He was one of the few remaining, one of the last, groups in jazz that continued to carry the flame. He is also a graduate of the same program that I graduated from (YORK UNIVERSITY, BACHELOR OF FINE ARTS-MUSIC MAJOR). It was the latter quality that made Miles Davis such a big fan of his music in the 50s, attempting to replicate Jamal’s light piano style in his groups of that era. Who conducted this survey ? Walton’s own career as a leader began in 1967 and, in the 70s, he dabbled with jazz-funk and fusion. Jessica Williams is not well known by most jazz lovers (though she has released dozens of excellent CDs: http://www.jessicawilliams.com/). Go see Hines @ https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=earl+hines+documentary – just utterly, utterly WONDERFUL. OK. Not for the faint-hearted, Taylor’s energetic style is often fiercely atonal, employing jarring cluster chords and a dense, polyrhythmic complexity. Lenny Tristano? 31 Michel Petrucciani in US(Cincinatti??) First, Lennie Tristano had a bigger influence on jazz piano than most people think about. Claude Bolling As I said before, LENNIE TRISTANO IS #50!! “He’s my idea of a perfect pianist.”, My top 14 jazz pianists in alphabetical order, based on 60 years of listening: Between Chucho and Art Tatum a toss up as #1..2-3 Oscar. Davis liked Garland for his Ahmad Jamal-like lightness of touch and use of space. 15 JAZZ PIANO ALBUMS YOU SHOULD HEAR. Alongside Herbie on piano, the superb band features George Coleman on saxophone, Freddie Hubbard on trumpet, Ron Carter on bass and Tony Williams on drums – so the rhythm section here is the same as that of the Miles Davis quintet of the era. He played with many of the jazz bands in the 30s and 40s Benny Goodman, Artie Shaw, Tommy Dorsey to name a few, and he had his own radio show. Ok, you gave us a Braxton and Threadgill set..MORE??? Really? Next thing someone is going to put Kenny G in the same category as Steve Lacey and Dave Liebman for best Jazz soprano sax !? I am 50% Italian myself. While many of his peers experimented with electric instruments and fusion during the 1970s and ‘80s, Tyner remained faithful to the acoustic jazz piano tradition until his death in 2020. 30 Hank Jones The piano was crucial in the development of jazz in the early 20th Century, as the influence of Ragtime composers like Scott Joplin was fused with the marching band tradition in the melting pot of New Orleans. I shall say it again Tristano is #50!! 2: Teddy Wilson While you’re reading, listen to our Jazz Piano Classics playlist here. Sadly, Clark was a heroin addict and died, aged 31, from a suspected (but never proven) overdose. 2 Andrew Hill If you are ranking, what are your criteria? I don’t warm to Art Tatum though–mostly flash more than substance and pretty much feel that way about Oscar Peterson too. Jazz is not a relic, it’s alive and kicking (and in new directions!). How to Play Jazz Piano. Michel Camillo. 3-John Lewis. A brilliant musician like Marian McPartland being left off is inexcusable. 49: Kenny Kirkland (1954-1998) Imposible que no figure uno de los creadores y geniales pianistas del principio: JELLY ROLL MORTON y luego el inmortal Fats Waller, el maravilloso Earl Hines, el grande Teddy Wilson. Hands down one of the best jazz pianists in history, Tatum was a blind genius who arguably created the most densely polyphonic and sophisticated pre-bebop piano style of all, fusing stride with swing. That was the year he recorded his debut album for Blue Note, and he went onto become one of the best jazz pianists the iconic label signed. My list: Hasaan Ibn Ali I love listening to this radio station while I study. Possessed of astonishing technique, his playing is characterised by flamboyantly decorated linear improvisation and lightening-pace right hand flights. During the 1970s he led two contrasting quartets: his ‘American Quartet’ featured Dewey Redman, Charlie Haden and Paul Motian playing over raucous, groovy vamps inspired by Ornette Coleman and various folk traditions. Sure some of the more obvious and elememtary things he did on piano could be imitated by lesser pianists. there are so many out there. I can”t believe no one mentioned PHINEAS NEWBORN JR.! the most shit rating ever! You forgot to include Mal Waldron and Paul Bley. Mal Waldron should just be in the top 5. Tough to include Joplin, who, although he was a great composer, and, arguably the first , left no recordings, save for his ( no doubt edited ) piano roll of Maple Leaf Rag. Donald Lambert? NO CHUCHO VALDES!!!!!!!!!!!! easily qualifies for the top 10! You can also view videos on my YouTube channel . I am impressed that Art Tatum is number one ( no argument here ), and that Fats Waller and James P. Johnson made the lst, although they should both be much higher. I always find “strong opinions” some kind of ridiculous, and mostly I don’t want to join in the battle of all the “experts” (I am, because my opinions are soooo different). I do not know who wrote this list and where he will take the information but a bit disappointing …. As a result, Powell proved highly influential, even though his career was short (he died aged 41, after years of mental health problems). Ketil Bjornstadt 47: Duke Pearson (1932-1980) From classical solo piano to contemporary and jazz solo piano music, we strive to provide a large variety of piano songs for solo piano fans, listeners, and supporters. Never forcing a things while maintaining the same body and hand position during loud or soft passages (Keith simply lacked this physical advantage, making things worse when he stood up while playing). 19: Red Garland (1923-1984) It’s their list, and if it were larger it might have included some that were omitted . Duke Ellington! Mary Lou Williams Dubbed The Marxist Mozart for his espousal of left-wing political causes, Texas-born Theodore Wilson was a virtuosic pianist who gained prominence in the swing era and worked as a sideman with some of the biggest names in jazz, ranging from Louis Armstrong and Benny Goodman to Billie Holiday and Ella Fitzgerald. Yes. 28: Ramsey Lewis (born 1935) the list includes a great pianists, but what about mal waldron, jaki byard, bobby timmons, paul bley, cedar walton, sun ra, alice coltrane? This Texas pianist’s music was largely forgotten until his tune, ‘The Entertainer’ – which was used on the soundtrack to the 1973 blockbuster film The Sting, starring Robert Redford and Paul Newman – revived interest in his work. 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A classically-trained pianist, Lewis fused jazz with rhythm’n’blues and gospel music to forge a distinctive soul jazz style that spawned a host of imitators. Art Tatum 2. If there is one piano player who, in my opinion, comes out tops in all categories it has to be So please give credit where credit is due. Another vote for Al Haig. This is a sorry list of the greatest jazz pianist. For instance we could compile a list of the best percussive players the list would completely change — if you get my drift. You’re always in the bag? New Jack Swing Fashion And Style: A Photo Essay, Best David Sylvian & Japan Songs: A Singular Musical Mind, ‘E=MC2’: Mariah Carey’s 2008 Album Is A Celebration, ‘Feeling Good’: Nina Simone’s Joyous Emancipation Anthem, Photo: Library Of Congress/William Gottlieb. However, he has also made various returns to acoustic jazz, including his Trilogy project with Christian McBride (who we interviewed here) and Brian Blade, as well as making contemporary classical and solo piano recordings. Your email address will not be published. Wonderful list but Phineas Newborn should at least be in the top 20; he isn’t on the list at all. Debussy, Ravel); he ended as a full-blown “expressionist” (think Moussoursky, Rachmaninoff)–two opposite sides of the same coin of “Romantic art.” Bill had the biggest, heaviest hands of any pianist–his touch, always “deep in the keys,” could coax from the most stubborn piano the fullest ppp and fff in closely-voiced harmonies or the most evenly-played rapid runs thanks to minimal body movement and heavy, dead accurate fingers. A master of musical understatement. I'm a graduate medical student, and the background ambient piano music is just what I need. Ammmmmazing technique, overflowing with energy and creativity, she’s written beautiful songs and rearrangements. 31: Michel Petrucciani (1962-1999) Perhaps this list should have gone with 88, still matching the number of keys. Anyway I’m positive that Tete Montoliu should be somewhere in this list. Eldar Djangirov? 7.Alan Toussant Just because she’s a woman? He spent two years with Charles Mingus, as well working with Eric Dolphy and Roland Kirk. Eddie Palmieri, Chucho Valdez should be on the list. http://www.ranker.com/list/greatest-jazz-pianists-of-all-time/ranker-music Be careful with actually trying to join Ranker, though. Bill Evans is my number 1. TV fans are probably aware of the TV series HOUSE. Johnny Costa is comparable to Art Tatum. .but it’s only as large as it is. BTW, no Denny Zeitlin? Extraordinarily versatile, and a composer/arranger as well as a piano player. Sadly, Timmons’ career was cut short, at 38, by his chronic alcoholism. This greatest female jazz pianists list contains the most prominent and top females known for being jazz pianists. It is actually not a bad list. But, still a pretty good list of all the greats I know of. Take a listen below (the solo starts at 4:05): His Commodore recordings are one of the great pinnacles of jazz. They surely must be up there with the best. Not one great jazz piano played by a woman???? Looking for ways to grow your career as a jazz musician? our list of essential jazz solos to transcribe, The Real McCoy (Remastered / Rudy Van Gelder Edition), Christian McBride (who we interviewed here), as we discovered in this article about the legendary label, standards from the Great American Songbook, 10 most iconic jazz piano solos of all time, 10 Jazz Bass Clarinet Players You Should Have In Your Record Collection, Jazz Piano Teachers | Book an online lesson, Saxophonist Mark Turner | 10 of his Best Albums, Interview with Saxophonist, Bandleader & Producer Ben Wendel, Alto Saxophone: 10 of the Best Charlie Parker Albums of All Time. 40: Cedar Walton (1934-2013) New York City-born Drew – who served his musical apprenticeship as a sideman for Buddy DeFranco, Coleman Hawkins, Lester Young and Charlie Parker – was a highly-regarded bebop pianist and composer who enjoyed a long and fruitful association with tenor saxophonist Dexter Gordon, when both musicians lived in Denmark during the 60s and 70s. He made a series of albums where his trio was joined by a guest soloist  – Stan Getz, Sonny Stitt, Ben Webster to name just three – and also appeared as a sideman on important albums by jazz singer Ella Fitzgerald, Benny Carter, Coleman Hawkins and Fred Astaire. HOUSE is played by the great actor and multi-instrumentalist HUGH LAURIE. Agree with many comments,especially Marion MacPartland. It had many of my favorites. Grusin and James (nice people!) At the pinnacle of our list of the 50 best jazz pianists of all time is the man regarded as a keyboard deity. however, I feel that the inclusion of lyle mays, dave gruisin and bob james can not be justified next to the exclusion of Sun Ra, Paul Bley, Tete Monteliu and Lennie Tristano. This methodical approach to learning the art of solo jazz piano improvisation will … The programme has a nautical theme and includes tunes like ‘Dolphin Dance’ and ‘Maiden Voyage’, which have gone on to become jazz standards. As well as a dexterous pianist who enjoyed a long and fruitful stretch at Blue Note between 1952 and 1980, Silver was a prolific tunesmith (among his most famous compositions is ‘Song For My Father’). While i appreciate most opinions, you dont belong anywhere on this planet. I had a few jazz theory classes with Oscar in 1985/86 at York University and I shall always cherish the moment when he shook my hand after playing a guitar solo. Tyner’s 1967 Blue Note debut features the pianist accompanied by Joe Henderson, Ron Carter and fellow Coltrane quartet-alumnus Elvin Jones. If in all this beautiful list there was no place for lennie tristano who wrote this list should do some homework. How about Martial Solal?Do they all have tu\o be American? I think it was please some of you (and it includes 3 females in the top 36.) Some scientists claim if you put a monkey at a typewriter and gave him 100,000 years or so, he would eventually write MacBeth or Romeo and Juliet. Thanks to you, Talking Stein, I went there ….. and No Thank You! Myriad pianists have fallen under Evans’ spell, including Herbie Hancock, Keith Jarrett and, more recently, Brad Mehldau. Really like the different posts mentioning those left off the list, especially the more “obscure” and “forgotten” players like Bobby Enriquez (who I vividly remember seeing at Newport) and Dorothy Donnegan. The missing link between Art Tatum and bebop, his status as one of the best jazz pianists of all time is forever assured. Not sure what category he goes in. Awesome list! Next you’ll call Mulgrew Miller a folk musician who only played triads. And, and, and…. Born Conrad Clark, this piano-playing exponent of hard bop from Herminie, Pennsylvania, enjoyed a brief period under the jazz spotlight between 1955 and 1961. Earl Hines Missing Mulgrew Miller, Barry Harris, Kenny Barron, Fred Hersh and Don Grolnick from the older generation, Gerald Clayton, Christian Sands, Bill Charlap and Robert Glasper from the younger ones. Even simpler than MARY HAD A LITTLE LAMB: (And if you think Monk wasn’t a great pianist, you don’t understand a single thing about his compositions or his playing.). Hiromi Uehara! Not one of the 36 Best? And there is no way he should be higher up the list than Bud Powell. Criteria: These Jazz pianists were chosen for their originality, versatility, compositional skill, impact and influence in addition to their technical and improvisational playing of the instrument. Come on. In our estimation, the 50 best jazz pianists of all time are…. That is a strange number? Two other people mentioned Clare Fischer. There’s a good case that Bill is a Top 10 pianist, but that’s when the lauding should end. He played a role in the development of modal jazz, playing on Miles Davis’ Kind of Blue, which is considered by many to be the best jazz album of all time. 1 Bill Evans He’s head and shoulders more talented than many on the list. Richie Beirach??? 5 Oscar Peterson Clare Fischer??? 12: Fats Waller (1904-1943) Like Keith Jarrett, Armando “Chick” Corea, from Chelsea, Massachusetts, was an early starter – he began playing piano aged four – and later rose to fame as a sideman with the great Miles Davis (replacing Herbie Hancock). Tyner’s favourites as a teenager in Philadelphia were Bud Powell and Thelonious Monk, but he always strived for an original sound of his own, and his heavy chords stacked in fourths are particularly distinctive. The top 10 is MINT……….JIMMY SMITH is a HUGE oversight, though. And what ***********headed moron is responsible for including the ham-fisted and unoriginal ………. Who? It mixes Corea’s originals, the Monk tune ‘Pannonica’, the standard ballad ‘My One and Only Love’ and passages of free improvisation. No Eddie Higgins? Other brilliant Ellington small group recordings include Piano Reflections, Duke Ellington & John Coltrane and Piano in the Foreground. 33 Lyle Mays Clare’s vocal arrangements were unique, beginning with the Hi-Lo’s. Bill, on the other hand, completed his archetypal journey be going full circle. Jazz Piano Players Galore. He worked mainly as a sideman in the 50s, but in 1963, after a move to New York, Hill began a long association with Blue Note Records that resulted in 16 albums. won’t change it just the way it is. Also, McCoy should be higher ranking than #6. Can’t believe no one is mentioning Kenny Barron. 9 Art Tatum He is the second most recorded composer in jazz, after Duke Ellington, and his angular tunes have inspired generations of musicians and been the subject of dozens of Monk-themed albums. Oscar Peterson is much too high for my taste. This New Jersey pianist helped bridge the transition from ragtime to jazz with his stride piano technique, which built on ragtime’s locomotive, see-saw jauntiness but added more sophisticated harmonies and a stronger blues element. 34: Cecil Taylor (Born 1929) Brubeck was one of the most innovative pianists of his time. What? Even Bill wouldn’t agree with that. 2.- Keith Jarrett For more insight on the man and insight into his music, see ‘The Death of A Bebop Wife’ Grange Rutan for further insighet into Haig. Though, compared to many of the best jazz pianists, his influences are wide and varied – ranging from pop, rock, folk and classical music, to bebop, country and even electronic music – he has distilled them all into a unique style which is inspired by the lyricism of Bill Evans and spellbinding virtuosic improvisation of Keith Jarrett. Photo: Williem Gottlieb/Library Of Congress. Moving to Chicago, and then New York, he was regarded as a go-to sideman in the late 50s and early 60s (playing with the likes of Cannonball Adderley, Jackie McLean, Roland Kirk and Wes Montgomery) before beginning his own recording career, which started at Prestige Records in 1968. Herbie ranks higher as a complete pianist. I guess you are glad that MICHEL PETRUCCIANI is on the list. It is wonderful that so many fans discuss the pianist-list – JAZZ IS ALIVE!!!!! 23 George Shearing Tristano contributed some extremely interesting rhythmic perspectives. whoever compiled this list has clearly never hear Gene Harris play. C JAM BLUES! Enjoying a long association with Alfred Lion and Frank Wolff’s outfit, he not only recorded his own music, but worked as an in-house arranger and A&R man. How to compare Oscar Peterson and Thelonious Monk?! I can’t agree with this list. Where is Joe Sample, brad mehldau, and Carlos ruvacabla? Your email address will not be published. Very under-appreciated album. The elder sibling of trumpeter Thad, and drummer Elvin, Jones, this Mississippi-born/Michigan-raised pianist was initially influenced by Earl Hines and Fats Waller, but later fell under bebop’s spell. Jessica Williams. There’s a japanese pianist probably nobody knows, but i believe he should be on this list, not for any revolutionary turn he gave to jazz piano playing, which i don’t think he did, but just for the sheer beaulty of his music. There are so many great Jazz Pianists!!!! Wow -as a Jazz piano lover I could care less about the order, though it might be nice to see a list of living piano players. Earl Hines would hold the No.1 spot for me. Oscar Peterson should have been at the no 1 spot. hard to imagine a list like that without brad mehldau, YOU ARE RIGHT.And HAMPTON HAWES, TEDDY WILSON- DUKE ELLINGTON- BJORN SVENSSON- WINTON KELLY -HORACE SILVER-MAL WALDRON-CEDAR WALTON ETC. Jazz Piano Gems is made possible by the generosity of transcriber, Paul Marcorelles, a French jazz fan, engineer and host of the website BlueBlackJazz. Há outros e bem melhores!!! I highly recommend it to those aspiring to develop a solid foundation of solo jazz piano playing. Herbie and Bud too low. 8. Hampton Hawes is another deserving pianist who both Art Tatum and Oscar Peterson admired so greatly. Another who could really deliver when the atmosphere was just right was Dorothy Donegan. Sonny is a “musician’s musician” – he would rank higher if this were polled from a sample only consisting of jazz pianists. Mehldau’s long-running piano trio has also continually broken new ground with its near-telepathic collective improvisation and eclectic repertoire. it’s a joke? The best of all Jazz Pianist ist Keith Jarrett! Roger Kellaway-Ray Bryant – etc etc etc (read some of the comments that perpetuate the old “he can’t play that well” myth that Leonard Feather perpetuated–actually I don’t believe any of the others could play as he does nor should they try). “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. POR LO VISTO NO ENTRAN MUJERES, LAS MENCIONADAS Y HAZEL SCOTT. Basie also said that Hines was, “The greatest piano player in the world”. From Duquesne, Pennsylvania, Earl “Fatha” Hines was a key figure in the evolution of jazz piano-playing. I did pick up a few names that I will make an effort to find for my own listening pleasure. But the piano has played an important role in the development of the genre, both as a spotlighted solo instrument and due to its role in the rhythm section, and the world’s best jazz pianists have elevated it to a crucial element of any jazz ensemble. Erroll Garner, Dave Brubeck, “Count” Basie, “Fats ” Waller & “Duke” Ellington not in the top ten….”SCANDALOUS” ! This is an alphabetized list of notable musicians who play or played jazz piano. An intrepid improviser whose imagination knows no bounds. Stan Tracey Too many great ones left off, as mentioned in the comments. how can Chick Correa and Kieth Jarrett be ahead of Earl Hines and Horace Silver. Of course, there has to be an element of subjectivity and many of the pianists who didn’t make the list could have been there. and Marilyn Crispell! I do have some issues with some on list but the top 5 ( in a different order ) is very good but is debateable in some people. She is a creative heart and soul jazz pianist. From 1943 onwards, it was Cole’s voice that drew more acclaim, however, and his success as a singer went on to eclipse his piano playing. 27 Wynton Kelly does anyone think Herbie should be moved lower for inflicting “Watermelon Man” on the world–and still playing it in public in the 20-teens? And can’t believe you didn’t include Ellis Larkins aka Mr. Feather Fingers. But his playing is mechanical and soulless. MICHAEL KAESHAMMER?!!! Learn how your comment data is processed. Agree with most of the picks, but Gene Harris and Beegie Adair should have been included. No one has a timeless list of The Greatest. I agree Diana Krall does not belong anywhere near this list. Lists such as these are never definitive but are made to be debated and argued; to think of them in any other way is pointless. You have the same last name of another great pianist not mentioned on the list: DON THOMPSON. Finally, if we took into account virtuosism (true virtuosism, which involves making it sound clear and perfect) I’d add Hancock, Tatum, Peterson and Corea; Hancock being the one pianist who can get the best SOUND out of a grand piano – he’s absolute perfection playing chords. Solo Jazz Piano includes a wide variety of techniques and ideas that are certain to captivate students and teachers alike. He played with many greats including ART FARMER. He gave (and still gives me) the largest goose bumps. Agree..many left off.Marian especially.A d what a out Joanne Brackeen?Phenomenal. He wasn’t a jazz pianist and he was more of a composer than a performer anyways. From Jacksonville, Florida, Mehldau is undoubtedly one of the leading pianists in contemporary jazz. Oh good lord… 🙂. Jazz is an art form that has grown from its blues origins to draw influences from just about every genre of music there is. Bobby Enriquez is my favorite! I wouldn’t know who to place #1, but I’d be choosing between Evans, Mehldau and Jarrett. Secondly, Clare Fischer had a huge influence, and no one (as far as I could see) has mentioned him. He’s in my top 5. This is a reply to a to someone above who stated that Lennie Tristano was not on the list and mentioned the name Dave Burrell. Like fellow jazz aristocrat Duke Ellington, Count Basie’s prowess at the piano was often eclipsed by his role as a successful bandleader. In that case, why not make a list of the top 88 greatest jazz pianists ? A poet as well as a pianist/composer, this New Yorker was a leading light of the avant-garde movement in the late 50s and early 60s. Jazz has had the broadest perspective of all genre's in music since it's first note to the present day. In his heyday, in the early years of the 20th Century, Joplin was crowned King Of Ragtime, a jaunty, syncopated style of music that was an amalgam of African-American and Western European music. No Lenny Tristano at the list?How is this possible?Dave Grusin on the list? there is a more influence on jazz innovation than bill evans . Unlike, say, the saxophone or trumpet, it also offers equal opportunity for both linear soloing and chordal accompaniment. My faith is restored! Hancock was still just 24 years old when he recorded this 1965 classic. Phineas Newborn -John Lewis-Billy Strayhorn -should be in the top 10 – 15. “So just who are the greatest jazz pianists?” 6. Describing his approach to piano, Flanagan once said, “I like to play like a horn player, like I’m blowing into the piano.” Though he was a valued sideman, he also made a slew of albums under his own name for a raft of different labels between 1957 and 1997. 1.- Bill Evans 50: Lennie Tristano (1919-1978) Lets not argue about who is missing it is impossible to have all names available, but in real terms in matters not a hoot because Bud Powell and Monk are there. 1. ‘Round Midnight’ by Thelonious Monk. Join the mailing list for tools, resources & ideas - all free, Join the Jazzfuel newsletter and get the free PDF in your inbox today. Yes let’s expand this to 88 pianists and not rank them. Without a doubt I would add Phineas Newborn and Brad Mehldau to that list, and I could easily leave out Bob James and Dave Grusin. A list like this is never going to please anyone. This amazing musician has got to be the most overlooked jazz pianist of all time! Bud Powell 39: Barry Harris (Born 1929) A bunch of rock musicians ????? However, he soon developed as one of the major post-Evans/Tyner voices in jazz, playing in a range of settings, including on Miles Davis’ seminal jazz-rock albums In A Silent Way and Bitches Brew, and in Avant garde groups with Anthony Braxton. Diana Krall is a great singer but just a slightly above average jazz pianist. Aw, man. Hey Daniel, yours is one of only few comments I could subscribe. I feel there’s some distance between those 3 and everyone else since they achieve greater deepness – even drama – in their playing while being as technically profficient as the other great ones. DEFINITELY THE BEST PIANIST IN THE WORLD WHO WAS BORN IN THE 21st CENTURY: JOEY ALEXANDER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f4V_uaxBVOw. 22: Joe Zawinul (1932-2007) 28 Ramsey Lewis Kenny Barron has to be included in the convo. No Marion McPartland? Herbie Hancock’s solo on Ceora: A masterful example of this concept is Herbie Hancock’s solo on Ceora from the Lee Morgan album Cornbread. Jazz Piano Solo. I also am shocked that there are no women on this list. Both Teddy W and Earl Hines felt he was their equal, and both are rightfully on this list. Jarrett put together a trio with drummer Jack DeJohnette and bassist Gary Peacock, which focused on standards from the Great American Songbook and bebop repertoire, proving extremely popular and recording prolifically until it disbanded in 2014. 2-Bill Evans The question is ridiculous, because it is impossible to answer. 3 Ahmad Jamal I’m sorry. Dave was also the second Jazz artist to be on the cover of Time Magazine, only second to the venerable Louis Armstrong. Hmm, didn’t see Kenny Barron there, y’all must not dig that muscular style. I’m astonished, that nobody referred Hampton Hawes. (yeah, McPartland, Dearie and Les McCann should NOT have been supplanted by anyone) Hell, even Jose Iturbi was a better jazz pianist than some of these listees. King Freestyle’ Feat. It’s a list, limited to 50 (up from 36, which is an improvement), and it’s not intended as a scientific ranking. Jan Johansson should be on this list. They have him ranked a little too high. You left off the link. By 13, he was playing professionally, and at 18 recorded the first of many LPs. Look, they’re all great, even the one you thought should be higher, or lower on the list. 6. .but hey, it’s generated some thought and some memories and inspired some listening (at least on my part) and some discussion, all of which, I figure, is the point. The piano’s importance in jazz stretches back to the time of Scott Joplin, at the turn of the 19th Century, when ragtime – with its jaunty, percussive rhythms – proved an important early building block in the evolution of jazz music. There are a few solo piano entries in the jazz aristocrat’s extensive discography (most notably, perhaps, 1953’s The Duke Plays Ellington) that reveal the full extent of Ellington’s skills. Not mentioned by anyone in this thread), Marian Petrescu (unbelievable), Michel Camilo. Keyboard Kings. Alexander Von Schlippenbach, Aki Takase, Marilyn Crispell, Paul Bley, Joel Futterman, Connie Crothers, Stanley Cowell, Sun Ra, Fred Van Hove, Mal Waldron, Misha Mengelberg, Don Pullen, Alice Coltrane and so many more. But the piano has played an important role in the development of the genre, both as a spotlighted solo instrument and due to its role in the rhythm section, and the world’s best jazz pianists … Starting out playing gospel music on the organ before being formally tutored in piano, Cole was schooled in classical music but quickly gravitated to jazz. His music tended to be chromatic and angular, and while it pushed the barriers, it also remained rooted in jazz tradition. Originally from Red Bank, New Jersey, Bill Basie rose to fame during the big-band swing epoch with popular tunes such as ‘One O’clock Jump’. It’s music that cements Bill Evans’ place as one of the 2 most important musicians in the 2nd half of jazz history. Everyone obsesses on his ’61 Vanguard recording, but his valedictory was jazz’ equivalent of Mozart’s or Verdi’s Requiem–an 8-night stand in San Francisco, ending a week before his death in NYC. Though he’s an undoubted master of the electric Fender Rhodes keyboard (which dominated his classic 70s records), in recent years James has returned to the acoustic piano. You forgot Kenny Drew and Cecil Tayler should have had a higher range. Even she wouldn’t think she should be on this list! RAMSEY LEWIS ON THE LIST BUT SHOULD NOT BE! And rock no less! As a kind of mid-way point between the earlier albums with more straight ahead rhythms sections, and the classic but extremely introspective live sessions from the Village Vanguard, this first trio record with Scott LaFaro & Paul Motian serves as a great introduction to Bill Evans’ playing. Way overrated: Chick Corea, Dave Brubeck, Ramsey Lewis, Absolutely agree with you assessment – and Gene Harris deserve a spot. Contemporary pianists who claim to have been influenced by him include Chick Corea and Brad Mehldau. WK is top ten for me. 3 McCoy Tyner And the arguing goes on! Unacceptable. He’s a wild one! Here are my thoughts: BRAD MEHLDAU. Respect from England. Nat King Cole …… it’s a joke that’s what it is. Your email address will not be published. What about Milt Buckner, Shirley Horn, Beegie Adair, Diana Krall, Joe Sample ?? Someone will always come along and refute it. First of all, there is a severe under-representation of brilliant, young pianists: Hiromi, Jason Moran, Robert Glasper, Brad Mehldau, Fabian Almazan, Bill Laurance, Cory Henry, James Francies, Tigran Hamasyan, perhaps even the Wunderkind Joey Alexander. Lennie Tristano is $50. 9. Hank Jones much, much higher…and I’m the biggest Basie fan you can imagine, but don’t believe as a PLAYER he rates with players who were or are featured in trios and quartets…as some have said, Mary Lou Williams should be in here. He was especially influenced by Earl Hines, whose ornate, heavily embellished approach was the foundation for Cole’s own style, which developed within the confines of his own trio in the 30s and 40s. Born and raised in Detroit, Harris, whose mother played piano in church, was an early starter, taking up his chosen instrument at the age of four. In this article, I am going to take a brief survey of some of the more famous piano solos from the world of Jazz. A must! Barry Harris? These trio tracks, with Max Roach on drums and either Curly Russell or Ray Brown on bass, include famous solos on the likes of ‘Cherokee’ and the Powell original ‘Celia’ – the latter of which we included on our list of essential jazz solos to transcribe. Justin. 41: Jaki Byard (1922-1999) This all depends on subjective judgments in time and space and who’s doing the judging. 15 Jelly Roll Morton His 1975 album, The K ö ln Concert, with worldwide sales of over 3.5 million copies, is the best-selling solo album in jazz history, as well as the best-selling piano album of all time. Waller was also an organist and composer whose repertoire included the immortal tunes ‘Ain’t Misbehavin’’ and ‘Honeysuckle Rose.’. Phineas Newborn 10. AND WHEN WILL MOSAIC MOVE FORWARD WITH ANY OF THESE ARTISTS, PLEASE??? Myra Melford is missing, and yes Diana Krall belongs there. Though he’s flirted with funk, dabbled with disco and even dallied with electro and hip-hop (exemplified by his 1983 global hit, ‘Rockit’), at heart this Chicago-born musical chameleon is a committed jazz pianist. This solo piano tour de force features Tatum’s utter piano mastery on beautiful arrangements of beloved jazz standards such as St. Louis Blues, Yesterdays, Tea For Two and a version of Willow Weep For Me that first inspired me to want to be a jazz pianist. In the mid-40s, the bebop revolution, instigated by horn players Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie, resulted in a generation of artists (led by Bud Powell) who would enter the ranks of the best jazz pianists with an approach that treated the instrument like a trumpet or saxophone, picking out syncopated right-hand melodies with horn-style phrasing. Anyone who can make “Mack The Knife” sound interesting must be good!! Second, nobody remembers Mel Powell and Johnny Guarnieri? I´ll miss Eddie Haywood, and as pianoplayer Nat King Cole, and last – Slim Gaillard, not for his skills but for make me happy, with his swing drive. One of the best jazz pianists still with us from the bebop era. Here is just a sampling of his work and there is much more on youtube. a must in the list. However, on another episode he played a weak rock guitar solo. Readers will learn essential solo jazz piano concepts like stride piano, one-handed shell voicings, comping, using basslines, shared-hand voicings, leaving out the bass, and playing ballads.Plus, the book explores modern approaches to solo jazz piano including perpetual motion, counterpoint, and borrowing … I was having a drink one evening with Frank Strazerri and he said “George Gershwin could cut me”. Gospel music left an indelible mark on Timmons and its DNA can be detected in his playing and much of the music he wrote, which included the classic tunes ‘Moanin’’, ‘This Here’, and ‘Dat Dere’, which earn him his place among the best jazz pianists for laying the blueprint for what became known as soul jazz in the late 50s and early 60s. No Ellis Larkins? Gone but not forgotten is Nat ” king ” Cole, accomplished jazz pianist before his voice overcame the ” 88 .”, Alan Broadbent, Aaron Diehl, Hiromi, 10: Ahmad Jamal (Born 1930) He made four hugely popular, radio-friendly albums for CTI, where he established himself as the doyen of a lighter, more accessible version of jazz-fusion. Phineaso Newborn is a huge miss – as others have pointed out Mulgrew and James Williams can be easily be added in front of a few on the list – Billy Taylor as well – and Hampton Hawes should be in the top 20 – sorry but Dave Grusin and Bob James are great players but no where near the virtuoso’s listed above – and for that thought Monty Alexander could blow most of these guys away – and what about Dick Hyman – I love Joe Zawinul and all of his music – but the list is of Pianists and a huge amount of his recorded work is Keyboard based -so not in the top 30 – finally Fred Hersch needs to be in the top 30 – for his musical diversity alone – owe and there is that Mehldau guy…. His piano playing, to me was rather too simplistic and mundane when compared with the likes of Red Garland and Oscar Peterson. Downgraded by some because he was accepted by the unwashed masse and not given to pontification about the very real profound nature of jazz, he is hardly to blame that playing piano came so effortlessly to him or that he always believed audiences should be entertained. Erroll said ”playing is like life -either you feel it or you dont” -so true. 17 Vince Guaraldi All men? Barry Harris, should be in the top twenty. I think Eddie’s brother, Charlie, would be an even better choice! Keith Jarrett & Chick Corea McPartland because apart from her undoubted talent she was very gracious when I spoke to her between sets at the Hickory House. Hazel Scott In short, I suggest you might devise a poll based on categories – such as as harmonic creativity, melodic creativity, originality, interpretation, composition and form building, playing technique, influence on other musicians etc etc. Born in Connecticut with Cape Verdean ancestry, Horace Silver was an archetypal hard bop pianist whose rise to fame began when he co-founded The Jazz Messengers (which Art Blakey later took over) in 1954. I have listened to most on the list and they are all good….however Joe Augustine belongs in the top 5…his chord structures, nuances and inventiveness are unparalleled! Clare Fischer? Tristano was also a noted jazz teacher and it is claimed that his influence affected Miles Davis (on Birth Of The Cool) as well as Dave Brubeck and Gerry Mulligan. EVER>! Sorry Folks. Shelly Berg? Tete Montoliu belongs very high on the list. (The lives of other Romantic composers–Schubert, Schumann, etc.–are equally dark.). I guess the first 36 pianists are some of the best! 1. And Abdullah Ibrahim. They all have their own style. Though no recordings of Joplin exist, his status as one of history’s best jazz pianists is assured, thanks in part to piano rolls and sheet music from the time, illustrating his unique style, which went on to influence James P Johnson. Albert Ammons Top 50 Pianists . I think there are two important ones missing. If you don’t know her, get out there, drop whatever you’re doing and listen to her, and redo this list! No spam. Gonzalo Rubalcaba Where’s Dave Brubeck and Nat King Cole? Click on the links to access the video, audio and midi files. If you take into account his composing and his position as a pioneer of bebop he should certainly be near the top but as pianist solely, not #2, really not Top 10. I guess that is why everyone is wondering why LENNIE TRISTANO was left out. 1. Bill is overrated. Calm down now. Ahmad told me this personally many times. Hailing from Chicago, as a boy Hill earned small change playing accordion on the Windy City’s streets. 3.- Oscar Peterson. Nat King Cole was one of Ahmad Jamal’s favorites. 9: Chick Corea (Born 1941) Though influenced by Bill Evans, Hancock forged his own style in the 60s, both as a solo artist and as a member of Miles Davis’ pathfinding post-bop quintet. 1-Thelonious Monk Oscar Peterson Posted by Discover Jazz | Jazz Music, Piano. He recorded with Ella Fitzgerald and Charlie Parker before embarking on a stellar solo career that blossomed in the 50s. 35: Brad Mehldau (Born 1970) There’s also seminal figure Jelly Roll Morton, flamboyant nemesis of Jame P. Speaking of nemesis about how could you forget Donald Lambert one of Art Tatum’s rivals, I know a little to obscure for you. Required fields are marked *. Art Tatum definitely #1. As already pointed out by other folks here, there a few important omissions: Mal Waldron, Brad Mehldau, Don Friedman, Barry Harris, Lenny Tristano, Mary Lou Williams, Marian McParland……. These are all all great pianists but there are probably many we never heard of and some who were excluded . 5. Native New Yorker Thomas “Fats” Waller didn’t live to see his 40th birthday (he succumbed to pneumonia at 39), but nevertheless proved to be an influential pianist, particularly for his contribution to the evolution of the highly rhythmic stride style, an important foundation stone in jazz piano. I still can’t fathom how VInce Guaraldi didn’t get on the list. Indeed, whittling it down was not an easy task, but we’ve persevered and come up with a list names that we believe represent the most important ivory-ticklers of the genre. Al Haig – A master jazz pianist Duke is like Monk, inimitable–and of course, that partly comes from being a great composer first of all. I want to add Stevie Wonder… yeah… he’s not be bopping or doing fancy jazz rifts… but no one can play like him nor can anyone have thought of the insanely beautiful and complex phrasing. are odd choices. In addition to being a gifted pianist, Walton was also a noted composer, contributing ‘Bolivia’ and ‘Mode For Joe’ to the jazz standards repertoire. Though he’s almost 80, Hancock still has the musical inquisitiveness of a teenager. He was also a harmonic innovator, taking influence from Romantic classical music, intricately reharmonising jazz standards and ultimately influencing the approaches of bebop musicians like Charlie Parker and Bud Powell. Mulgrew Miller needs to be in there definitively. So he has to be right up there and is my favourite primarily because of his unique musicianship and his unmatched intros-beat that! 29: Scott Joplin (1868-1917) He was in a class by himself” – Bill Evans. Tatum’s technique was phenomenal. One of a multitude of musicians who came though Art Blakey’s “Hard Bop Academy”, The Jazz Messengers, this Philadelphia musician was the son of a preacher and grew up playing in church. Description “Playing Solo Jazz Piano” is an essential new book for creative jazz pianists. 5 Paul Bley His own discography contains just one solo album, 1991’s Kenny Kirkland, for GRP, though it’s likely that, had he not died prematurely, aged 43, from congestive heart failure, Kirkland would have recorded many more solo albums. A.Jahmal, Lyle May, OK, mais aussi Steve Kuhn et encore Omar Sosa (exceptionnel de prestance et d’emotion sur scene)! Joanne Brackeen should definitely be in the list. A pioneer of block chords, Shearing’s group – which including the distinctive sound of the vibraphone – became hugely popular and influential in the 50s. Most of Tatum’s classic work was recorded before the LP era, but this compilation includes classic 1933 solo takes like ‘Tea For Two’, ‘Sophisticated Lady’ and the famous ‘Tiger Rag’, as well as some live tracks from 1949. Versatile, and no Thank you piano played by the Sea, which his! Duke is like Monk, but respectfully disagree about placing him at number.. Was Bud Powell rated so low when most pianist during his time born in new York, was... Are stretched throughout the entire list with the top three but not an amazing pianist or trumpet it... But had lines that related more towards the soul jazz pianist define his own that... Sadly, Timmons’ career was cut short, at 38, by his chronic alcoholism here.This is total crap.This posted... List: solo jazz pianists THOMPSON but never proven ) overdose a bandleader the CHRIS NOWAK PROJECT Volumes and! Parece que Al o los autores de la lista no Les gusta el jazz más tradicional, una! 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