Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Piano: the other percussion instrument Part 2

This follow-up to Part 1 allows me to provide some of my personal favorite clips. all are heavily slanted towards rhythm, although the melody and harmony are unmistakable.

I'll start off with one of the most percussive pianists (and vocalists) I've had the pleasure of studying. This clip is from Jazz Voice Vol. 1: The Ladies Sing Jazz

I also recommend checking out Nina Simone: Her Greatest Hits.

A true joy to watch and hear is Martha Davis. She was often billed with her husband as Martha Davis and Spouse. Her musicianship is sometimes overshadowed by her showmanship, but if you pay attention to these clips you will see just how sophisticated she was. Her husband, er, spouse was no slouch on bass either:

Talk about rhythmic and percussive. Camille Howard had a left hand that put most to shame. Here is a clip from Rock Me Daddy, Vol. 1

Another favorite is Terry Pollard whose talent overwhelms me. Check her out on the second set when she does a vibraphone duet with Terry Gibbs:

Lest I get accused of gender bias I'll add a few males to this post. First up is the great George Shearing:

I'll end with a favorite, Red Garland:

If you like what you hear in that clip you should check out The Ultimate Jazz Collection, which is over four and a half hours of Red with Paul Chambers on bass and the great Art Taylor on drums.

That's it for now. My next posts that will cover pianists will put the spotlight on Teddy Wilson, Thelonious Monk and Bud Powell. Not all at once - I promise. In the meantime, you may want to also check out some famous vibraphonists too, because as a drummer studying piano music that path will eventually lead to vibes. It ain't the destination - it's the journey!

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