead, Manteca! and Extension, the first recording under his own name for Pacific Jazz Records. Over the following year, 1963, Fischer collaborated on two Bossa Nova-themed LPs with saxophonist Bud Shank, and arranged another for pianist George Shearing (George Shearing's Bossa Nova).
Fischer worked with trumpeters Donald Byrd (who imbued well-known standards with an unaccustomed, melancholic quality).and Dizzy Gillespie (full of energy), and became known for his Latin and bossa nova recordings in the 1960s.
In the early 1970s, Fischer embarked on a parallel career (and by far the more lucrative one), eventually becoming a much sought-after arranger, providing orchestral "sweeteners" for bossa (Sérgio Mendes) pop and R&B artists such as Rufus (his nephew, André Fischer, was the drummer of the band Rufus, featuring Chaka Khan), Robert Palmer, Paul McCartney, Michael Jackson, Celine Dion, and many others.
He was nominated for eleven Grammy Awards during his lifetime, winning the first in 1981 Clare Fischer & Salsa Picante Present "2 + 2") and the two last posthumous in 2012 (¡Ritmo! ) and 2013 (Music for Strings, Percussion and the Rest ).
In 1975, he joined vibraphonist Cal Tjader's group. The reunion with Tjader gave a new impulse to Fischer's love of Latin-American music. Moreover he started his own group with Latino musicians, "Salsa Picante," which showed great eclecticism in musical styles. Later he expanded to include four vocalists billed separately as "2 + 2."The record Clare Fischer & Salsa Picante Present "2 + 2" won a Grammy in 1981.
In 1983, classical concert artist Richard Stoltzman commissioned him to write a symphonic work using Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn themes. The result, "The Duke, Swee'pea and Me", an eleven and a half minute orchestral work, was performed with a symphony orchestra and Stoltzman on clarinet all around the world.
Since 1985 Fischer wrote orchestral arrangements for pop artist Prince. Some appeared on Prince's albums and have been used for his movies Under the Cherry Moon (Fischer's first screen credit), Graffiti Bridge and in Spike Lee's Girl 6. One of Fischer's Prince arrangements was also used in a revised form for the movie Batman. Prince's December 2005 single "Te Amo Corazon," a mid-tempo Latin jazz track, featured string arrangements by Fischer.
More recently, as a jazz educator, Fischer performed solo piano concerts and conducted clinics and master classes in universities and music conservatories in Europe and throughout the United States.
Two gifted Dutch jazz pianists, Cor Bakker and Bert van den Brink, recorded the homage DeClared (1993) which contains nine Fischer compositions.
In December 1999, Michigan State University School of Music conferred an Honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts Degree on Fischer in recognition of his "creativity and excellence as a jazz composer, arranger and performer".
With his commercial work Fischer financed a costly band of twenty brass instruments, called "Clare Fischer's Jazz Corps". The recordings of this band contain an interesting arrangement of Antonio Carlos Jobim's "Corcovado" (2002). "The death of my friend Tom Jobim has affected me deeply. After he died I had a dream in which I was conducting his 'Corcovado'. Only it was not a normal version, there were these harmonic countermelodies in the bass. When I awoke I wrote down what I had dreamed. It became Jobim's In Memoriam, a piece I called 'Corcovado Fúnebre.'"
One of Fischer's last projects in his own name was a recording with Brazilian guitarist Hélio Delmiro called "Symbiosis" (2003).
On October 22, 2009, Manhattan School of Music's Concert Jazz Band, under the direction of Justin DiCoccio, commemorated two Clare Fischer anniversaries - both his 81st birthday and the 40th anniversary of the release of his well-regarded big band LP, Thesaurus -
On January 8, 2012, Fischer suffered a cardiac arrest in Los Angeles, following a minor surgery a few days before. His wife of 18 years !!!!!!!!!!!!!, Donna, was at his side.
24-Count Basie (1904 –1984)
A blues lover, nicknamed later “Holy Man” by Lester Young, Basie was early a friend of Harry Richardson's "Kings of Syncopation" and Willie "the Lion" Smith, two vital influences in his youth. The creator of a special swing with two tenors, a characteristic "jumping" beat and the contrapuntal and syncoped accents of his own piano. Like Ellington, Basie also hired arrangers !!!!!!!. In 1952 he played the early rock'n'roll!!!!!!!!! but only temporarily .
William James "Count" Basie was born in Red Bank, New Jersey, an to a musical family with mother (Lillian Basie) pianist and father (Harvey Lee) mellophonist. He started performing drums (his early favourite instrumente) and piano in his teens. He finished junior high school but spent much of his time at the Palace Theater in Red Bank, where doing occasional chores gained him free admission to performances. Basie at age 15 switched to piano exclusively and by 16 he increasingly played jazz piano at parties, resorts and other venues (locales/plazas). He quickly learned to improvise piano music appropriate to silent films and, in addition, he played sometimes with Harry Richardson's "Kings of Syncopation" and sometimes with Sonny Greer (future drums of Ellington).
In 1924 he went to Harlem, a hotbed of jazz. Early after his arrival, he bumped newly into Sonny Greer, his friend of childhood, who was by then the drummer for the Washingtonians, Duke Ellington's early band. Soon, Basie met many of the Harlem musicians who were "making the scene," including Willie "the Lion" Smith and James P. Johnson. As he did with Duke Ellington, Willie "the Lion" Smith helped Basie out during the lean times by arranging gigs at "house-rent parties," introducing him to other leading musicians, and teaching him some piano technique.
In thes early years he was sideman of blues singers Katie Krippen and Gonzelle White. His touring took him to Kansas City, St. Louis, New Orleans, and Chicago. Throughout his tours, Basie met many jazz musicians, including Louis Armstrong.
Back in Harlem in 1925, Basie gained his first steady job at Leroy's, a place known for its piano players and its "cutting contests." There he met Fats Waller, who was playing organ at the Lincoln Theater accompanying silent movies, and Waller taught him how to play that instrument. (Basie later played organ at the Eblon Theater in Kansas City).
In 1928 Basie was in Tulsa and heard bassist Walter Page and his Famous Blue Devils, one of the first big bands, which featured Jimmy Rushing on vocals. A few months later, he was invited to join the band, which played mostly in Texas and Oklahoma.
In 1929 Basie became the pianist with the Bennie Moten (pianist too) band based in Kansas City, inspired by Moten's ambition to raise his band to the level of Duke Ellington's or Fletcher Henderson's. Where the Blue Devils of Walter Page were "snappier" and more "bluesy," the Moten band was classier and more respected, and played in the "Kansas City stomp" style.
In addition to playing piano, Basie was co-arranger with guitarist Eddie Durham, who notated the music. Their "Moten Swing", which Basie claimed credit for, was widely acclaimed and was an invaluable contribution to the development of swing music. The band improved with several personnel changes, including the addition of tenor saxophonist Ben Webster. When the band voted Moten out, Basie took over for several months, calling the group "Count Basie and his Cherry Blossoms." When his own band folded, he rejoined Moten with a newly re-organized band.
When Moten died in 1935 after a surgical procedure, Basie formed his own jazz orchestra including many Moten alumni, with the important addition of tenor player Lester Young, the guitarist Freddie Green, trumpeters Buck Clayton and Harry "Sweets" Edison and singers Jimmy Rushing and Joe Williams. They recorded the musical hit "One O'Clock Jump", a new sound, a new style of the "Kansas City stomp" of Moten.
In 1936 took them to Chicago for a long engagement and their first recording. He led the group for almost 50 years, creating innovations like the use of two "split" tenor saxophones, emphasizing the rhythm section, riffing with a big band, using arrangers to broaden their sound, and others.
At the end of 1936, Basie and his band, now billed as "Count Basie and His Barons of Rhythm," moved from Kansas City to Chicago, where Basie placed two tenor players (Lester Young and Herschel Evans) engaged in "duels". Many other bands later adapted the split tenor arrangement. Like Ellington, Basie also hired arrangers !!!!!!! who knew how to maximize the band's abilities, such as Eddie Durham and Jimmy Mundy. By then, Basie's sound was characterized by a "jumping" beat and the contrapuntal accents of his own piano. His personnel around 1937 included: Lester Young and Herschel Evans (tenor sax), Freddie Green (guitar), Jo Jones (drums), Walter Page (bass), Earle Warren (alto sax), Buck Claytonand Harry Edison (trumpet), Benny Morton and Dickie Wells (trombone). Lester Young, known as "Prez" by the band, came up with nicknames for all the other band members. He called Basie "Holy Man", "Holy Main", and just plain "Holy".
When Basie took his orchestra to New York in 1937, they made the Woodside Hotel in Queens their base. In New York Basie favored blues, and he would showcase some of the most notable blues singers of the era after he went to New York: Billie Holiday, Jimmy Rushing, Big Joe Turner, Helen Humes, and Joe Williams. Hammond introduced Basie to Billie Holiday, whom he invited to sing with the band. The band's first appearance at the Apollo Theater followed, with the vocalists Holiday and Jimmy Rushing getting the most attention.
Next, Basie played at the Savoy, which was noted more for lindyhopping, while the Roseland was a place for fox-trots and congas. In early 1938, the Savoy was the meeting ground for a "battle of the bands" with Chick Webb's group. Basie had Holiday, and Webb countered with the singer Ella Fitzgerald. As Metronome magazine proclaimed, "Basie's Brilliant Band Conquers Chick's"; the article described the evening:
"Throughout the fight, Chick took the aggressive, with the Count playing along easily and, on the whole, more musically scientifically and maintaing an attitude of poise and self-assurance. He constantly parried Chick's thundering haymakers with tantalizing runs and arpeggios which teased more and more force from his adversary".
The publicity over the big band battle, before and after, gave the Basie band a boost and wider recognition.
A few months later, Holiday left for Artie Shaw's band. Hammond introduced Helen Humes, whom Basie hired; she stayed with Basie for four years. When guitarist Eddie Durham left for Glenn Miller's orchestra, he was replaced by guitarist Dicky Wells but the arranger were for Jimmy Mundy (who had also worked with Benny Goodman and Earl Hines).
Throughout the 1940s, Basie maintained a big band that possessed an infectious rhythmic beat, an enthusiastic team spirit, and a long list of inspired and talented jazz soloists.
The big band era appeared to have ended after the war, and Basie disbanded the group. For a while, he performed in combos, sometimes stretched to an orchestra.
In 1952 Basie shared the performance with early rock'n'roll !!!!!!!!!!!!!! and rhythm and blues artists. Basie's new band was more of an ensemble group, with fewer solo turns, and relying less on "head" and more on written arrangements.
Then Basie added touches of bebop sharing Birdland with such bebop greats as Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, and Miles Davis. Basie also added flute to some numbers, a novelty at the time that became widely copied. Soon, his band was touring and recording again. The new band included: Paul Campbell, Tommy Turrentine, Johnny Letman, Idrees Sulieman, and Joe Newman (trumpet); Jimmy Wilkins, Benny Powell, Matthew Gee (trombone); Paul Quinichette and Floyd "Candy" Johnson (tenor sax); Marshall Royal and Ernie Wilkins (alto sax); and Charlie Fowlkes (baritone sax). They toured with the "Birdland Stars of 1955 generation", whose lineup included Sarah Vaughan, Erroll Garner, Lester Young, George Shearing, and Stan Getz. In 1957, Basie released the live album Count Basie at Newport. "April in Paris" (arrangement by Wild Bill Davis) was a best-selling instrumental and the title song for the hit album
In 1958, the band made its first European tour. Jazz was especially appreciated in France, The Netherlands, and Germany in the 1950s;
In 1959, Basie's band recorded a "greatest hits" double album The Count Basie Story (Frank Foster, arranger) and "Basie and Eckstine, Inc.": album featuring Billy Eckstine, Quincy Jones (as arranger) and the Count Basie Orchestra.
The summer of 1960, Basie and Duke Ellington combined forces for the recording First Time! The Count Meets the Duke, each providing four numbers from their play books.
Through steady changes in personnel, Basie led the band into the 1970s.
He was a big leader, a good composer and a great pianist (a grammy award in 1976 to the Best Jazz Performance by a Soloist (Instrumental) moreover 10 grammy awards by the Best Jazz Instrumental Performance, Big Band.
25-Cyrus Chestnut (1963)
A fun of Bread group in the early 1970s. “The best jazz pianist of his generation is a willingness to abandon notes and play space.",Josh Tyrangiel, music critic for Time Magazine (2006). Chestnut Chestnut enjoys mixing styles
Cyrus Chestnut was born in Baltimore, Maryland, in 1963, son of McDonald (a retired post-office employee and church organist) and Flossie (a city social services worker and church choir director).
Chestnut started his musical career at the age of six, playing piano at Mount Calvary Baptist Church in his hometown. By the age of nine, he was studying classical music at the Peabody Institute.
In 1985, Chestnut earned a degree in jazz composition and arranging from Boston's renowned Berklee College of Music. While at Berklee, Chestnut was awarded the Eubie Blake Fellowship (1982), the Quincy Jones Scholarship (1983), and the Oscar Peterson Scholarship (1984).
Chestnut toured as pianist for singer Jon Hendricks, 1986–88; trumpeter Terrence Blanchard, 1988–90; alto sax Donald Harrison, 1988–90; trumpeter Wynton Marsalis, 1991; and the Betty Carter Trio (singer known for her improvisational technique and scatting), 1991-93. His association with Carter significantly affected his outlook and approach to music, confirming his already iconoclastic instincts.
In 1993, at the age of 30, Chestnut signed with Atlantic Records, releasing the critically acclaimed Revelation (1993).
Chestnut has also performed and/or recorded with, Freddy Cole, Bette Midler, Jon Hendricks, Freddie Hubbard, Jimmy Scott, Chick Corea, Isaac Hayes, Kevin Mahogany, Dizzy Gillespie, and Kathleen Battle (opera diva!!!!!!!!!!!!).
Their shared church roots resulted in such a positive chemistry between Battle and Chestnut that he then joined the soprano on a fall 1996 U.S. Tour. Later that year came Blessed Quietness: A Collection of Hymns, Spirituals and Carols (1996), a reverently assembled album of traditional numbers instilled with the gospel and blues Chestnut grew up listening to. I
In 2000, Chestnut signed with manager Bruce Garfield, who convinced him to collaborate with Vanessa L. Williams, Brian McKnight, The Manhattan Transfer and The Boys' Choir of Harlem on A Charlie Brown Christmas.
In 2001, he released Soul Food featuring bassist Christian McBride, drummer Lewis Nash and special guest soloists including James Carter, Stefon Harris, Wycliffe Gordon and Marcus Printup. This album was one of Down Beat´s best records of 2002 and ascended to "Top 10" on the Jazz Charts.
In 2006, Chestnut released his first album, Genuine Chestnut, on TelArc Records. On it he is accompanied by his regular trio of Michael Hawkins, bass and Neal Smith, drums. This CD included “If", the early 1970s soft-rock ballad by Bread. “This song has been with me ever since the sixth grade,” Chestnut recalled, “I had to play it for my English teacher’s wedding. I’ve played it in many and various contexts. I actually played it in a Top 40 band when I was just out of school. A lot of time has passed, but then recently I just started thinking about it again.” Chestnut's own "Mason Dixon Line" is one of the album's high points, a joyful bebop number.
Chestnut continually tours with his trio, playing live at jazz festivals around the world as well as clubs and concert halls.
His leadership and prowess as a soloist has also led him to be a first call for the piano chair in many big bands including the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, Dizzy Gillespie Big Band, and Carnegie Hall Jazz Orchestra. Chestnut is currently represented by Addeo Music International (AMI).
26-Dave McKenna (1930 –2008)
His distinctive "three-handed" swing style did him was considered a significant figure in the evolution of jazz piano. Art Tatum, often considered the greatest soloist in jazz piano history, praised McKenna as "a complete musician."
Dave McKenna, nicknamed "The Bell Ringer", born in Woonsocket, Rhode Island,was an American jazz pianist. Known primarily as a solo pianist and for his distinctive "three-handed" swing style, he was a significant figure in the evolution of jazz piano.
He worked with a variety of top swing and Dixieland musicians.
McKenna performed with Louis Armstrong at the 1970 Newport Jazz Festival.
McKenna started to be recognized in his own right during the 1970s, but chose to play in his local area rather than travel extensively. He could be found playing in hotel piano bars in Massachusetts, including a decade-long run at Boston's grand Copley Plaza Hotel that ended in 1991 when the Plaza was sold. He was “just a saloon player” like Billie Holiday was “just a saloon singer”.
McKenna retired around the turn of the millennium due to increasing mobility problems brought on by his long battle with diabetes. He died in 2008 from lung cancer.
His method of playing that has come to be known as "three-handed swing".
The improvisation began in earnest on three levels simultaneously: a walking bassline, midrange chords and an improvised melody.
Despite his complex, multi-tiered approach, McKenna's playing was always a model of clarity, taste, beauty, and swing. Some musician friends called him "The Bell Ringer" for the clear, bell-like sound he evoked from the instrument.
He had an incomparably "holistic" approach to the keyboard. Art Tatum, often considered the greatest soloist in jazz piano history, praised McKenna as "a complete musician."
McKenna had an extensive recording career from 1958 to 2002.
McKenna's last recording, "An Intimate Evening With Dave McKenna," was released on Arbors Records in 2002.
27-Dick Hyman (1927)
A fun of Chopin. In one occasion he said about this great composer of classical music: “Chopin would have been a terrific jazz pianist”.
Richard "Dick" Hyman was born in 1927, New York, is best known for his versatility with jazz piano styles. Over a 50-year career, he has functioned as a pianist, organist, arranger, music director, and, increasingly, as a composer. His versatility in all of these areas has resulted in well over 100 albums recorded under his own name and many more in support of other artists.
Dick Hyman was trained classically by his mother's brother, the concert pianist Anton Rovinsky. Hyman said “Chopin would have been a terrific jazz pianist”. His waltzes are in my improvising to this day. On the other hand, Dick's older brother, Arthur, introduced him to the music of Bix Beiderbecke, Louis Armstrong, Teddy Wilson, and others.
In June 1945, he enlisted in the Army, transferred to the Navy, and began playing in the band department. When he returned to Columbia, he won an on-air piano competition, earning him 12 free lessons with Teddy Wilson, the great swing-era pianist who a decade earlier had broken the race barrier as a member of the Benny Goodman Trio. A few years later, Hyman himself became Goodman's pianist.
While developing a facility for improvisation in his own piano style, Hyman investigated ragtime and the earliest periods of jazz and and so he researched and recorded the piano music of Scott Joplin, Jelly Roll Morton, James P. Johnson, Zez Confrey, Eubie Blake and Fats Waller.
Hyman recorded two highly regarded ragtime albums under the pseudonym "Knuckles O'Toole", and included two original compositions.
Other solo recordings include the music of Irving Berlin, Harold Arlen, Cole Porter, George Gershwin, and Duke Ellington. He recorded as a member of the 'Dick Hyman Trio', including a 78 RPM hit called 'Baubles Bangles and Beads.'
Hyman served as artistic director for the Jazz in July series at New York's 92nd Street Y for twenty years, a post from which he stepped down in 2004.
In 1995, he was inducted into the Jazz Hall of Fame of the Rutgers Institute of Jazz Studies and the New Jersey Jazz Society. Since then, he has received honorary doctorates from Wilkes University, Five Towns College, Hamilton College and the University of South Florida at Tampa, Florida.
Hyman has had an extensive career in New York as a studio musician and won seven Most Valuable Player Awards from the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences.
He received an Emmy Award for his musical direction of a PBS Special on Eubie Blake. He continues to be a frequent guest performer with cornetist Jim Cullum (The Jim Cullum Jazz Band) and collaborated with Ruby Braff, trumpeter and cornetist, extensively.
28- Donald Lambert (1904 –1962)
Lambert is notorious for an occasion on which he challenged Art Tatum at a jazz concert where other famous players were present.
He is perhaps best known for playing in Harlem night clubs throughout the 1920s. Lambert was taught piano by his mother but never learned to read music. For his particularly rapid left hand striding technique, he was a formidable opponent in cutting contests. Lambert is also notorious for an occasion on which he challenged Art Tatum at a jazz concert where other famous players were present.
Lambert's discography is very sparse: the only commercial recordings under his name were four titles made for RCA's Bluebird label in 1941, in which he interpreted classical themes of Wagner, Tannhauser, Edvard Grieg, Lucia di Lammermoor, and Jules Massenet. However, several compilations were released in the 1980s containing live recordings dating from 1959–62.
29-Duke Ellington (1899-1974)
Clearly a giant among giants among jazz composers, simply the best, but not among the jazz piano players, however the history of jazz piano not can be good understood without know the leading figure of the Duke.
Duke Ellington was born April 29 (Taurus), in the border of two century, in 1899, in Washington. Died of lung cancer in 1974. Earned the nickname "Duke" for his gentlemanly ways. His good manners were due to the fact that his father was first a butler (mayordomo) in White House and later a blueprint for the U.S. Navy.
American composer, pianist, and band/orchestra leader. His career, carried out in New York, spanned more than 50 years. Is undoubtedly the major figure in the history of jazz music. "a giant among giants” as defined by Gunther Schuller in 1989. Ellington earned 12 Grammy awards from 1959 to 2000, 9 while he was alive. His reputation increased after his death and the Pulitzer Prize Board bestowed on him a special posthumous honor in 1999. About the origin of Jazz the Duke always said that in this music style the most important was the meeting between the “freedom” of black music and the “discipline” of white music, the syncopation vs structural formalism of conventional melody and harmony. Respect to the “blues”, Ellington said: “Blues is the essence of Jazz”. -
Ellington is the King of Jazz as Scott Joplin is the King of Ragtime with Jelly Roll Morton in the middle for his contribution to both, Ragtime and Jazz.
Duke Ellington had musician parents in a middle-high class neighborhood. At the age of 7, he began studying piano. He wrote his first composition, "Soda Fountain Rag," at the age of 15. Despite being awarded an art scholarship to the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York, Ellington followed his passion for ragtime and began to play professionally at age 17. As pianist was influenced by the first great pianist of the Jazz history that not was Jelly Roll Morton but another much better, the master of master James P. Johnson with the stride sound, technique that the Duke incorporated soon to his music. Ellington was thoroughly impressed by “Carolina Shout” of James P. Johnson.
In the 1920s, Ellington performed in Broadway nightclubs with frequent appearances at the Cotton Club, far of Broadway. Was bandleader of a sextet and an orchestra in different periods of his life.
Ellington sought out musicians with unique playing styles, especially in wind instruments (horns): such as Bubber Miley, trumpet and cornet player, who used a plunger to make the "wa-wa" sound; Rex Stewart, the other cornet; Charles Melvin “Cootie” Williams, a master of both, plunger-mute technique and the brilliant open horn in the trumpet, and Joe “Tricky Sam” Nanton, who gave the world his trombone "growl." Juan Tizol, his other trombonist, help to the Duke in composition tasks (i.e: Perdido). Others horns: his favorite saxophonists: Johnny Hodges (alto saxophonist born in Cambridge, Massachussetts). He played with the Duke in two periods (1928-1951 and 1955-1970). The elements of the blues were present in his solo style. Ben Webster: tenor saxophone. Harry Carney: baritone saxophone. Clarinet: Barney Bigard and Jimmy Hamilton. His favorite female vocalist: Ivie Anderson. Guitarist: Fred Guy (accompaniment guitar). Contrabass or double bass: Jimmy Blanton and his perky pizzicato. In the drums, Sonny Greer, his favorite.
His most popular songs: "It Don't Mean a Thing if It Ain't Got That Swing," "Solitude," "Satin Doll." "Jeep's Blues" (Hodges), "Caravan" "Concerto for Cootie" (for trumpeter Cootie Williams) (later became "Do Nothing Till You Hear from Me" with Bob Russell's lyrics). All of them, except for “Jeep´s Blues” and the “Concerto for Cootie”, performed in our website. In his compositions and music arrangements is noted the influence of Bix Beiderbecke, whom Ellington admired. Bix was the “white King of Jazz music”, like non-african Joseph Lamb was one of big three in ragtime.
Masterworks: Sophysticated Lady // In a sentimental mood. "Prelude to a Kiss," the three pieces has been performed are available in our website, arranged by to be played with a simple guitar.
Has been written that Ellington refused to refer to himself as a Jazz musician, preferring to be called an "American" musician instead. Such nonsense is not true and moreover is much more important, by the ulterior influence in New Musics from 1950 onwards (rock´n roll, pop-rock, rock, soul) to be the King of Jazz than the King of American Music with null influence in the New Musics. In his autobiography, Music Is My Mistress, published in 1973, and in non-official biography, titled “Dueke Ellington. Jazz composer”, written by Ken Rattenbury, say nothing to support this way of thinking. American music had a great influence in the Jazz and the Jazz also had influence in American music but they are different music styles. Respect to the compositions, Jazz player did a lot of covers of American songs composed by the greatest composers (Gershwin, Kern, Rodgers, Berlin…) but the Jazz pieces were not covered by classical orchestras in Broadway, and these composers were most important than Ellington in the called “American song” or “American music”.
He had many collaborators in composition tasks but undoubtedly the most important were the trombonist Juan Tizol and the pianists Mary Lou Williams and Billy Strayhorn, author of the great standards such as“Take the A train”, “Isfahan”, “Lush life”, all of them available in our website. Billy was a noted music that accompanied to Ellington from he was a young adult after to perform Lush life for the Duke, who was very impressed by the gift of Billy. Lush life is clearly one of more complex piece of Jazz History. It is not possible to analyze the Ellington´ career without emphasize the importance of Billy in it.
His last words were, "Music is how I live, why I live and how I will be remembered." He was buried in Woodlawn Cemetery in the Bronx, New York City.
30-Earl MacDonald (1970).
He is a music arranger, composer, jazz pianist and music educator.
A former participant in the BMI Jazz Composers' Workshop in New York City, MacDonald is a member of the Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada (SOCAN). His compositions for 17-piece jazz ensemble are featured on UConn Jazz, recorded by the University of Connecticut Jazz Ensemble in 2002, as well as his latest disc,re: Visions, which was nominated for a 2011 Juno award in the Traditional Jazz Album of the Year category. His sextet, the
MacDonald currently serves as Musical Director and Composer-In-Residence for the Hartford Jazz Society’s New Directions Ensemble. Owen McNally of the Hartford Courant described the band and outlined its mission, stating "the fresh-sounding New Directions Ensemble taps into the rich lode of area talent, provides a vital forum for original compositions, spreads the good word about contemporary band music in its educational role, and provides a prominent public face for its sponsor, the Hartford Jazz Society. The New Directions Ensemble is set to swing in its own fresh way, generating contemporary band music that lives in the present, independent, cliché-free and untethered to conventional big band nostalgia."
From 1998 to 2000, MacDonald was the musical director, pianist, and arranger for the Maynard Ferguson Big Bop Nouveau band. As music director he was responsible for programming and rehearsing this world renowned ensemble.
In 2002, MacDonald won the Sammy Nestico Award, for outstanding big band arranging
The American Association of University Professors honored MacDonald with its 2006 Excellence Award for Teaching Innovation. .
He has since been selected as a finalist for 2007 BMI /Charlie Parker Jazz Composition Award and the 2008 ArtEZ Composition Contest in the Netherlands.
In 2011, he won Best Jazz Song at the 10th Annual Independent Music Awards for "Bad Dream".
Director of jazz studies at the University of Connecticut. Earl is dedicated to music education, participating as a clinician, guest conductor and teacher at summer camps, in addition to his teaching at the University of Connecticut.
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41-George Washington Thomas Jr (1885 -1936)
The combination of the Delta blues, jazz, and gospel sounds !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! from the Arkansas Delta Lowlands made a lasting impression on him even as his proclivity for the piano began to develop early “boogie woogie piano style”: an “eight-to-the-bar” piano style!!! vs “twelve-to the-bar” of blues music & rock´n roll." (although primitive blues had eight-to-the bar: example: “Blues of Buddy Bolden”).
Born in Plum Bayou, Arkansas
By the time he was 15, his family moved to Houston, TX where the east Texas barrelhouse style of blues/jazz further influenced him and his music.
Thomas was the pianist head of an important Texas blues clan which included his daughter Hociel Thomas, his siblings Beulah ‘Sippie’ Wallace and Hersal Thomas, plus Bernice Edwards, not a blood relative, but raised with the family.
Williams attributed the origin of the boogie woogie piano style to George Washington Thomas Jr. Thomas was certainly among its earliest important exponents. "New Orleans Hop Scop Blues", published in 1916, is claimed to be the first twelve-bar blues to be written with a boogie-woogie bass line. With brother Hersal, he also copyrighted "The Fives" in 1921, a classic later performed by many pianists.
On disc records, he made "The Rocks" in 1923 (credited as Clay Custer), a solo which contains the earliest recording of a walking bass, accompanied Sippie's friend Tiny Franklin, and made one record under his own name, and a few with his jazz group, the Muscle Shoals Devils.
42-Gery Allen (1957)
Influences: pianists Herbie Hancock, Mary Lou Williams, Hank Jones, Alice Coltrane, Cecil Taylor, Thelonious Monk, McCoy Tyner, Bud Powell, and mentor Dr. Billy Taylor.
In 1979, Allen earned her bachelor's degree in jazz studies from Howard University in Washington, D.C. She studied under composer Thomas Kerr, and pianists Raymond Jackson, John Malachi, Fred Irby, Arthur Dawkins, and Komla Amoaku. After graduation, she moved to New York City, where she studied with the veteran bop pianist Kenny Barron.
From there, at the behest of the jazz educator Nathan Davis, Allen attended the University of Pittsburgh, earning a master's degree in ethnomusicology,returning to New York in 1982, and began touring with Mary Wilson and the Supremes.
Allen played on several of Coleman's albums, including his first, 1985's Motherland Pulse, and Coleman also played on her composition "The Dancer" on the LP, In the Middle (released in 1986), which featured veteran tap dancer Lloyd Story.
In 1995, she was the first recipient of Soul Train's Lady of Soul Award for jazz album of the year for Twenty-One, featuringTony Williams and Ron Carter, and the first woman, and youngest person to receive the Danish "Jazz Par Prize".
In 1996 Allen continued to push the improvisational envelope with Sound Museum, a recording made under the leadership of Ornette Coleman. The Gathering followed in 1998. The Life of a Song was recorded with veterans Dave Holland on bass and Jack DeJohnette on drums. Her 2010 album Flying Toward the Sound was rated one of the Best Of 2010 on NPR, Downbeat, All About Jazz, and the Village Voice's Jazz Critics' Poll that year. "Timeless Portraits and Dreams" featured NEA Jazz Masters Jimmy Cobb and Ron Carter, as well as opera icon George Shirley singing "Lift Every Voice and Sing", saxophonist and mentor Donald Walden, vocalist Carmen Lundy, and the Atlanta Jazz Chorus under the direction of composer/multi-reedist Dwight Andrews.
In 2006, Allen was commissioned to compose "For the Healing of the Nations" a Sacred Jazz Suite for Voices, written in tribute to the victims, survivors and their families of the 9/11 attacks. The suite was performed by Howard University's Afro-Blue Jazz Choir, under the direction of Connaitre Miller. Oliver Lake, Craig Harris, Andy Bey, Dwight Andrews, Mary Stallings, Carmen Lundy, Nneena Freelon, Jay Hoggard, and other jazz musicians also participated. The poetry was contributed by Sandra Turner-Barnes.
Allen contributed original music to the documentary film Beah: A Black Woman Speaks, directed by Lisa Gay Hamilton, which received a Peabody Award.
Also, Allen contributed orchestrations to Andy Bey's "American Song" which was nominated for a Grammy Award. She was the recipient of a 2008 Guggenheim fellowship. Allen's composition "Refractions" was released in response to her Guggenheim Fellowship in Composition, as "Flying Towards The Sound", along with three short art films by film maker/photographer, Carrie Mae Weems, for Motema Music in 2010. Geri Allen &Timeline Live, her second recording for Motema, featured bassist Kenny Davis, drummer Kassa Overall and tap dancer Maurice Chestnut, and was released simultaneously with Flying Toward The Sound.
Allen received the "African-American Classical Music Award" from the Women of the New Jersey Chapter of Spelman College, and also received "A Salute to African-American Women: Phenomenal Woman" from the Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity, Epsilon chapter at the University of Michigan, in 2008. Allen received a nomination in 2011 for the NAACP Image Award for Best Jazz Album, Geri Allen & Timeline Live. She was also nominated for both The 10th Annual Independent Music Awards in 2011 under the Live Performance Album category, and for "Best Jazz Pianist", by the Jazz Journalists Association.
Allen performed this year in the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Monument Unveiling Concert, A Theatrical & Musical Celebration Honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., MLK: A Monumental Life, presented in Constitution Hall, by Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.
Allen previously served as an Associate Professor of Jazz & Contemporary Improvisation at the School Of Music Theatre & Dance, at the University Of Michigan, and, as of July 2012, was a curator in New York City at the STONE.
In 2013, Allen returned to her alma mater, the University of Pittsburgh, as an Associate Professor of Music and to replace her retired former mentor, Nathan Davis, as the Director of the Jazz Studies Program at the university.
43-Gil Evans (1912-1988)
One famous jazz critic said that Duke Ellington, Toshiko Akiyoshi !!!!, Eddie Sauter (trumpet!!!!) and Gil Evans were the more important composer-arrangers in jazz history. I would add clearly to Billy Strayhorn and Mary Lou Williams. He played an important role in the development of cool jazz, modal jazz (influenced by George Russell), free jazz (beside Cecil Taylor, Lennie Tristano and Carla Blay) and jazz fusion, and collaborated extensively with Miles Davis. The composer of the two bassists!!!!. Evans's scores usually required at least two bassists !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! on any given track, some playing arco (with the bow) and some pizzicato (plucking with fingers, the standard jazz method). Evans's scores added alto and bass flutes, double reeds, and harp; orchestral instruments not associated with "swing" bands. A fun of Jimi Hendrix & Sting!!!!!!!!!!!.
Ian Ernest Gilmore "Gil" Green (later: Evans) was a Canadian jazz pianist,arranger, composer and bandleader. Born in Toronto, Canada, his name was changed early on from Green to Evans, the name of his stepfather. His family moved to Stockton, California where he spent most of his youth..
Between 1941 and 1946, Evans worked as an arranger for the Claude Thornhill Orchestra.
In 1948, Evans worked with Miles Davis, Mulligan, and others in a trio-to-quintet "combos". He loved the simple jazz, the "Kenton sound" was in the context of a dense orchestral wall of sound that Evans avoided.
Their work coupled Evans's classic big band jazz stylings and arrangements with Davis's solo playing. Evans also contributed behind the scenes to Davis' classic quintet albums of the 1960s.
Their recording of Porgy and Bess by Davis-Evans is now regarded by many as one of the greatest reinterpretations of Gershwin's music in any musical style.
Evans was a great influence on Davis's interest in "non-jazz" music, especially orchestral music.
In 1965 he arranged the big band tracks on Kenny Burrell's Guitar Forms album.
After 1965 Evans was explicitly influenced by Spanish composers Manuel De Falla and Joaquín Rodrigo, and by other Latin and Brazilian music, as well as by German composer Kurt Weill, expatriated to USA. Evans sometimes took a dark ballad such as Weill's "Barbara Song" into his jazz music.
Evans's scores usually required at least two bassists !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! on any given track, some playing arco (with the bow) and some pizzicato (plucking with fingers, the standard jazz method). The presence of four of the most acclaimed young bassists (Richard Davis, Paul Chambers, Ron Carter, and Ben Tucker) along with veteran Milt Hinton would ordinarily indicate that each is used individually for separate tracks, but
Evans's scores added alto and bass flutes, double reeds, harp and even violin: He frequently wrote a part for the tenor violin of Harry Lookofsky.; orchestral instruments not associated with "swing" bands, providing a larger pallette of orchestral colors.
During this period while he was somewhat depressed about the commercial and logistical difficulties of his previous scoring requirements, his wife suggested that he listen to the guitarist Jimi Hendrix ¡!!!!!!!!!!. Evans developed a particular interest in the work of the rock guitarist!!!!!!!!!!.
Hendrix's 1970 death made impossible a scheduled meeting with Evans to discuss having Hendrix front a big band led by Evans.
In 1974, he released an album of his arrangements of music by Hendrix, with guitarist Ryo Kawasaki!!!!!!!
From that date on, Evans's ensembles featured electric guitars and basses, including a notable collaboration with bassist Jaco Pastorius. In contrast to his intricate scores for large ensembles, his later arrangements might feature (more or less) unison playing by the entire ensemble, such as on Hendrix's "Little Wing", with improvisational touches added throughout by the musicians completely ad libitum.
Before the 1970s, his keyboard playing was sparse on recordings, because the intricacy of his music required that he conduct, but after the 1970s, he gradually moved from the front of the band back "into" the band.
Evans died in Cuernavaca, Mexico. .
44-Gonzalo Rubalcaba (1963)
Julio Gonzalo Gonzalez Fonseca, Gonzalo Rubalcaba, was born in Havana, Cuba. Pianist and composer.
Framed in the posbop era, Rubalcaba is a virtuoso instrumentalist who is considered one of the leading figures of Afro-Cuban jazz.
A member of a prominent family of musicians. He began studying music at the Conservatory Manuel Saumell (in Havana) and later continued in the Amadeo Roldán, where he also studied percussion. Later he received lessons from the great pedagogue and pianist Nola Sahig, Arab ancestry, and at the Instituto Superior de Arte studied composition with Roberto Valera and Carlos Fariñas.
From the 14 years he worked in various orchestras and soloists accompanying the Cuban Beatriz Márquez, with which he attended in 1980 the International Festival of Buga (Colombia), where he won the first prize of orchestration.
At this early stage of formation in 1978 created his own group, Project, where he served as drummer, pianist, composer and arranger until the late eighties when he consolidated his international career as a soloist.
In the first editions of the festival Jazz Plaza in Havana drew a lot of attention with his solo piano, improvisation and rhythmic rich waste. Creations of those years are "New Cuban", "Treading the grass", "Parchment", "Spanish Rhapsody", contained in its LP The new Cuban (1984) and Concatenation Concatenation I and II (1986) albums.
In the Jazz Plaza Festival 1986 impressed the great American trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie, at that meeting the LP recorded together Gillespie live with Gonzalo Rubalcaba.
In 1986 he signed with the German label Messidor for which he recorded the albums Gonzalo Rubalcaba (1986), Live in Havana (1986), my great passion (1987) and Giraldilla (1989).
Before concluding the eighties had conquered the EGREM awards (1986 and 1987) and the award at the Benny Moré Festival 1987.
In 1987 recorded with the Cuban National Symphony Orchestra, the black concert, his first foray into symphonic music album without abandoning the latin jazz, where he combined Yoruba elements with Cuban music and other genres.
In that decade he developed a technique of shifting rhythmic and harmonic patterns, related guajeo (Tumbao).
Since 1992 he settled in Dominican Republic, increasing since his world tours and recordings. For the Blue Note label has recorded more than 10 albums.
With the disc “Supernova” won the Grammy Latino 2002 and in 2006 won the award with the album titled “Only again”.
In recent years he has continued his performances with his trio and other important figures and groups of salsa, jazz and other genres. He has participated in discs Isaac Delgado, Juan Luis Guerra ([[Bachata rosa), Francisco Céspedes (Excuse Ball) and Charlie Haden (Nocturne).
Currently living in the US city of Fort Lauderdale (Florida).
45-Hadda Brooks (1916 –2002)
"Queen of the Boogie."
Her first single, "Swingin' the Boogie", which she composed, was issued in 1945.
Her grandfather, Samuel, moved to California from Atlanta, Georgia, and proved to be an enormous influence on Brooks. He introduced her to theater and the operatic voices of Amelita Galli-Curci and Enrico Caruso.
In her youth she formally studied classical music with an Italian piano instructor, Florence Bruni, with whom she trained for twenty years
She attended the University of Chicago, and later returned to Los Angeles.
Brooks was married briefly during this period to a Harlem Globetrotter named Earl "Shug" Morrison in 1941. Morrison developed pulmonary pneumonia, however, and died about a year after they were married.
She was the second African-American woman to host her own television show -- after Hazel Scott. The show opened with Brooks seated behind a grand piano, cigarette smoke curling about her, and featured "That's My Desire" as her theme song.
In the 1970s, she commuted to Europe and later lived for many years in Australia and Hawaii.
Following the 1984 release of Queen of the Boogie a compilation of recordings from the 40's, two years later manager Alan Eichler brought her out of a 16-year retirement to open a new jazz room at the historic Perino's in Los Angeles, after which she continued to play nightclubs regularly in Hollywood, San Francisco, and New York, to rave reviews.
She resumed her recording career with the 1994 album "Anytime, Anyplace, Anywhere" for DRG.
In 2000, the Los Angeles Music Awards honored Hadda Brooks with the Lifetime Achievement Award.
Hadda Brooks died at White Memorial Medical Center in Los Angeles, following open-heart surgery at age 86.
In 2007, a 72-minute documentary, Queen of the Boogie, directed by Austin Young & Barry Pett, was presented at the Los Angeles Silver Lake Film Festival.
46-Hank Jones (1918 – 2010)
He developed a harmonic facility of extraordinary taste and sophistication. Jones' versatility was more in evidence with the passage of time and so played Afro-pop, spirituals, hymns and folksongs.
Henry "Hank" Jones recorded more than 60 albums under his own name, and countless others as a sideman of Ella Fitzgerald and Charlie Parker, Lester Young, Cannonball Adderley, Joe Lovano, Sonny Stitt, Wes Montgomery, Frank Sinatra and in the last years to Diana Krall, Salena Jones and Roberta Gambarini .
Born in Vicksburg, Mississippi, Henry "Hank" Jones moved to Pontiac, Michigan, where his father, Henry Jones Sr. a Baptist deacon (diácono/clérigo) and lumber (maderas) inspector, bought a three-story brick home (casa de 3 pisos). Jones was raised in a musical family. His mother Olivia Jones sang; his two older sisters studied piano; and his two younger brothers—Thad, a trumpeter, and Elvin, a drummer—also became prominent jazz musicians. He studied piano at an early age and came under the influence of Earl Hines, Fats Waller, Teddy Wilson, and Art Tatum. By the age of 13 Jones was performing locally in Michigan and Ohio.
In New York, Jones regularly listened to leading bop musicians, and was inspired to master the new style. While practicing and studying the music he worked with Coleman Hawkins, Andy Kirk and Billy Eckstine.
In autumn 1947, he began touring in Norman Granz's Jazz at the Philharmonic package, and from 1948 to 1953 he was accompanist for Ella Fitzgerald ¡!!!!!!!, In addition, during this period he also made several historically important recordings with Charlie Parker, which included "The Song Is You", from the Now's the Time album, recorded in December 1952, with Teddy Kotick on bass and Max Roach on drums.
By the late 1970s, his involvement as pianist and conductor with the Broadway musical Ain't Misbehavin' (based on the music of Fats Waller) had informed a wider audience of his unique qualities as a musician.
During the late 1970s and the 1980s, Jones continued to record prolifically, as an unaccompanied soloist, in duos with other pianists (including John Lewis and Tommy Flanagan), and with various small ensembles, most notably the Great Jazz Trio with its original members, Ron Carter and Tony Williams. By 1980 Jones' sidemen were Eddie Gómez and Al Foster, and in 1982 Jimmy Cobb replaced Foster.
Jones' versatility was more in evidence with the passage of time. He collaborated on recordings of Afro-pop with an ensemble from Mali and on an album of spirituals, hymns and folksongs with Charlie Haden called Steal Away (1995).
Some of his later recordings were a solo piano recording issued in Japan under the title Round Midnight (2006), and as a sideman he accompanied Diana Krall for "Dream a Little Dream of Me" on the album compilation, We all Love Ella (Verve 2007).
In early 2000, the Hank Jones Quartet accompanied jazz singer Salena Jones at the Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival in Idaho, and in 2006 at the Monterey Jazz Festival with both jazz singer Roberta Gambarini.
In 1989, The National Endowment for the Arts honored him with the NEA Jazz Masters Award. He was also honored in 2003 with the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP) Jazz Living Legend Award. In 2008, he was awarded the National Medal of Arts. On April 13, 2009, the University of Hartford presented Jones with a Doctorate Degree for his musical accomplishments.Grammy history: Career Wins: 2009: Lifetime Achievement Grammy; Career Nominations: 5
47-Harold Mabern (1936)
Harold Mabern (born March 20, 1936 in Memphis, Tennessee) is a hard bop, post-bop and soul jazz pianist and composer. He is described inThe Penguin Guide to Jazz Recordings as "one of the great post-bop pianists".
Mabern initially started learning drums, before switching to piano, self-taught as a pianist.
Influence: he was most influenced by pianist Phineas Newborn, Jr.
In 1954, after graduating, Mabern moved to Chicago, where, because of a change in his parents' financial circumstances, he remained self-taught as a pianist.
Mabern moved to New York in 1959 with saxophonist Frank Strozier.
A few weeks later, most of the members of this band then joined to tenor sax Jimmy Forrest for a recording in Chicago that resulted in two albums, which were also the debut recordings for guitarist Grant Green.
Mabern steadily built a reputation in New York as a sideman, playing with, among others, Lionel Hampton's big band in 1960.
Mabern toured in Europe with Wes Montgomery later in 1965.
Mabern's recording career as a leader began in 1968, after he signed for Prestige Records early that year. Mabern has gone on to record approximately 20 albums as leader, for a variety of labels.
He was part of drummer Walter Bolden's trio (1973–74), and led his own trio with Bolden and bassist Jamil Nasser.
Mabern has also worked with two piano-based groups: the Piano Choir, formed and led by Stanley Cowell from the early 1970s and featuring at least six pianists/keyboardists, and the four-player Contemporary Piano Ensemble, the latter being formed in the early 1990s to pay tribute to Phineas Newborn, Jr. and touring extensively, including at the Montreal (1991) and Monterey Jazz Festivals (1996).
He also went to Japan in 1990 as a member of a ten-pianist group that toured together but played and recorded separately.
In the mid-1990s, Mabern toured with and led a trio of bassist Erik Applegate and drummer Ed Thigpen.
In later years, he recorded extensively with the tenor saxophonist Eric Alexander, his former William Paterson University student. Mabern stated in 2004 that his 2002 recording for Venus,Kiss of Fire, featuring Alexander as a guest, was his best seller.
In 2010, Mabern received the Don Redman Heritage Award.
A longtime faculty member at William Paterson University (from the early 1980s), Mabern is also a frequent instructor at the Stanford Jazz Workshop
Mabern's piano style has been described as being "aggressive, very positive, crashing out chords, while, at the same time, he shows "a keen sensitivity" as "an extremely perceptive accompanist". Critic Gary Giddins has identified some of the characteristics of Mabern's playing as being "blues glisses, [...] tremolos and dissonant block chords", that help to create a style "that marries McCoy Tyner's clustering modality with rippling asides that stem from [Art] Tatum".The influence of Phineas Newborn, Jr. remains noticeable: Mabern employs Newborn's "manner of playing fast lines in a two-handed octave (or two-octave) unison, and uses this device in wildly imaginative ways".
48-Herbie Hancok (1940)
Nicknamed Mwandishi, he was one of the primary architects of the "post-bop" sound and the more noted of musicians of avant-garde movement. He explored de classic Gershwin's World and in the other border, the Afro-jazz.
Herbert Jeffrey "Herbie" Hancock was born in 1940 and as part of Miles Davis's Second Great Quintet, Hancock helped to redefine the role of a jazz rhythm section and was one of the primary architects of the "post-bop" sound. He was one of the first jazz musicians to embrace music synthesize.
Having taken up the piano at age seven, Hancock quickly became known as a prodigy, soloing in the first movement of a Mozart piano concerto with the Chicago Symphony at the age of 11. After studies at Grinnell College,Hancock was invited by Donald Byrd in 1961 to join his group in New York City, and before long, Blue Note offered him a solo contract. His debut album,Takin' Off, took off indeed after Mongo Santamaria covered one of the album's songs, "Watermelon Man."
In May 1963, Miles Davis asked him to join his band in time for the Seven Steps to Heaven sessions, and he remained there for five years, converting to the Rhodes electric piano. In that time span, Hancock's solo career also blossomed on Blue Note, pouring forth increasingly sophisticated compositions like "Maiden Voyage," "Cantaloupe Island," "Goodbye to Childhood," and the exquisite "Speak Like a Child."
His music embraces elements of funk and soul while adopting freer stylistic elements from jazz. In his jazz improvisation, he possesses a unique creative blend of jazz, blues, and modern classical music, with harmonic stylings much like the styles of Claude Debussy and Maurice Ravel.
He was able to absorb blues, funk, gospel, and even modern classical influences, Hancock's piano and keyboard voices are entirely his own.
Having studied engineering and professing to love gadgets and buttons, Hancock was perfectly suited for the electronic age and had a big collection of synthesizers and computers on his electric dates.
Having left the Davis band in 1968, Hancock recorded an elegant funk album, Fat Albert Rotunda, and in 1969 formed a sextet that evolved into one of the most exciting, forward-looking jazz-rock groups of the era. Now deeply immersed in electronics, Hancock added the synthesizer of Patrick Gleesonto his Echoplexed, fuzz-wah-pedaled electric piano and clavinet, and the recordings became spacier and more complex rhythmically and structurally, creating its own corner of the avant-garde.
After a one-shot reunion of the 1965 Miles Davis Quintet (Hancock, Ron Carter, Tony Williams, Wayne Shorter, with Freddie Hubbard sitting in for Miles) at New York's 1976 Newport Jazz Festival, they went on tour the following year as V.S.O.P. (the name of this group built in that time featuring Herbie Hancock)
In 1998 he issued Gershwin's World.
In 2010 Hancock released his The Imagine Project album, which was recorded in seven countries and featured a host of collaborators, including Dave Matthews, Anoushka Shankar, Jeff Beck, the Chieftains, John Legend, India.Arie, Seal, P!nk, Juanes, Derek Trucks, Susan Tedeschi, Chaka Khan,K'NAAN, Wayne Shorter, James Morrison, and Lisa Hannigan.
He was named Creative Chair for the New Los Angeles Philharmonic.
Hermeto Pascoal is a Brazilian composer and multi-instrumentalist. He was born in Lagoa da Canoa, Alagoas, Brazil. Pascoal is a greatly beloved musical figure in the history of Brazilian music, known for his abilities at orchestration and improvisation, as well as being a record producer and contributor to many other Brazilian and international albums.
Hermeto's career began in 1964 with appearances on several Brazilian recordings alongside relatively unknown groups. These now-classic albums and the musicians involved (Edu Lobo, Elis Regina, Cesar Camargo Mariano) established widely influential new directions in post-bossa Brazilian jazz.
In 1966, he played in the Sambrasa Trio, with Airto Moreira and Humberto Clayber; they released only one album, Em Som Maior. Then he joined Trio Novo (Airto Moreira, Heraldo do Monte, Theo de Barros) and in 1967 the group, renamed Quarteto Novo, released an album that launched the careers of Pascoal and Moreira. Pascoal would then go on to join the multi-faceted group Brazilian Octopus.
Pascoal initially caught the international public's attention with an appearance on Miles Davis's 1971 album Live-Evil, which featured him on three pieces, which he also composed. Davis said that Pascoal was "the most impressive musician in the world". Later collaborations involved fellow Brazilian musicians Airto Moreira and Flora Purim.
From the late 1970s onward he has mostly led his own groups, playing at many prestigious venues, such as the Montreux Jazz Festival in 1979. Other members of the group have included bassist Itibere Zwarg, pianist Jovino Santos-Neto and percussionists Nene, Pernambuco and Zabele.
Known as o Bruxo (the Sorcerer), Pascoal often makes music with unconventional objects such as teapots, children's toys, and animals, as well as keyboards, button accordion, melodica, saxophone, guitar, flute, voice, various brass and folkloric instruments.
Perhaps because he grew up in the countryside, he uses nature as a basis for his compositions, as in his Música da Lagoa, in which the musicians burble water and play flutes while immersed in a lagoon: a Brazilian television broadcast from 1999 showed him soloing at one point by singing into a cup with his mouth partially submerged in water. Folk music from rural Brazil is another important influence in his work.
Between 1996 and 1997, Pascoal worked on a book project called Calendário do Som, which contains a song for every day of the year, including 29 February, so that everyone would have a song for his or her birthday.
Davis said that Pascoal was "the most impressive musician in the world".
50-Horace Silver (1928)
One of pioneers of the funky and hard bop (combining elements of rhythm-and-blues and gospel music with jazz) styles, both with a classic bluesy touch, always present in his music. His famous song "Sister Sadie", included in his work “Blowin' the Blues Away” (1959), will be an eternal theme.
Horace Ward Martin Tavares Silva, Horace Silver, was born in Norwalk, Connecticut, United States.
Silver is known for his distinctive humorous and funky playing style and for his pioneering compositional contributions to hard bop. He was influenced by a wide range of musical styles, notably gospel music, African music, and Latin American music and sometimes ventured into the soul jazz genre. Silver's father, John Tavares Silva, was from the island of Maio in Cape Verde and played violin and guitar. His mother was born in New Canaan, Connecticut, and was of Irish-African descent.
Silver began his career as a tenor saxophonist but later switched to piano. His tenor saxophone was highly influenced by Lester Young, and his piano style by Bud Powell, Art Tatum, Teddy Wilson, Nat “King” Cole, and Thelonious Monk.
Silver's big break came in 1950 backing saxophonist Stan Getz at The Sundown Club in Hartford, Connecticut.
Silver moved to New York City in 1951, where he worked at the jazz club Birdland on Monday nights, when different musicians would come together and informally jam. In New York, he formed the Jazz Messengers, a cooperatively-run group with Art Blakey.
In 1952 and 1953 Silver recorded three sessions with his own trio, featuring Blakey on drums and Gene Ramey, Curly Russell and Percy Heath on bass. Silver was also a member of the Miles Davis All Stars, recording the Walkin' album in 1954.
From 1956 onwards, Silver recorded exclusively for Blue Note. . During his years with Blue Note, Silver helped to create the rhythmically forceful branch of jazz known as "hard bop", which combined elements of rhythm-and-blues and gospel music with jazz.
At the same time, his sharp use of repetition was “funky” even before that word could be used in polite company.
His 1965 hit, "Cape Verdean Blues", is the only clear rhythmic reference to his childhood home where his father and friends jammed, with traditional Capeverdean morna and coladeira as the main fare.
In 1956 formed his own hard bop quintet at first featuring the same line-up as Blakey's Jazz Messengers.
In 1963 Silver created a new group featuring Joe Henderson on tenor saxophone and Carmell Jones on trumpet.
As social and cultural upheavals shook the nation during the late 1960s and early 1970s, Silver responded to these changes through music. The composer got deeper into cosmic philosophy as his group, Silver 'N Strings, recorded Silver 'N Strings Play The Music of the Spheres (1979).
The 1985 album Continuity of Spirit (Silveto) features his unique orchestral collaborations.
Silver's compositions, catchy and very strong harmonically, gained popularity while his band gradually switched to funk and soul. In the 1990s, he directly answered the urban popular music that had been largely built from his influence on It's Got To Be Funky (Columbia, 1993).
In 2005, the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS) gave him its President's Merit Award. The SFJazz Collective focused on Silver's music for their 2010 season.
Silver's music has been a major force in modern jazz. With his hard bop, influenced such pianists as Bobby Timmons, Les McCann, and Ramsey Lewis.
Nor did Silver's talent go unnoticed among rock musicians who bore jazz influences; Steely Dan sent Silver into the Top 40 in the early 1970s when they crafted their biggest hit single, "Rikki, Don't Lose That Number", off the bass riff that opens "Song for My Father".
51-Jack McDuff (1926 – 2001)
Join to Jimmy Smith, they were the two big organists of jazz and soul era of the 60s although the pioneer of jazz organ was Wild Bill Davis in the 50s (see the other great jazz keboard players) .
"Brother" Jack McDuff was an American jazz organist who was most prominent during the hard bop and soul jazz era of the 1960s, often performing with an organ trio. He is also credited to giving guitarist George Benson his first break.
Encouraged by Willis Jackson in whose band he also played bass in the late 50s, McDuff moved to the organ and began to attract the attention of Prestige Records while still with Jackson's group. McDuff soon became a bandleader, leading groups featuring a young George Benson, Red Holloway on saxophone and Joe Dukes on drums.
McDuff recorded many classic albums on Prestige including his debut solo Brother Jack in 1960, The Honeydripper (1961), with tenor saxophonist Jimmy Forrest and guitarist Grant Green, and Brother Jack Meets The Boss (1962), featuring Gene Ammons, and Screamin’ (1962).
After his tenure at Prestige, McDuff joined the Atlantic Records label for a brief period and then in the 70s recorded for Blue Note. To Seek a New Home (1970) was recorded in England with a line-up featuring blues shouterJimmy Witherspoon and some of Britain's top jazz musicians of the day, including Terry Smith on guitar and Dick Morrissey on tenor sax.
The decreasing interest in jazz and blues during the late 70s and 1980s meant that many jazz musicians went through a lean time and it wasn't until the late 1980s, with The Re-Entry, recorded for the Muse label in 1988, that McDuff once again began a successful period of recordings, initially for Muse, then on the Concord Jazz label from 1991. George Benson appeared on his mentor’s 1992 Colour Me Blue album.
Despite health problems, McDuff continued working and recording throughout the 1980s and 1990s, and toured Japan with Atsuko Hashimoto in 2000. "Captain" Jack McDuff, as he later became known, died of heart failure at the age of 74 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
52-James P. Johnson (1894-1955)
The bridge between ragtime and jazz. The teacher of Fast Weller, both considered the creators of stride style. Before oh this, with Jelly Roll Morton, James took part in the evolution of ragtime piano (with his sustained syncopation) into jazz. Along with Fats Waller and Willie 'The Lion' Smith are considered “'The Big Three”.
James Price Johnson, James P. Johnson, also known as Jimmy Johnson, was born in New Brunswick, New Jersey, United States. His mother, Josephine Harrison was a part of the choir at the Methodist Church and was also a self-taught pianist. Johnson later attributed the popular African-American songs and dances at home and around the city as early influences on his musical taste.
Despite he was considered the king of New York jazz pianists through most of the 1930s, inside jazz history is often overlooked, and for it he has been referred to by Reed College musicologist David Schiff, as "The Invisible Pianist". As all the piano giant players of this series he was a great composer and many of his songs were hit tunes including "Charleston" and "If I Could be With You One Hour Tonight" “Carolina Shout”.
Johnson grew up listening to the ragtime of Scott Joplin and always retained links to the ragtime era, playing and recording Joplin's "Maple Leaf" and "Euphonic Sounds". He got his first job as a pianist in 1912, decided to pursue his musical career rather than return to school. From 1913 to 1916 Johnson spent time studying the European piano tradition with Bruto Giannini. Over the next four to five years Johnson continued to progress his ragtime piano skills by studying other pianists and composing his own rags.
In 1914 Johnson met Willie Smith. Smith and Johnson shared many of the same ideas regarding entertainers and their stage appearance.
Before 1920 made dozens of player piano roll recordings and followed to 1927. This year he met George Gershwin, who was also a young piano-roll artist at Aeolian.
Johnson was a pioneer in the stride playing of the jazz piano. “Stride piano has often been described as an orchestral style and indeed, in contrast to boogie-woogie blues piano playing, it requires a fabulous conceptual independence, the left hand differentiating bass and mid-range lines while the right supplies melodic issues.” In contrast to ragtime, stride more frequently incorporates elements of the blues, as well as harmonies more complex than usually found in the works of classic ragtime composers. Lastly, while ragtime was for the most part a composed music, based on European light classics such as marches, pianists such as Waller and Johnson introduced their own rhythmic, harmonic and melodic figures into their performances and, occasionally, spontaneous improvisation
He was the favorite sideman of singers as Ethel Waters and Bessie Smith.
In 1922, Johnson became the musical director for the revue Plantation Days. This revue took him to England for our months in 1923. During the summer of 1923 Johnson, along with the help of lyricist Cecil Mack, wrote the revue Runnin’ Wild. This revue stayed on tour for more than five years as well as showing on Broadway.
In the depression era, Johnson's career slowed down somewhat. The Johnson archives include the letterhead of an organization called "Friends of James P. Johnson", ostensibly founded at the time (presumably in the late 1930s) in order to promote his then-idling career. In the late 1930s Johnson slowly started to re-emerge with the revival of interest in traditional jazz and began to record, with his own and other groups, at first for the HRS label. Johnson's appearances at the Spirituals to Swing concerts at Carnegie Hall in 1938 and 1939 were organized by John Hammond, for whom he recorded a substantial series of solo and band sides in 1939.
Johnson suffered a stroke in August 1940. When Johnson returned to action, in 1942, he began a heavy schedule of performing, composing, and recording, leading several small live and groups, now often with racially integrated bands led by musicians such as Eddie Condon, Yank Lawson, Sidney de Paris, Sidney Bechet, Rod Cless, and Edmond Hall.
In 1945, Johnson performed with Louis Armstrong and heard his works at Carnegie Hall and Town Hall.
In the late 1940s, Johnson had a variety of jobs, including jam sessions at Stuyvesant Casino and Central Plaza, as well as becoming a regular on Rudi Blesh's radio show.
Johnson permanently retired from performing after suffering a severe, paralyzing stroke in 1951. Johnson survived financially on his songwriting royalties while he was paralyzed. He died four years later in Jamaica, New York and is buried in Mount Olivet Cemetery in Maspeth, Queens. John Hammond writed in Down Beat "Talents of James P. Johnson Went Unappreciated".
Most of the stride pianists of the 1920s, 1930s and 1940s were not particularly good improvisers. Rather, they would play their own, very well worked out, and often rehearsed variations on popular songs of the day, with very little change from one performance to another. It was in this respect that Johnson distinguished himself from his colleagues, in that (in his own words), he "could think of a trick a minute". Comparison of many of Johnson's recordings of a given tune over the years demonstrates variation from one performance to another, characterised by respect for the melody, and reliance upon a worked out set of melodic, rhythmic, and harmonic devices, such as repeated chords, serial thirds (hence his admiration for Bach), and interpolated scales, on which the improvisations were based. This same set of variations might then appear in the performance of another tune.
James P. Johnson may be thought of as the last major pianist of the classic ragtime era, and, the first major jazz pianist, and, therefore, as an indispensable bridge between ragtime and jazz.
53-James Reese Europe (1881 –1919)
In 1910 Europe organized the Clef Club, a society for African Americans in the music industry.
In 1912, the club made history when it played a concert at Carnegie Hall for the benefit of the Colored Music Settlement School. The Clef Club Orchestra, while not a jazz band, was the first band to play proto-jazz at Carnegie Hall. It is difficult to overstate the importance of that event in the history of jazz in the United States — it was 12 years before the Paul Whiteman and George Gershwin concert at Aeolian Hall.
Europe was known for his outspoken personality and unwillingness to bend to musical conventions, particularly in his insistence on playing his own style of music.
In 1913 and 1914 he made a series of phonograph records for the Victor Talking Machine Company. These recordings are some of the best examples of the pre-jazz hot ragtime style of the U.S. Northeast of the 1910s.
The Clef Orchestra had 125 members !!!!!!!!! and played on various occasions between 1912 and 1915 in Carnegie Hall.
After his return home in February 1919 he stated, “I have come from France more firmly convinced than ever that Negros should write Negro music.
In 1919 Europe made more recordings for Pathé Records. These include both instrumentals and accompanyments with vocalist Noble Sissle who, with Eubie Blake, would later have great success with their 1921 production of Shuffle Along, which gives us the classic song "I'm Just Wild About Harry". Differing in style from Europe's recordings of a few years earlier, they incorporate blues, blue notes, and early jazz influences (including a rather stiff cover record of the Original Dixieland Jass Band's "Clarinet Marmalade").
On the night of May 9, 1919, Europe performed for the last time. During the intermission Europe went to have a talk with two of his drummers, Steve and Herbert Wright. After Europe criticized some of their behavior (walking off stage during others’ performances), Herbert Wright was able to stab Europe in the neck.
…… had been stabbed by one of his own musicians…
At the time of his death he was the best-known African-American bandleader in the United States. He is buried in Arlington National Cemetery.
Nicknamed 'Little Professor' and cousin of blues singer Ada Brown, James (color), is regarded as one of the three most important composers of classic ragtime, along with Scott Joplin (color) and Joseph Lamb (white)
James Sylvester Scott was born in Neosho, Missouri to James Scott Sr. and Molly Thomas Scott, both former slaves. In 1901 his family moved to Carthage, Missouri, where he attended Lincoln High School. In 1902 he began working at the music store of Charles L. Dumars, first washing windows, then demonstrating music at the piano as asong plugger, including his own pieces. Demand for his music convinced Dumars to print the first of Scott's published compositions, "A Summer Breeze - March and Two Step", in 1903.
Ragtime Historians Rudi Blesh and Harriet Janis account that Scott went to St. Louis, Missouri in search of his idol Scott Joplin in 1905. He located Joplin and asked if he would listen to one of his ragtime compositions. Upon hearing the rag, Joplin introduced him to his own publisher, John Stillwell Stark, and recommended he publish the work. Stark published the rag a year later as "Frog Legs Rag". It quickly became a hit and was second in sales in the Stark catalogue only to that of Joplin's own "Maple Leaf Rag".Scott became a regular contributor to the Stark catalogue until 1922.
In 1914 Scott moved to Kansas City, Missouri, where taught music, and accompanied silent movies as an organist and arranger at the Panama Theater. His cousin Patsy Thomas remembers, "Everybody called him 'Little Professor'. He always walked rapidly, looking at the ground - would pass you on the street and never see you - seemed always deep in thought."
In the last years of his life, Scott busied himself with teaching, composing and leading an eight-piece band that played for various beer parks and movie theaters in the area. With the arrival of sound movies, however, his fortunes declined. He lost his theater work, his wife died without child, and his health deteriorated.
He moved in with his cousin Ruth Callahan in Kansas City, Kansas, and even though was suffering from chronic dropsy (hidropesía), he continued to compose and playing piano.
Scott died at Douglas Hospital in 1938 at age 52 and was laid beside his wife in Westlawn Cemetery.
55- James Williams (1951-2004)
At 22, Williams moved to Boston to accept a teaching position!!!!!!!! at the Berklee College of Music .
James Williams was born in Memphis, Tennessee. He began his formal piano studies at age 13, and was subsequently an organist at Eastern Star Baptist Church in Memphis, a position he held for six years.
A devotee of the late Memphis piano giant Phineas Newborn, Jr.,
At 22, Williams moved to Boston to accept a teaching position at the Berklee College of Music.
A year later, he joined drummer Alan Dawson’s group, which provided support in the Boston area for touring artists.
In 1977, Williams recorded his first album as a leader, played his first concert featuring his original compositions, and first met Art Blakey. That encounter ultimately led to James’s resigning from the Berklee faculty for a four-year, 10-album tenure with the Jazz Messengers, as part of the famous lineup which included Wynton Marsalis, Bobby Watson, Bill Pierce and Charles Fambrough.
After leaving the Messengers in 1981, James remained in Boston, re-joining Alan Dawson and also playing independently with such artists as Thad Jones, Joe Henderson, Clark Terry, Chet Baker and Benny Carter.
In 1984, Williams moved to New York, residing in Brooklyn and becoming deeply involved in the city’s musical activities, omnipresent in jazz clubs. He played, toured and recorded with such prominent artists as Dizzy Gillespie, Ray Brown, Art Farmer, Kenny Burrell, Freddie Hubbard and Tony Williams.
As a leader, James worked in a broad range of formats.
His James’s last group, “Intensive Care Unit,” a jazz-gospel ensemble featuring two vocalists, saxophone and rhythm section.
After self-producing his own album Alter Ego for Sunnyside Records in 1984, he went on to produce albums for several other musicians.
Williams was also a prolific composer with a unique voice.
Williams was also a dedicated and longtime educator. As early as 1975, in addition to his responsibilities at Berklee, he was a faculty member of the National Combo Camp. He also held a teaching position at the Hartt School of Music during the 1984-85 academic year, was a regular contributor to the International Association of Jazz Educators. In 1999, he became Director of Jazz Studies at William Paterson University,
He had an unexpected death of liver cancer in 2004. The James Williams Archive is now part of the Living Jazz Archives on the William Paterson campus, containing his LP collection, original manuscripts, hundreds of performance tapes, photos and awards.
56-Jess Stacy (1904 –1995)
Unusually for a famous 'jazzer', at the end of his career, Stacy took regular jobs until he was able to retire. For a time Stacy worked as a salesman, then warehouseman, then postman, for Max Factor cosmetics.
He was an American jazz pianist who gained prominence during the swing era. He is perhaps best known for his years with the Benny Goodman band during the late 1930s, particularly his performance at Goodman's legendary Carnegie Hall concert in 1938.
Stacy was born Jesse Alexandria Stacy in Bird's Point, Missouri.
In 1918 Stacy moved to Cape Girardeau, Missouri. There Stacy received his only formal music training studying under Professor Clyde Brandt.
By 1920 Stacy was playing piano in saxophonist Peg Meyer’s jazz ensemble.
By 1921 the ensemble was known as Peg Meyer's Melody Kings and started touring the Mississippi River on 'The Majestic' and other riverboats.
In the early 1920s Stacy moved 'upriver' to Chicago, Illinois, where he received notice performing with Paul Mares, leader of the New Orleans Rhythm Kings, playing a genre of jazz which came to be called “Chicago-style”.
Stacy cites his main influences in the pianist Earl Hines, pianist for Louis Armstrong. Stacy would frequently go to wherever Hines was playing.
Stacy’s big break came in 1935 when Benny Goodman asked Stacy to join his band. Stacy moved to New York, and spent the four years from 1935-1939 with the Benny Goodman Orchestra. He reached a personal peak when he performed with Goodman band at its famous 1938 Carnegie Hall jazz concert on 16 January 1938, the first jazz concert ever played at the venue. In this concert Stacy was the star and played some brilliant and unplanned (inesperado) piano solos during "Sing, Sing, Sing”, "EcStacy" and "The Sell Out". Unplanned solos because Teddy Wilson was the regular pianist for the Benny Goodman quartet, the most acclaimed of Goodman's bands. A 1939 review of 'Jess Stacy' (Commodore 1503) stated:"These were the best solos ever recorded by Jess Stacy”.
After leaving the Goodman Orchestra, Stacy joined the Bob Crosby (Bing Crosby's brother) Orchestra and his famous small jazz group the Bob Crosby Bob-Cats. During this period he won the national Down Beat piano polls in 1940, 1941, 1942, and 1943.
Stacy spent six months with the Tommy Dorsey band.
In 1950 he moved to Los Angeles California. As with many jazz 'stars', his career declined to mostly club work. Finally one evening, he retired from public performances.
Unusually for a 'jazzer', Stacy took regular jobs until he was able to retire. For a time Stacy worked as a salesman, then warehouseman, then postman, for Max Factor cosmetics.
Later, he would be "re-discovered" as fame of his past career became known. However Stacy was selective in his performances. After his brief and 'selective' revival in the 1970s, Stacy again retired from the music scene and lived a quiet existence with his third wife, Patricia Peck Stacy. Stacy and Peck lived in Los Angeles and were married very happily for forty-five years.
Stacy died of congestive heart failure in Los Angeles, California on January 1, 1995.
Since his passing Stacy has gained new attention and honors. In 1996 he was inducted into the Big Band and Jazz Hall of Fame, and in 1998 a biography of him Jess Stacy: The Quiet Man of Jazz. a Biography and Discography was published.
57-Jelly Roll Morton (1890 –1941)
Widely recognized as a pivotal figure in “early/primitive/embryonic jazz” but is not true that he is the father of jazz, this one is clearly the cornetist Buddy Bolden and his band. As a consequence of performing as pianist in his youth in brothels (burdeles) of Storyville (N. Orleans), his nickname "Jelly Roll" was the black slang for female genitalia. Morton's piano style was formed from “ragtime” and "shout" (shout music is a type of gospel music characterized by very fast tempo). He clearly influenced the born of stride piano and the a type of blues, the “boogie woogie” derived of “barrelhouse” (an early form of jazz with wild, improvised piano, and an accented two-beat rhythm, performed in low category saloon /bar but not necessarily of whores). In addition is was one of fathers of latin jazz (habanera, tango) but the habanera rhythm is too of Buddy Bolden!!!!!. For me, the more important was that Morton changed the classical harmony playing frequently a diminished 5th above the melody and changed the bassline introducing the major sixths in the bass, instead of tenths or octaves, a characteristic of bass-blues comping in that time!!!!!!!
His composition "Jelly Roll Blues" was the first published jazz composition, in 1915. Morton is also notable for naming and popularizing the "Spanish Tinge" !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (habanera rhythm and tresillo).
With his usual arrogance and self-promotion, Morton claimed to have invented jazz outright in 1902—. The jazz historian, musician, and composer Gunther Schuller says of Morton's that there is "no proof to the contrary". However, the scholar Katy Martin has argued that Morton's bragging was exaggerated by Alan Lomax in the book Mister Jelly Roll, and this portrayal has influenced public opinion and scholarship on Morton since.
Ferdinand was born into a Creole of Color family in the Faubourg Marigny neighborhood of downtown New Orleans, Louisiana. Sources differ as to his birth date: 1884, 1885, 1889, 1890 !!!!. After his parents separated, his mother married a man named Mouton. Ferdinand took his stepfather's name and anglicized it as "Morton".
Ferdinand started playing music as a child, showing early talent.
At the age of fourteen!!!!!, Morton began working as a piano player in a brothel (burdel) (whorehouse, bawdy house) (whore: puta) (bawdy: obsceno/verde) (or as it was referred to then, a sporting house, ) in Storyville, New Orleans City (today Storyville Records is one of the world's greatest jazz record labels and the oldest independent jazz label in Europe), . While working there, he was living with his religious, church-going great-grandmother; he had her convinced that he worked as a night watchman in a barrel factory. After Morton's grandmother found out that he was playing jazz in a local brothel, she kicked him out of her house.
In that atmosphere, he often sang smutty lyrics; he took the nickname "Jelly Roll", which was black slang for female genitalia.
Tony Jackson, also a pianist and guitarist at brothels was a major influence on Morton's music. Jelly Roll said that Jackson was the only pianist better than he was.
Around 1904, Morton started touring in the American South, working with minstrel (juglar) shows. He got to Chicago in 1910 and New York City in 1911, where future stride greats James P. Johnson and Willie "The Lion" Smith caught his act, years before the blues were widely played in the North.
In 1912–1914, Morton toured with his girlfriend Rosa Brown as a vaudeville act before settling in Chicago for three years.
In 1915 his "Jelly Roll Blues" was arguably the first jazz composition ever published, recording as sheet music. Despite the name of this song is not really a blues!!!!!!!!!.
Morton was invited to play in a new Vancouver (Canadá) nightclub called The Patricia, on East Hastings Street. The jazz historian Mark Miller described his arrival as "an extended period of itinerancy as a vaudeville pianist”.
In 1923 Morton returned to Chicago to claim authorship of his recently published rag, "The Wolverines", which had become a hit as "Wolverine Blues" in the Windy City. He released the first of his commercial recordings, first as piano rolls, then on record, both as a piano soloist and with various jazz bands. This same year Jelly writed the notation of Buddy Bolden´ Blues, a primitive blues composition of this famous cornetist, called by Bolden as "Funky Butt" which represents moreover one of the earliest references to the concept of "funk" in popular music, now a musical subgenre. “Funky Butt/Buddy Bolden´Blues” is a composition of 8 bars and without V-IV step, which Bolden never transcripted to musical notes. Buddy Bolden is considered the real father of jazz music. The Buddy Bolden Band, the first band known, with the trombonist Willy Cornish, clarinetists Willy Warnes o Frank Lewis, double bassist Jimmy Johnson and the first jazz guitarist known Brock Munford, created an exciting and novel fusion of ragtime, black sacred music, marching-band music, and rural blues, the primitive jazz. .The “Buddy Bolden Blues” notation was really the first notation known of a blues song composed before the 1900 when the blues not existed. known as King Bolden, his band was a top draw in New Orleans (the city of his birth) from about 1900 until 1907, when he was incapacitated by schizophrenia. Bolden suffered an episode of acute psychosis in 1907 at the age of 30. With the full diagnosis of dementia praecox, he was admitted to the Louisiana State Insane Asylum at Jackson, a mental institution, where he spent the rest of his life.. He left no known surviving recordings, but he was known for his very loud sound and constant improvisation. Bolden is also credited with the discovery or invention of the so-called "Big Four", a key rhythmic innovation on the marching band beat, which gave embryonic jazz much more room for individual improvisation. As Wynton Marsalis explains, the Big Four was the first syncopated bass drum pattern to deviate from the standard on-the-beat march. In addition, the second half of the Big Four is the pattern commonly known as the habanera rhythm, one of the most basic rhythmic cells in Afro-Latin and sub-Saharan African music traditions.
In 1926, Morton succeeded in getting a contract to record for the largest and most prestigious company in the United States,Victor, Chicago (The actual RCA Red Seal label was begun in 1902 by the Gramophone Company in the United Kingdom and was quickly adopted by its United States affiliate, the Victor Talking Machine Company), recording as Jelly Roll Morton & His Red Hot Peppers. The Red Hot Peppers featured such other New Orleans jazz luminaries as Kid Ory, Omer Simeon, George Mitchell, Johnny St. Cyr, Barney Bigard,Johnny Dodds, Baby Dodds, and Andrew Hilaire. Jelly Roll Morton & His Red Hot Peppers were one of the first acts booked on tours by MCA.
In 1928 he moved to New York City, where Morton continued to record for Victor. Although he recorded with the noted musicians clarinetists Omer Simeon,George Baquet, Albert Nicholas, Wilton Crawley, Barney Bigard, Lorenzo Tio and Artie Shaw, trumpeters Bubber Miley,Johnny Dunn and Henry "Red" Allen, saxophonists Sidney Bechet, Paul Barnes and Bud Freeman, bassist Pops Foster, and drummers Paul Barbarin, Cozy Cole and Zutty Singleton, Morton generally had trouble finding musicians who wanted to play his style of jazz. His New York sessions failed to produce a hit.
With the Great Depression and the near collapse of the record industry, Victor did not renew Morton's recording contract for 1931.
Morton continued playing in New York, but struggled financially.
In 1935, Morton moved to Washington, D.C., to become the manager/piano player of a bar ((not a nighclub but net to it)) called, at various times, the "Music Box", "Blue Moon Inn", and "Jungle Inn" in the African-American neighborhood of Shaw. (The building that hosted the nightclub stands at 1211 U Street NW) Morton was also the master of ceremonies, bouncer, and bartender of the club. He lived in Washington for a few years but he did not earn much money. The club owner allowed all her friends free admission and drinks, which prevented Morton from earn a lot of money.
In 1938 Morton was stabbed!!!!!!!!!!!!!! by a friend of the owner and suffered wounds to the head and chest. After this incident his wife Mabel demanded that they leave Washington. From then he continued suffering from respiratory problems
In May 1938, the folklorist Alan Lomax invited Morton to record music and interviews for the Library of Congress. Despite the low fidelity of these non-commercial recordings, their musical and historical importance have attracted numerous jazz fans, and they have helped to ensure Morton's place in jazz history. In his interviews, Morton claimed to have been born in 1885. He was aware that if he had been born in 1890, he would have been slightly too young to make a good case as the inventor of jazz. He said in the interview that cornetist Buddy Bolden played ragtime & blues but not jazz; this is not accepted by the consensus of Bolden's other New Orleans contemporaries.
Morton died on July 10, 1941 after an eleven-day stay in Los Angeles County General Hospital with a respiratory disease. According to the jazz historian David Gelly in 2000, the Morton's arrogance and "bumptious" (engreido) did that many musicians did not attende his funeral except for Kid Ory, Mutt Carey, Fred Washington and Ed Garland, which were among his pall bearers (porteadores del féretro). The story notes the absence of Duke Ellington and Jimmie Lunceford, both of whom were appearing in Los Angeles at the time. (The article is reproduced in Alan Lomax's biography of Morton, Mister Jelly Roll, University of California Press, 1950.)
The interviews of Alan Lomax in 1938, released in different forms over the years, were released on an eight-CD boxed set in 2005, The Complete Library of Congress Recordings. This collection won two Grammy Awards. The same year, Morton was honored with the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.
Morton's piano style was formed from “ragtime” and "shout" (Shout music is a type of gospel music characterized by very fast tempo) which also influenced the New York school of stride piano. Morton's playing was also close to “barrelhouse” (an early form of jazz with wild, improvised piano, and an accented two-beat rhythm, performed in low category saloon /bar but not necessarily of whores), which resulted in boogie woogie, a precursor of blues music. Boogie-woogie music is !!!!! “eight-to-the-bar” piano style!!! vs “twelve-to the-bar” of blues music & rock´n roll." (although primitive blues had eight-to-the bar: example: “Blues of Buddy Bolden”).
Morton also changed the classical harmony playing frequently a diminished 5th above the melody and changed the bassline introducing the major sixths in the bass, instead of tenths or octaves, a characteristic of bass-blues comping, a characteristic of bass-blues comping in that time!!!!!!!. The major sixth is essential in bass comping of classic and modern blues and it is included for the most guitarists as an obliged note in the building of his solos.
58-Jessica Williams (1948)
Williams was born in Baltimore, Maryland. She began her music career young, taking piano lessons at the age of four and began classical training at the Peabody Conservatory of Music when she was seven. She moved to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania during her teens and began playing with the quintet of Philly Joe Jones, the former Miles Davis drummer.
In 1977, she moved to San Francisco, California, where she played in various house bands, such as for Eddie Harris, Dexter Gordon, Tony Williams, and Stan Getz. She also became the house pianist for Keystone Korner. She recorded for Candid, Fantasy, Timeless, Concord, Jazz Focus, Hep, and MaxJazz record labels.
She began her own label in 1997, called Red and Blue Recordings, on which to release her own original material. She also owns her own publishing company, JJW Music, and runs her own Internet CD mail-order business, jessicawilliams.com.
59-Jimmy McGriff (1936 – 2008)
His album “Blues for Mister Jimmy” is one of his finest examples of blues-based jazz.
McGriff became entranced by the organ sound by two motifs: a) his childhood friend, organist Jimmy Smith had earned a substantial reputation in jazz for his Blue Note records; b) the organist Richard "Groove" Holmes played at his sister's wedding with a lot of success among assistants.
Holmes went on to become McGriff's teacher.
McGriff bought his first Hammond B-3 organ in 1956, spent six months learning the instrument, then studied at New York's Juilliard School. He also studied privately with Milt Buckner, Jimmy Smith, and Sonny Gatewood.
During this time, McGriff also accompanied Carmen McRae.
In 1961, McGriff's trio did an instrumental cover of Ray Charles' hit "I've Got a Woman". Then Sue label picked it up and recorded a full album of McGriff's trio, released in 1962. McGriff recorded a series of popular albums for the Sue label between 1962 and 1965, ending with what still stands as one of his finest examples of blues-based jazz, Blues for Mister Jimmy.
When producer Sonny Lester started his Solid State record label in 1966, he recruited McGriff to be his star attraction. McGriff was heard everywhere including pop hits ("Cherry", "The Way You Look Tonight") and funk classics (Electric Funk and singles such as "The Worm" and "Step 1").
During this time, McGriff performed at clubs and concert halls worldwide.
Beginning in 1969, he also performed regularly with drummer Buddy Rich's band, though the two were only recorded once together in 1974 on The Last Blues Album Volume 1.
McGriff tried to retire from the music industry in 1972 to start a horse farm in Connecticut, but Sonny Lester's new record company, Groove Merchant, kept issuing McGriff records at a rate of three or four a year. By 1973, McGriff was touring relentlessly and actively recording again.
By 1980, McGriff broke away from Sonny Lester and began working actively with producer Bob Porter.
In 1986, McGriff started a popular partnership with alto saxophone player Hank Crawford for ten years.
Along with the soul-jazz sound, McGriff experienced renewed popularity in the mid-1990s, forming The Dream Team group, which featured David "Fathead" Newman (a longtime saxophonist with Ray Charles) and drummer Bernard Purdie, and recording the Straight Up (1998), McGriff's House Party (2000), Feelin' It (2001), and McGriff Avenue (2002) albums.
60-Jimmy Smith (1925/1928– 2005)
Important in the jazz history not only for being a fantastic organist but because his 1972 album Root Down is considered a seminal influence on later generations of funk and hip-hop musicians. Moreover is often called the father of acid jazz.
James Oscar "Jimmy" Smith was an American jazz musician who achieved the rare distinction of releasing a series of instrumental jazz albums that often charted on Billboard. Smith helped popularize the Hammond B-3 electric organ, creating an indelible link between sixties soul and jazz improvisation.
Born James Oscar Smith in Norristown, Pennsylvania.
Smith's birth year is of some confusion, with various sources citing either 1925 or 1928.
At the age of six he joined his father doing a song-and-dance routine in clubs. He began teaching himself to play the piano. When he was nine, Smith won a Philadelphia radio talent contest as a boogie-woogie pianist. Boogie-woogie music is !!!!! “eight-to-the-bar” piano style!!! vs “twelve-to the-bar” of blues music & rock´n roll." (although primitive blues had eight-to-the bar: example: “Blues of Buddy Bolden”).
After a stint (temporada) in the navy, he began furthering his musical education in 1948, with a year at Royal Hamilton College of Music, then the Leo Ornstein School of Music in Philadelphia in 1949.
He began exploring the Hammond organ in 1951. From 1951 to 1954 he played piano & organ in Don Gardner and the Sonotones. He switched to organ permanently in 1954 after hearing Wild Bill Davis (the pioneer of jazz organ join to Fats Waller & Count Basie).
He purchased his first Hammond organ, rented a warehouse to practice in and emerged after little more than a year. Upon hearing him playing in a Philadelphia club, Blue Note's Alfred Lion immediately signed him to the label and his second album, The Champ, quickly established Smith as a new star on the jazz scene.
He was a prolific recording artist and, as a leader, dubbed The Incredible Jimmy Smith, he recorded around forty sessions for Blue Note in just eight years beginning in 1956.
The 1972 album Root Down, considered a seminal influence on later generations of funk and hip-hop musicians. He was recorded live at the club, albeit with a different group of backing musicians.
Holle Thee Maxwell, then known as Holly Maxwell, was Smith's vocalist for two years in the late 1970s.
Smith and his wife Lola moved to Scottsdale, Arizona, in 2004, but Lola died of cancer a few months later.
Smith was found dead on February 8, 2005, at his Scottsdale home by his manager, Robert Clayton. He was deemed to have died in his sleep of natural causes.
Jimmy Smith and Brother Jack McDuff influenced a constellation of jazz organists, including Jimmy McGriff, Don Patterson, Richard "Groove" Holmes, Joey DeFrancesco and Larry Goldings, as well as rock keyboardists such as Jon Lord, Brian Auger and Keith Emerson.
Often called the father of acid jazz, Smith lived to see that movement come to reflect Smith's organ style.
61-Jimmy Yancey (1894 – 1951)
James Edwards "Jimmy" Yancey, “Yancey bass”, was an African American boogie-woogie pianist, composer, and lyricist. One reviewer noted him as "one of the pioneers of this raucous, rapid-fire, !!!!! “eight-to-the-bar” piano style!!! vs “twelve-to the-bar” of blues music & rock´n roll." (although primitive blues had eight-to-the bar: example: “Blues of Buddy Bolden”). Distinctively, he ended many pieces in the key of E-flat, even if he had played in a different key right up to the ending.
Yancey was born in Chicago in (depending on the source) 1894 or 1898. His older brother, Alonzo Yancey (1894–1944) was also a pianist, while their father was a vaudeville guitarist and singer.
By age ten, Yancey had toured across the United States as a tap dancer and singer, and by twenty he had toured throughout Europe.
He began learning piano at the age of 15, after retiring from a career as a singer and dancer in vaudeville and by 1915 had become a noted pianist. His vaudeville career included a performance for the King and Queen of England at Buckingham Palace.
While he played in a boogie-woogie style, with a strong-repeated figure in the left hand and melodic decoration in the right, his playing was delicate and subtle, rather than hard driving. He popularized the left-hand figure that became known as the "Yancey bass". Distinctively, he ended many pieces in the key of E-flat, even if he had played in a different key right up to the ending.
Yancey did not record at all through his early career, performing only at house parties and clubs. His first recordings in 1939 created a considerable stir in blues and jazz circles.
While most of his recordings were solo, later in his career he and his wife Estelle Yancey recorded together (she as a vocalist) under the name 'Jimmy and Mama Yancey'. They appeared in concert at Carnegie Hall in 1948, and recorded their first album in 1951—released by Atlantic Records the following year.
During World War I, Yancey played baseball for the Chicago All-Americans, a Negro league baseball team. Throughout his life, he held a job as a groundskeeper (cuidador de cesped) for the Chicago White Sox.
He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1986.
Jimmy Yancey was a major influence on Chicago blues and boogie woogie piano. Yet for 30 years, until his death, he supported himself as a groundskeeper for the Chicago White Sox. His apartment was the scene of many gatherings in which the top Chicago pianists performed, including including Meade Lux Lewis and Albert Ammons.
62-Joe Sample (1939 – 2014)
One of three “total pianists”, the others are Clare Fischer and Jorge Dalto . One of parents of hard bop and funky (fusion between jazz and soul) styles. A pioneer in the electric keyboard.
Joseph Leslie "Joe" Sample was an American pianist, keyboard player, and composer. He was one of the founding members of the Jazz Crusaders, the band which became simply the Crusaders in 1971, and remained as member of the group until its final album in 1991 (not including the 2003 reunion album Rural Renewal).
In high school in the 1950s, Sample teamed up the Swingsters.
While studying piano at Texas Southern University, teamed up the Modern Jazz Sextet and then the Jazz Crusaders. Sample never took a degree from the university !!!!!!!.
In 1960, he and the Jazz Crusaders made the move from Houston to Los Angeles.
The Jazz Crusaders played at first in the dominant hard bop style of the day. Another distinctive quality was the funky, rhythmically appealing acoustic piano playing of Sample, who helped steer the group's sound into a fusion between jazz and soul in the late 1960s. The Jazz Crusaders became a strong concert draw during those years.
In 1969 Sample made his first recording under his own name; Fancy Dance featured the pianist as part of a jazz trio.
In the 1970s, as the Jazz Crusaders became simply the Crusaders and branched out into popular sounds.
The electric keyboard was fairly new in the sixties, and Sample became one of the instrument's pioneers. He began to use the electric piano while the group retained their original name, and the group hit a commercial high-water mark with the hit single "Street Life" and the album of the same name in 1979. In 1978 he recorded Swing Street Café with guitarist David T. Walker.
Beginning in the early 1980s, he enjoyed a successful solo career and guested on many recordings by other performers and groups, performing jazz (Anita Baker, Miles Davis, George Benson), gospel, blues (B. B. King, Eric Clapton, Jimmy Witherspoo), Latin, rock (Steely Dan, Joe Cocker), soul (The Supremes, Marvin Gaye,), rock-soul (Tina Turner), folk (Joni Mitchell) and classical forms into his music. In 1983, MCA released Joe Sample's The Hunter LP, the more important work of his career. The guitarists Earl Klugh, Phil Upchurch and Dean Parks, featured a number of leading musicians of the day including Marcus Miller on bass (who was also working on Lonnie Liston Smith's Dreams of Tomorrow and Michael Jackson's Thriller) and Paulinho Da Costa on persussion. Sample was also joined on the album by Steve Gadd and Bob Wilson on drums, John Phillips on bass clarinet, and Abraham Laboriel on bass. The Hunter album has been transferred to CD from the original tapes but fans are still awaiting a remastered expanded edition with previously unreleased material and demos.
The Crusaders broke up after recording Life in the Modern World for the GRP label in 1987. Despite the disbanding of the Crusaders, the members would join each other to record periodically over the years releasing Healing the Wounds in the early '90s. Rural Renewal in 2003. In 2004 they performed a concert in Japan.
In 2007 he recorded Feeling Good with vocalist Randy Crawford.
On September 12, 2014, Sample died in Houston, Texas from complications from mesothelioma lung disease. He was 75 years old. Previously he suffered heart attacks — the most recent in 2009. In 2013, Sample was hospitalized with pneumonia.
63-Joe Zawinul (1932 – 2007)
With gypsy blood in his veins, USA immigrant, he was co-founded of, Weather Report, Joe was one of the creators of jazz fusion, an innovative musical genre that combined jazz with elements of rock and world music. A pioneer in the use of electric piano and synthesizers (along with Chick Corea and Herbie Hancock).
Josef Erich "Joe" Zawinul was an USA immigrant came from Austria in 1959 to study in Boston.
Zawinul was born and grew up in Landstraße, as a son of the worker Josef Zawinul, in Vienna, Austria, where he went to school with Thomas Klestil, who became Austrian Federal President. His grandmother was a Hungarian Sinti ("Gypsy"), and his grandfather was from southern Moravia.
Classically trained at the Konservatorium Wien, Zawinul played in various broadcasting and studio bands before emigrating to the U.S. in 1959 on a music scholarship at Berklee School of Music in Boston.
In the late 1960s, Zawinul recorded with Miles Davis's studio band and helped create the sound of jazz fusion. He played on the album In a Silent Way, the title track of which he composed, and the landmark album Bitches Brew, for which he contributed the twenty-minute track, "Pharaoh's Dance", which occupied the whole of side one.
Zawinul is known to have played live with Davis only once!!!!!!!!!!!!!, on July 10, 1991, in Paris, along with Wayne Shorter, shortly before Davis' death.
In 1970, Zawinul co-founded Weather Report with saxophonist and Davis alumnus Wayne Shorter (and later joined by Jaco Pastorius). Their first two years emphasized a relatively open, group improvisation format not dissimilar to what Miles Davis was doing in a more rock oriented format. However, Josef started making changes with their third album, Sweetnighter, citing he was "tired of waiting for something to happen". In the third album funk elements such as electric bass, wah-wah pedal, etc. began to be introduced to the band's sound. With their 4th album, Mysterious Traveller, the musical forms were now through-composed similar to classical music.
The band's biggest commercial success came from his composition "Birdland", a 6-minute opus featured on Weather Report's 1977 album Heavy Weather, which peaked at number 30 on the Billboard pop albums chart. "Birdland" is one of the most recognizable jazz pieces of the 1970s. The song won him three Grammys!!!!!!!.
Weather Report was active until the mid 1980s, with Zawinul and Shorter remaining the sole constant members through multiple personnel shifts. The two "final" albums were “Sportin' Life” and “This Is This!” . Shorter and Zawinul separated just after recording the first of these two albums. The second of these albums was obligated by a contract signed some years before.
Zawinul's playing style was often dominated by quirky melodic improvisations — traversing bebop, ethnic and pop styles. Zawinul also wrote a symphony, called Stories of the Danube, which was commissioned by the Brucknerhaus (a festival and congress centre in Linz, Austria, so named in honour of the Austrian composer Anton Bruckner). It was first performed as part of the Linzer Klangwolke (a large-scale open-air broadcast event), for the opening of the 1993 Bruckner Festival in Linz. It was recorded in 1995 by the Czech State Philharmonic Orchestra, Brno, conducted by Caspar Richter.
Absolute Zawinul, a CD recording by Absolute Ensemble, with music by Zawinul, is the last studio recording done during the year that Zawinul died in 2007, and features some of his original music as well as orchestrations by Absolute Ensemble member, Gene Pritsker, which he created in collaboration with Zawinul.
Zawinul became ill and was hospitalized in his native Vienna on August 7, 2007, after concluding a five-week European tour. He died a little over a month later from a rare and highly aggressive skin cancer, which, in most cases, is caused by the Merkel cell polyomavirus (MCV) (Merkel cell carcinoma) in 2007. He is buried in the Zentralfriedhof Cemetery in Vienna.
A number of prominent musical artists have honored Zawinul with compositions, notably Brian Eno's instrumental "Zawinul/Lava", John McLaughlin's instrumental "Jozy", Warren Cuccurullo's "Hey Zawinul", Bob Baldwin's "Joe Zawinul", Chucho Valdés's "Zawinul's Mambo", Biréli Lagrène's instrumental "Josef" and Toninho Horta's instrumental "Balada para Zawinul".
64-Joey DeFrancesco (1971)
Called the best B3 (Hammond organ) player on the planet by Jazz Times.
DeFrancesco signed his first record deal at the age of 16.
DeFrancesco was born in 1971 in Springfield, Pennsylvania. He was born into a musical family that included three generations of jazz musicians. He was named after his grandfather, Joseph DeFrancesco, a jazz musician who played the saxophone and clarinet. His father, "Papa" John DeFrancesco, was an organist who played nationally and received the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame's Living Legend Award in 2013.
DeFrancesco began playing the organ at the age of 4 and was playing songs by Jimmy Smith verbatim by the time he was 5. His father John began bringing him to gigs from the age of 5, letting him sit in on sets.
DeFrancesco attended the Philadelphia High School for the Creative and Performing Arts. During his high school years, DeFrancesco won numerous awards, including the Philadelphia Jazz Society McCoy Tyner Scholarship. He was also a finalist in the first Thelonious Monk International Jazz Piano Competition.
DeFrancesco was 16 years old when he signed an exclusive recording contract with Columbia Records.
At the age of 17 DeFrancesco joined Miles Davis and his band on a five-week concert tour in Europe. He followed up with playing keyboard on Davis' album Amandla which reached #1 on the Contemporary Jazz Albums chart in 1989.
DeFrancesco started playing the trumpet around the same time, inspired by the sound of Davis.
DeFrancesco began touring with his own quartet at the age of 18.
At the age of 22, he became a founding member of the group The Free Spirits along with McLaughlin and drummer Dennis Chambers. He toured with the group for 4 years and was part of several recordings, including the albums Tokyo Live and After the Rain. DeFrancesco is also credited with playing trumpet on the Tokyo Live album.
In 1999, DeFrancesco recorded his album Incredible! live at the San Francisco Jazz Festival. The album was released in 2000 and featured a performance by his idol and jazz legend Jimmy Smith, who joined DeFrancesco for the last few songs of the set.
In 2005, DeFrancesco released Legacy, an album that also featured Jimmy Smith. The album was Smith's last recording as he died in 2004 after it was recorded and before the 2005 release, just prior to going on tour with DeFrancesco.
DeFrancesco was nominated for a Grammy Award in 2004 for his record Falling in Love Again.
DeFrancesco was nominated for another Grammy Award in 2011 for Best Contemporary Jazz Album for Never Can Say Goodbye: The Music of Michael Jackson. The recording was released in 2010 as a tribute to Michael Jackson.
DeFrancesco's music style has been referred to as a swinging Philly (Philadelphia) sound which he "embellishes with his own ferocity and improvisation.
Called the best B3 player on the planet by Jazz Times.
Grammy nominations in 2004 and 2011.
DeFrancesco is a 9-time winner of the Down Beat Critics Poll and has won the Down Beat Readers Poll every year since 2005.
He has won a number of Jazz Times Awards.
65-John Lewis (1920 –2001)
John Aaron Lewis was, in addition to a great piano player, the musical director of the Modern Jazz Quartet. The best example of a refined chamber style of jazz music, really a neoclassical style of jazz. The father of "Third Stream" music, which was largely defined by the interweave between classical and jazz traditions.
John Lewis was born in La Grange, Illinois, and raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and began learning classical music and piano at the age of seven. He learnt working over classical works and composers such as Chopin, Bach and Beethoven.
Even though he learned piano by playing the classics, he was exposed to jazz from an early age because his aunt loved the swing and he would listen to the music she danced.
He attended the University of New Mexico, where he led a small dance band.
In 1942, Lewis entered the army and played piano alongside Kenny Clarke, who influenced him to move to New York once their service was over. Lewis moved to New York in 1945 to pursue his musical studies at the Manhattan School of Music and eventually graduated with a master's degree in music in 1953.
Influences: Lewis's influence came from the pianists he enjoyed listening specially to Art Tatum and Earl Hines. Lewis was also influenced by the improvisations of Lester Young on the saxophone. Lewis had not been the first to be influenced by a horn player. Earl Hines in his early years looked to Louis Armstrong's improvisations for inspiration and Bud Powell looked to Charlie Parker. Lewis was also heavily influenced by European classical music.
Once Lewis moved to New York, he and Clarke tried out for Dizzy Gillespie's bop-style big band. They both were admitted and, as composers, their song "Two Bass Hit" became an instant success. Lewis composed, arranged and played piano for the band from 1945 until 1948 after the band made a concert tour of Europe.
Then Lewis was an sideman for Charlie Parker and played on some of Parker's famous recordings, such as "Parker's Mood" (1948) and "Blues for Alice" (1951), but also collaborated with other prominent jazz artists such as Lester Young (tenor sax legend), Ella Fitzgerald (singer) and Illinois Jacquet (tenor and alto sax).
Lewis also was part of Miles Davis's Birth of the Cool sessions. Through 1948 and 1949, Lewis joined Davis's nonet and is considered "one of the more prolific arrangers with the 1949 Miles Davis Nonet". For the Birth of the Cool sessions, Lewis arranged "S'il Vous Plait", "Rouge", "Move" and "Budo".
Lewis, vibraphonist Milt Jackson, drummer Clarke and bassist Ray Brown had been the small group within the Gillespie big band, and they frequently played their own short sets. The small band received a lot of positive recognition and it led to the foursome forming a full-time working group, which they initially called the Milt Jackson Quartet in 1951 but in 1952 renamed the Modern Jazz Quartet.
The Modern Jazz Quartet was formed out of the foursome's need for more freedom and complexity than Gillespie's big band, dance-intended sound allowed.
Lewis gradually transformed the group away from strictly 1940's bebop style, which served as a vehicle for an individual artist's improvisations, and instead oriented it toward a more refined, polished, chamber style of music. Lewis's compositions for The Modern Jazz Quartet developed a "neoclassical style" of jazz.
Lewis also made sure that the band was always dressed impeccably. Lewis believed that it was important to dress the way that they came across in their music: polished, elegant and unique. Lewis once said in an interview with Down Beatmagazine: "My model for that was Duke Ellington. was the most elegant band I ever saw".
The best examples of MJQ music is "Afternoon in Paris" and “Django”, both recorded with a simple guitar in the selfie-video-collection of our website.
Lewis was furthermore, head of faculty for the summer sessions held at the Lenox School of Jazz in Lenox, Massachusetts from 1957 to 1960, director of the annual Monterey Jazz Festivalin California from 1958 to 1983, and its musical consultant, and "he formed the cooperative big band Orchestra U.S.A., which performed and recorded Third Stream compositions (1962–65)". Orchestra U.S.A., along with all of Lewis's compositions in general, were very influential in developing "Third Stream" music, which was largely defined by the interweave between classical and jazz traditions. He also formed the Jazz and Classical Music Society in 1955, which hosted concerts in Town Hall in New York City that assisted in this new genre of classically influenced jazz to increase in popularity.
The MJQ disbanded in 1974 because Jackson felt that the band was not getting enough money for the level of prestige the quartet had in the music scene. During this break, Lewis taught at the City College of New York and at Harvard University.
In 1981, the Modern Jazz Quartet re-formed just for for a tour of Japan and the United States.
Lewis formed a sextet called the John Lewis Group.
In 1985, Lewis collaborated with Gary Giddins and Roberta Swann to form the American Jazz Orchestra.
Additionally, he continued to teach jazz piano to aspiring jazz students, which he had done throughout his career. His teaching style involved making sure the student was fluent in "three basic forms: the blues, a ballad, and a piece that moves".He continued teaching late into his life.
He also continued playing sporadically with the MJQ until 1999, when Jackson died.
Thomas Owen believes that Lewis' best pieces for the MJQ are Django, the ballet suite The Comedy (1962, Atl.), and especially the four pieces Versailles, Three Windows, Vendome and Concorde... combine fugal imitation and non-imitative polyphonic jazz in highly effective ways.
One of parents of Bossa Nova.
Alfredo José da Silva, popularly known as Johnny Alf, was a Brazilian musician.
Over his career, he recorded nine albums and appeared on nearly fifty others.
Johnny Alf was born in Vila Isabel, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. His family was of low socio-economic class relative to his musical colleagues. Alf was raised almost exclusively by his mother, his father having perished in combat in the valley of Paraíba when Alfredo was only three years of age, a casualty of the Brazilian Civil War of 1932.
Following the death of Alfredo’s father the family of two moved to Tijuca, a small town just Southwest of Rio de Janeiro where Alf’s mother had found employment and lodgings as a household maid.
Alfredo’s mother was able to enroll him at the IBEU (Instituto Brasil-Estados Unidos or Brazilian-American Institute), and it was there that Alf received his first formal musical training, studying classical piano with instructor Geni Bálsamo.
His preferences for the Jazz music led him to seek acceptance into the recently founded Sinatra-Farney Fan Club haunted by artists such as Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby, and Brazilian born Dick Farney (b. Farnésio Dutra, a Carioca), the owner of the club.
The jam sessions held by the Sinatra-Farney Fan Club provided Alf his first taste of collaborative music-making and public, musical performance. He played in others nightclubs in the Copacabana neighborhood of Rio, where he was noticed by later bossa nova pioneers. The club’s status being respectable enough around Rio for its members to be allowed to play (without pay) venues such as the Tijuca Tennis Club, the Fluminense Club, and the Athletic Association of the Bank of Brazil.
In 1952 Alf received his first professional break when he was hired as the pianist at the newly inaugurated Cantina do César (owner, César de Alencar, a popular radio host in Rio at the time) where his appointed task was, apparently, to “aid the digestion of the guests”. There Alf would receive frequent visits from artists such as pianist João Donato, vocalist Dolores Duran, and guitarist/vocalist João Gilberto would often accompany his colleagues in a duet or two before they were on their way.
The musical fare in the first years of Alf’s professional career rarely varied from the usual Samba-cançãoes and foxtrots (trote del zorro) (american dance born in USA in 1912!!!!!!!!!! And created, to dance in a funny way, by combo & big jazz bands!!!) .
As Alf’s modest reputation slowly grew he managed to catch the eye of producer Ramalho Neto, who in the same year, 1952, expressed interest in recording Alf. This brief pairing would produce Alf’s first two recordings. Alf assembled a trio (in the style of Nat “King” Cole) composed of guitarist Garoto, double-bassist Vidal, and himself on Piano and recorded two tunes: “Falseta” (Deceit) composed by Alf himself, and “De cigarro em cigarro” (From Cigarette to Cigarette) composed by fellow Brazilian Luiz Bonfá. similar rhythmically and structurally to the well-known samba-cançãos of the day, they differed only in their harmonic richness and their melodies, both of which aspects were heavily influenced by American jazz styles and improvisations of the late 1940s and early 1950s
Following these sessions Alf would continue to find nightly work in the clubs of Rio de Jainero, musical companions such as João Gilberto, João Donato, and eventually the young pianist Antonio Carlos Jobim, following him from venue to venue provided they could afford the cover fee. For two years Alf contented himself with ephemeral engagements at clubs including the Monte Carlo in Gávea, the Clube da Chave, the Mandarim, and the Drink before settling at the Hotel Plaza nightclub in 1954. The Hotel Plaza nightclub was known throughout Copacabana as a haunted venue, which conveniently allowed Alf the freedom to experiment musically to a degree that would not have been possible had he been playing for anyone other than his loyal fan-base. There he was able to play his own early compositions (“Rapaz De Bem”, “Céu E Mar”, and “O Que É Amar” among others) in a professional setting as well as the compositions of his colleagues and fellow innovators.
During the early hours of the evening Alf would hold impromptu jam sessions into the style later known as Bossa Nova.
In 1955, Alf was offered a position as the house pianist at a new club, Baiúca, opening in São Paulo. At Baiúca Alf would form a duo with himself on the piano and double-bassist Sabá. Unfortunately, however, the group had time only to establish a moderate following before the Baiúca was closed down for reasons pertaining to health-code violations.Once again Alf found himself pounding the pavement.
The musicians Alf had left in Rio had continued to innovate in his absence while he himself had had no time for anything more than the work required to earn his daily wages. By the time Alf recorded his first full-length LP (“Rapaz De Bem”) in 1961 his songs had begun to sound stale. His music was hailed (aclamado) as one of the progenitors of the Bossa Nova style but unbelievably he had always tried to distance himself from the connotations the title entailed and, in fact, declined an invitation to play at Carnegie Hall’s historic Bossa Nova Festival.
Sorrowfully, after 1961 very little was heard from Alf, he continued to produce albums infrequently throughout the 60s and early 70s many of which display a sound very similar to that which was displayed on “Rapaz De Bem”. The rest of Alf’s career would be spent in São Paulo, collaborating with other artists from time to time, occasionally embarking on solo recording projects, and earning most of his living from his performances in the clubs of São Paulo. Alf would eventually gain employment at a local conservatory of music.
Johnny Alf died on March 4, 2010, in Santo Andre, Brazil (just outside São Paulo, his home of the past fifty years) of complications caused by prostate cancer. He left no immediate survivors.
Alf has said of his own music: “I always played in my own style […] I had the idea of joining Brazilian music with jazz. I try to bring everything together to achieve an agreeable result”.
Clearly he had a great influence and inspiration to his peers, some of which would go on to acquire fame under the heading Bossa Nova. “From him I learned all of the modern harmonies that Brazilian music began to use in the bossa nova, samba-jazz and instrumental songs” said pianist and arranger João Donato, “He opened the doors for us with his way of playing piano, with its jazz influence. When my generation arrived, he had already planted the seeds” added guitarist and composer Carlos Lyra.
67-Johnnie Johnson (1924 –2005)
He was an American pianist and jazz & blues & rock´n roll musician. Father of Rock and Roll ?. His work with Chuck Berry led to his induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He had a serious drinking problem.
He was born Johnnie Clyde Johnson in Fairmont, West Virginia and began playing piano in 1928.
He joined the United States Marine Corps during World War II where he was a member of Bobby Troup's all serviceman jazz orchestra, The Barracudas. After his return, he moved to Detroit, Illinois and then Chicago, where he sat in with many notable artists, including Muddy Waters and Little Walter.
He moved to St. Louis, Missouri in 1952 and immediately put together a jazz and blues group, The Sir John Trio with drummer Ebby Hardy and saxophonist, Alvin Bennett. The three scored a regular gig at the Cosmopolitan Club in East St. Louis. On New Year's Eve 1952, Alvin Bennett had a stroke and could not perform. Johnson, searching for a last minute replacement, called a young man named Chuck Berry, the only musician Johnson knew who because of his inexperience, would likely not be playing on New Year's Eve. Although then a limited guitarist, Chuck Berry added vocals and showmanship to the group. As Bennett would not be able to play again because of his stroke, Johnson hired Berry as a permanent member of the trio.
The Chess brothers liked the tune and soon the trio were in Chicago recording "Maybellene" and "Wee Wee Hours" – a song Johnson had been playing as an instrumental for years for which Berry quickly penned some lyrics. By the time the trio left Chicago, Berry had been signed as a solo act and Johnson (piano) and Hardy (sax) became part of Berry's band.
Over the next 20 years, the two collaborated in the arrangements of many of Berry's songs but the pianist on the "Johnny B. Goode" session was not Johnson !!!!!!!!!!!!!! but Lafayette Leake, one of the two main session pianists for Chess brothers (the other being Otis Spann).
Berry and Johnson played and toured together until 1973. From then Johnson played occasionally with Berry until Johnson's death in 2005.
Johnson was known to have a serious drinking problem.
Johnson quit drinking entirely in 1991, after nearly suffering a stroke on stage with Eric Clapton.
Johnson received little recognition until the Chuck Berry concert documentary, Hail! Hail! Rock 'n' Roll in 1987.
In 1987, Johnson, Raymond Cantrell, and Stevie Lee Dodge made up the St.Charles Blues Trio.
In 1998, Johnson told Doug Donnelly of Monroenews.com that "Johnny B. Goode" was a tribute to him. "I played no part in nothing of Johnny B. Goode," Johnson said. “We were playing one night, I think it was Chicago, and he played it. Afterward, he told me it was a tribute to me. He did it on his own. I didn't know nothing about it. It was never discussed."
In 1999, Johnson's biography was released, Father of Rock and Roll: The Story of Johnnie B. Goode Johnson by 23-year-old Travis Fitzpatrick. The book was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize by Congressman John Conyers, and garnered Johnson more recognition.
In 2000, Johnson was inducted into the Rhythm and Blues Foundation.
In late 2004, Johnson recorded his final project, Johnnie Be Eighty. And Still Bad! It was recorded in St.Louis.
In November 2000, Johnson sued (demandó) Berry, alleging he deserved co-composer credits (and royalties) for dozens of songs, including "No Particular Place To Go", "Sweet Little Sixteen", and "Roll Over Beethoven", that credit Berry alone. The case was dismissed in less than a year because too many years had passed since the songs in dispute were written.
In 2005, he played piano on the 46th anniversary of the recording of "Johnnie B. Goode", at that same studio.
His last band still performs today as The Johnnie Johnson Band.
Johnson was the subject of a Homespun Tapes piano instructional video entitled The Blues/Rock Piano of Johnnie Johnson – Sessions with a Keyboard Legend. Originally released in 1999 (DVD version in 2005), the video is hosted by David Bennett Cohen, along with Johnson's band featuring guitarist Jimmy Vivino.
The Johnnie Johnson Blues & Jazz Festival is held annually in Fairmont West Virginia, only a few blocks from where Johnson was born.
68-Jorge Dalto ( 1948 – 1987)
One of three total pianists (the other Joe Sample and Clare Fischer), Jorge Pérez Roque Dalto, Jorge Dalto, was a pop, classical, salsa, jazz, the rhythms of Brazil, Afro-Cuban music pianist,
"With its presence was impossible to go unnoticed, with her coat reaching to the feet, could only see his face. Dark eyes like night and small beard around his mouth to be confused with their whiskers. Beneath the beret you could see her straight, black and very fine hair. his hands were thin and long fingers, hands were pianist ". Thus defined the Bulletin of the extraordinary Jorge Pérez Roque Dalto, illustrious citizen of the place and one of the most important pianists of the past 40 years. These words were written when 10 anniversary his death that, unfortunately for the world of music, occurred in 1987 after suffering a long illness being held. Dalto continued playing until his fingers were no longer responding to them, those fingers sliding on his trusty piano managed to make the world a little more interesting.
His mother, Porota, was a fan of opera while his father, Lelo, was bandoneon player and tango. His parents offered him the opportunity to study violin at the hands of the teacher Rosita Tagliafico, but soon decides to lean toward what will be one of the great loves of his life, piano, taking classes with Angela Luders.
In 1958 his family decided to emigrate to Buenos Aires where Dalto continues to receive training. Soon, with only 15 starts acting by night clubs of the capital of Argentina where it begins to become familiar with the tables for seven years.
Chicago will be your first destination to join a quintet of Latin music. Soon will found the Inter Sextet.
Two years later, with his musical backpack full of experience decides to land on the world capital of music, New York. Soon begins to contact Latin jazz groups such as Tito Puente and Machito's orchestra. In 1975 he was presented with Dizzy Gillespie in his "Dizzy Gillespie's Afro-Cuban Moods". Soon after, he became a member of the groups of Gato Barbieri and Ruben Blades.
Moreover in NYC is involved in the movement of fusion jazz, which in those times was in full swing, appearing on albums of bossa-jazz with Brazilian artist such as Djavan.
During the 80s was the leader of the Interamerican Band as a pianist and arranger. Moreover, with his band Super Friends that included authentic teachers as saxophonist David Sanborn, guitarist George Benson and Eric Gale or the drummers Steve Gadd and Buddy Williams. With them he recorded the "Rendezvous" extraordinary, released in 1983.
In May of 1983 Jorge Dalto makes a trip to Argentina where recorded a beautiful album that will be released exclusively on two cassettes named "Jorge Dalto Only Piano Vol. 1 & 2".
In 1985 he recorded "Urban Oasis" with its Interamerican Band, an excellent session that emphasized its strong Latin roots and his impressive command of the genre. That same year he also recorded "New York Nightline" (with its Superfriends), a magnificent work that has remained in a drawer until recently.
As often happens after his death in 1987 his recognition as an excellent pianist began to grow and has continued to do so ever since. But Dalto was no longer among us to reap the fruits of his impressive work. A real shame.
He died of cancer at the age of 39.
In "Piano Only", Jorge Dalto pinpoints one by one all the genres that interest you, from jazz to samba, through funk, Latin, fusion, classical and tango.
69-Joseph Lamb (1887 –1960)
The only non-African American of the "Big Three" composers of classical ragtime, the other two being Scott Joplin and James Scott. The main Lamb´ harmonic contributios were: emphasizes on the harmonic sonority of the diminished seventh. In addition, Lamb surpassed ragtime’s usual four-measure phrase structure.
Joseph Francis Lamb was a noted American composer of ragtimemusic. Lamb, of Irish descent, was the only non-African American of the "Big Three" composers of classical ragtime, the other two being Scott Joplin and James Scott.
In the summer of 1907 Scott Joplin went to New York to make contacts with new publishers and to find financial backing for Treemonisha, an opera he had been working on for the past few years. The Joplin met Joseph Lamb, a young white man who composed ragtime as an avocation. The two became friends and on Joplin’s recommendation John Stark published Lamb’s Sensation in 1908. Lamb went on to become one of ragtime’s great composers and during the rest of the ragtime years, the next decade, published only with Stark.
Lamb’s twelve rags published by Stark from 1908 to 1919 can be divided into two groups. A) The “heavy” rags which are incorporated with Scott Joplin’s melody–dominated style and James Scott’s expansive use of the keyboard registers: B) The “light” rags which have the cakewalk tradition show the narrow-range melodies inspired by Joplin.
Harmonic contributios: emphasizes on the harmonic sonority of the diminished seventh. In addition, Lamb surpassed ragtime’s usual four-measure phrase structure.
With the revival of interest in ragtime in the 1950s, Lamb shared his memories of Joplin and other early ragtime figures with music historians. (Many were surprised to find that not only was he still living, but that he was white.) He also composed some new rags but normally in tha time brought out some of his old compositions that had never been published making with them some recordings.
70-Keith Jarrett (1945)
He was great performing in both styles, jazz and classical music, in this style is a follower of the teachings of G. I. Gurdjieff (1866-1949),. In addition, his improvisations draw from the traditions of jazz and other genres, especially Western classical music, gospel, blues, and ethnic folk music. Jarrett has also played harpsichord, clavichord, organ, soprano saxophone, drums, various forms of percussion and many other instruments.
Keith was born in Allentown, Pennsylvania, to a mother of Austrian and Hungarian descent and a father of either French or Scotsch-Irish descent. He grew up in suburban Allentown with significant early exposure to music. Jarrett possessed absolute pitch, and he displayed prodigious musical talents as a young child. He began piano lessons just before his third birthday, and at age five he appeared on a TV talent program hosted by the swing bandleader Paul Whiteman. Jarrett gave his first formal piano recital at the age of seven, playing works by composers including Mozart, Bach, Beethoven, and Saint-Saëns, and ending with two of his own compositions. Encouraged especially by his mother, Jarrett took intensive classical piano lessons with a series of teachers, including Eleanor Sokoloff of the Curtis Institute.
In his teens, as a student at Emmaus High School in Emmaus, Pennsylvania, Jarrett learned jazz and quickly became proficient in it. In his early teens, he developed a strong interest in the contemporary jazz scene; a Dave Brubeck performance was an early inspiration.
Following his graduation from Emmaus High School in 1963, Jarrett moved from Allentown to Boston, Massachusetts, where he attended the Berklee College of Music and played cocktail piano in local clubs. After a year he moved to New York City, where he played at the Village Vanguard. Art Blakey hired Jarrett to play with the Jazz Messengers. DeJohnette talked to Jarrett and soon recommended him to his own band leader, Charles Lloyd. The Charles Lloyd Quartet had formed not long before. The Quartet's tours across America and Europe, even to Moscow, made Jarrett a widely noticed musician in rock and jazz underground circles.
In those years, Jarrett also began to record his own tracks as a leader of small informal groups, at first in a trio with Charlie Haden and Paul Motian with two albums.
In 1968 Jarrett was asked to join the Miles Davis group after the trumpeter heard him in a New York City club. During his tenure with Davis, Jarrett played both Fender Contempo electronic organ and Fender Rhodes electric piano, alternating with Chick Corea. After Corea left in 1970, Jarrett often played electric piano and organ simultaneously.
Since the early 1970s he has enjoyed a great deal of success as a group leader and a solo performer in jazz, jazz fusion, and classical music. Jarrett's first album for ECM, Facing You (1971), was a solo piano date recorded in the studio. In The Light, an album made in 1973, consists of short pieces for solo piano, strings, and various chamber ensembles, including a string quartet and a brass quintet, and a piece for cellos and trombones. This collection demonstrates a young composer's affinity for a variety of classical styles. Luminessence (1974) and Arbour Zena (1975) both combine composed pieces for strings with improvising jazz musicians, including Jan Garbarek and Charlie Haden.
From 1971 to 1976, Jarrett added saxophonist Dewey Redman to the existing trio with Haden and Motian. The so-called American quartet was often supplemented by an extra percussionist, such as Danny Johnson, Guilherme Franco, or Airto Moreira, and occasionally by rock-influenced guitarist Sam Brown.
The quartet's music is an amalgam of free jazz, straight-ahead post-bop, gospel music, and exotic, Middle-Eastern-sounding improvisations.
In the mid/late 1970s Jarrett led a "European quartet" concurrently with the American quartet, which was recorded by ECM. This combo consisted of saxophonist Jan Garbarek, bassist Palle Danielsson, and drummer Jon Christensen. They played in a style similar to that of the American quartet, but with many of the avant-garde and Americana elements replaced by the European folk and classical music influences that characterized the work of ECM artists at the time, e.g. Nude Ants album from 1979.
Jarrett became involved in a legal wrangle following the release of the album Gaucho in 1980 by the U.S. rock band Steely Dan.
The Celestial Hawk (1980) is a piece for orchestra, percussion, and piano that Jarrett performed and recorded with the Syracuse Symphony under Christopher Keene. This piece is the largest and longest of Jarrett's efforts as a classical composer.
In 1983, at the suggestion of ECM head Manfred Eicher,Jarrett asked bassist Gary Peacock and drummer Jack DeJohnette, with whom he had worked on Peacock's 1977 album Tales of Another, to record an album of jazz standards, simply titled Standards, Volume 1. Two more albums, Standards, Volume 2 and Changes, both recorded at the same session, followed soon after. The Jarrett-Peacock-DeJohnette trio also produced recordings that consist largely of challenging original material, including 1987's Changeless. Several of the standards albums contain an original track or two, some attributed to Jarrett, but most are group improvisations.
He has continued to record solo piano albums in the studio intermittently throughout his career, including Staircase (1976), The Moth and the Flame (1981. Book of Ways (1986) is a studio recording of clavichord solos. Jarrett's 100th solo performance in Japan was captured on video at Suntory Hall, Tokyo on April 14, 1987, and released the same year.
After a hiatus, Jarrett returned to the extended solo improvised concert format with Paris Concert (1990), Vienna Concert (1991), Bridge of Light (1993) (the last recording of classical compositions to appear under Jarrett's name) and La Scala (1995).
In the late 1990s, Jarrett was diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) and was unable to leave his home for long periods of time. It was during this period that he recorded The Melody at Night, With You (1999), a solo piano effort consisting of jazz standards presented with very little of the reinterpretation he usually employs. The album had originally been a Christmas gift to his second wife, Rose Anne.
By 2000, Jarrett had returned to touring, both solo and with the Standards Trio.