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I think I'm actually personally uninspired and uninterested in Artists that keep past traditions alive and that lack a highly individualized sound. That's what I value in music, pure expression of ones heart and mind.

Oscar Peterson is my current favorite, he has so much soul. His tone and phrasing are incredible.
 

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Interesting! I do enjoy some Oscar Peterson but I think of him as more of a traditional jazz artist who mostly played standards and was influenced by swing and stride pianists.
 
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I have a number of albums that I think are really good.

The Jazz Soul of Oscar Peterson
Night Train
Oscar & Louis Armstrong
Exclusively for My Friends, which is a box set of recordings for the German MPS label.
 
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I think I'm actually personally uninspired and uninterested in Artists that keep past traditions alive and that lack a highly individualized sound. That's what I value in music, pure expression of ones heart and mind.

Oscar Peterson is my current favorite, he has so much soul. His tone and phrasing are incredible.
I've recently bought this...
Oscar Peterson: Omnibook - Piano Transcriptions : Oscar Peterson: Amazon.co.uk: Books

I'm beginning to play through some of it. I think I'm doing ok sight-reading and then remember the metronome mark is sometimes literally twice the tempo I'm playing at. Some of his classic moments are in this book and most transcriptions are many pages long (the 'look inside' feature on Amazon shows the first song which is 18 pages worth). His combination of virtuosity (he was formally trained) and inventive solo playing makes pianists at my level quiver and sob in dark corners. This below is a legendary live concerto standard performance of a journey through piano styles from blues to boogie to stride and is well...unbelievable....😥......:).




Simply one of the best ever, although Hiromi is now coming a close second. She too has forged a distinctive and virtuosic style, equally exhilarating imv.

 

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I have a number of albums that I think are really good.

The Jazz Soul of Oscar Peterson
Night Train
Oscar & Louis Armstrong
Exclusively for My Friends, which is a box set of recordings for the German MPS label.
For the first time in years, I played one of the albums from the Exclusively From My Friends. I have two on SACD. I followed it up with Very Tall. But there’s no doubt that the Peterson performance I play the most are from Ella and Louis and Ella and Louis Again.
 

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I think I'm actually personally uninspired and uninterested in Artists that keep past traditions alive and that lack a highly individualized sound. That's what I value in music, pure expression of ones heart and mind.

Oscar Peterson is my current favorite, he has so much soul. His tone and phrasing are incredible.
I think it's HILARIOUS that you put Peterson forward as "innovative" or having "pure expression." As Starthrower points out, Peterson is considered the epitome of traditionalism. The Mozart of Jazz, pure flash.

Yes, he's a fabulous technician. Yes, he makes other pianists shiver in their boots. Yes, he has a distinctive, highly-ornamental, highly melliflluous sound. But "innovative"? Hardly. He just takes Art Tatum and speeds him up.

There are dozens, hundreds of pianists who are/were innovative. Monk. Art Lande. Red Garland. Ahmad Jamal. Wynton Kelly. Nathaniel Cole. And at least 94 others, before Peterson's name ever comes up on THAT list.

IMO of course.
 

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Simply one of the best ever, although Hiromi is now coming a close second. She too has forged a distinctive and virtuosic style, equally exhilarating imv.

Big fan of Hiromi myself. I'm not really up on much modern jazz, but I accidentally discovered her and was instantly hooked. She has a pretty diverse oeuvre too, ranging from solo works to covers to two very different trios (the first being more traditional jazz with some funk elements, and the latter being more rock fusion). Here's one with her most recent trio:
 

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Big fan of Hiromi myself. I'm not really up on much modern jazz, but I accidentally discovered her and was instantly hooked. She has a pretty diverse oeuvre too, ranging from solo works to covers to two very different trios (the first being more traditional jazz with some funk elements, and the latter being more rock fusion). Here's one with her most recent trio:
Really cool. Her musicianship, invention and technique is of the highest order, the band too (the drummer is amazing). Love it.
 

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I think it's HILARIOUS that you put Peterson forward as "innovative" or having "pure expression." As Starthrower points out, Peterson is considered the epitome of traditionalism. The Mozart of Jazz, pure flash.

Yes, he's a fabulous technician. Yes, he makes other pianists shiver in their boots. Yes, he has a distinctive, highly-ornamental, highly melliflluous sound. But "innovative"? Hardly. He just takes Art Tatum and speeds him up.

There are dozens, hundreds of pianists who are/were innovative. Monk. Art Lande. Red Garland. Ahmad Jamal. Wynton Kelly. Nathaniel Cole. And at least 94 others, before Peterson's name ever comes up on THAT list.

IMO of course.
I get what you are saying NoCoPilot but there's much more to him. One of his innovative approaches can be heard in his harmonic substitutions imo, almost sounding Debussyian or Ravelian at times. He did admit that Tatum was the dominant influence in his formative years, but (assuming you meant it) to say dismissively he just sped up that influence is not fair. He built on that style of playing and took it to its apex. He was also completely fluent in Bebop, Blues and Boogie as he was in Stride and although Tatum was one of the best, Peterson outdid him in every aspect of musicianship imv.
Here's what Herbie Hancock had to say about another innovative and influential aspect of his playing....
“Oscar Peterson redefined swing for modern jazz pianists for the latter half of the 20th century..." no argument there.
 

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My friend is a huge Hiromi fan. He's a conservatory student, and he's playing some of her work for an upcoming recital (I told him he should incorporate his own improvisations or at least written out solos, we'll see if that pans out), along with some boring stuff like Chopin etudes. He says he wish he could do an all-Hiromi recital, haha.
 

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My friend is a huge Hiromi fan. He's a conservatory student, and he's playing some of her work for an upcoming recital (I told him he should incorporate his own improvisations or at least written out solos, we'll see if that pans out), along with some boring stuff like Chopin etudes. He says he wish he could do an all-Hiromi recital, haha.
Hiromi herself has a classical background and, IIRC, studied composition at university. I think it shows in her work in how she seems to find a middle-ground for music that's equally focused on both composition and improvisation, perhaps similar to what Charles Mingus did back in the day.
 

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She definitely does have a classical background; it's funny how apparent that is by her playing - her inclinations in rhythm, phrasing, texture, and articulation. It's the same with Bill Evans. Jazz pianists who come from a classical background, almost without exception, sound very distinct from those who grew up playing jazz. In fact, about a month ago I was improvising on jazz standards at a party, and someone who happened to be a jazz drummer came up to me and (after a bit of discussion) pointed out that he could tell I came from a classical background.

Check out her takes on the slow movement of the Pathetique, if you haven't already Eva. She has very warm and wistful playing, a delicacy and a respect for space matched by few pianists in any genre.
 

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Check out her takes on the slow movement of the Pathetique, if you haven't already Eva. She has very warm and wistful playing, a delicacy and a respect for space matched by few pianists in any genre.
I have indeed heard that and it's quite beautiful. When I said I became a fan I mean "listened to her entire discography including her live DVDs and her YouTube-only live performances" fan!
 

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Hiromi's 'Blackbird' is a beautifully sensitive rendition of McCartney's classic song. The Beethoven (!) is splendid too. There is some divergence in technique between classical playing and jazz/blues/boogie, the slide of the second finger from a black (blue) note to a white note being an example (off-topic whinge - the one thing that really bugs me about some jazz piano transcriptions, is the erratic, incorrect note spelling one sometimes comes across in some of the harmony that throws my sight reading off in places).

Re Oscar P, I only found out a while back that he was diagnosed as being arthritic in his hands during his teens, incredible.

 

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Yes of course, that's a beautiful recording. She probably got the ostinato pedal point G from Brad Mehldau, but her take is purely her own.

@mikeh375 I also get annoyed by the frequent enharmonic misspellings in transcriptions, but this one looks pretty good - actually, very good. A couple of things I might notate differently*, but it's clear that whoever is doing this has a pretty good grasp on theory and functional harmony.

*These are:

  • The piece is in the key of G, but there is no F# in the key signature. However the transcriber explained this mistake - he just forgot to change the key after importing to the master score. Anyway, classical music has this all the time, where a passage will be written in the "wrong" key signature. I don't consider it a big deal.
  • the Db in measure 9 - change to C#
  • same issue: the D-flats at the end of m. 65 change to C#'s - there must be a reason (s)he did it this way - despite notating a C# in the LH
  • the E-flat on beat 2 in measure 79 I can see respelled to a D#, but IMO this is a very minor point and can go either way
  • m. 118 beat 3 - the A-flat should probably be G#, but again - not egregious. Maybe the author viewed it as an ii dim or vii dim 7 / C resolving deceptively
  • m. 142 same deal - this time the E in the left hand kinda consolidates my case
Are there any others that you think are mistakes or are confused about? I think this was a very well-done transcription, honestly.
 

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I could never get into Hiromi. A bit too technical and over the top for my taste. Monk, Hancock, and Bill Evans are more my speed. And I'm a big Sun Ra fan.
 

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I could never get into Hiromi. A bit too technical and over the top for my taste. Monk, Hancock, and Bill Evans are more my speed. And I'm a big Sun Ra fan.
I appreciate the pianists/composers you mention as well. Hiromi can indeed be very technical, but I rarely find it interferes with or is a replacement for inspired ideas. She also has some simple tracks, like her version of Beethoven's Pathetique posted above. I'd also add:
Which is probably more lyrical ballad than "jazz," but it's still lovely in its simplicity and lullabye-like melody. Sounds like it should be part of a film score.

Also, I wish I had half the fun and joy doing most anything as she seems to have playing pieces like this:
Even that piece is relatively simple. There's some spicy modulations and chromaticisms of course, and the part in the middle of the solo that transitions to bebop, but all pretty standard for jazz. Most of the rest is based on simple blues patterns. I feel like if Haydn wrote jazz this would be something like he'd write: all the fun, funny, witty moments is very Haydn-esque in its humor.
 

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Hiromi's 'Blackbird' is a beautifully sensitive rendition of McCartney's classic song.
And it perfectly illustrates what I dislike about this kind of overly-flowery overly-showy playing. The original tune is perfectly lovely, as it was written. It doesn't NEED twice as many notes. "Gilding the lily" and all that.
 

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I am a big fan of the rhythm sections she works with. I've been following Steve Smith for a long time. I also have a Tony Grey CD that I like a lot. And of course Anthony Jackson is one of the great bass players in the music.
 
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