Jazz Piano and Literature

Jazz Piano and Literature

Order Description
Write a research paper the history of the Jazz piano masters (i.e. Art Tatum, Bill Evans, etc.) and the jazz piano pioneers and the sheet music and recordings that were important in establishing
them in the discourse of the history of jazz. The paper is more about examining the music and less about simply highlighting historical facts. Although stating the history from a timeline
perspective is warranted, understood, and expected.

The following list should be referred to:


• Scott Joplin (1868-1917) – “father” of ragtime; his immediate followers were:
• James Scott
• Joseph Lamb

Early Jazz

• Jelly Roll Morton – pianist/composer/arranger/bandleader
• Earl “Fatha” Hines – trumpet-style playing and solos
• Lil Hardin Armstrong – played w/ Joe King Oliver
• Fats Waller – wrote over 400 songs, including Ain’t Misbehavin’ and Honeysuckle Rose


• James P. Johnson – father of stride piano (Carolina Shout)
• Willie “The Lion” Smith – combined boogie/woogie w/ stride styles
• Mead Lux Lewis

Boogie Woogie

• Pine Top Smith
• Jimmy Yancey

Early and progressive swing (1930s-’40s)

• Duke Ellington – bandleader/composer/arranger over 900 charts
• Count Basie – Kansas City style swing, great rhythm section
• Art Tatum – master virtuoso of solo swing piano
• Teddy Wilson – played w/ Benny Goodman & Billie Holiday
• Nat King Cole – underrated as jazz pianist-sang his way to popularity
• Milt Buckner -“locked hands” style adopted by George Shearing
• Errol Garner – wrote Misty and had a unique, appealing style

Kansas City Swing

• Mary Lou Williams – first early jazz female band leader and pianist
• Jay McShann – reat KC master of swing, blues and bop

Be-bop/hard bop (1940s-)

• Thelonious Monk – one of the greatest innovators of all time
• Bud Powell – revolutionized be-bop piano
• Al Haig – recorded w/ Bird
• Oscar Peterson – Art Tatum tradition; passed in Dec. 2007
• Horace Silver – “Funky” legendary hard-bop leader/composer
• Tadd Dameron – leader/composer/arranger ; wrote Ladybird

Cool (late 1940s-)

• Lennie Tristano – one of the innovators of the “Cool” school
• Andre Previn – famous conductor; numerous jazz recordings
• Dave Brubeck – Dave Brubeck Quartet: Time Out
• John Lewis – leader, Modern Jazz Quartet for 30+ years; 3rd stream
Additional pianists from the ‘50s

• Red Garland – recorded with Miles Davis in the ‘50s
• Wynton Kelly – Wynton Marsalis is named after him
• Phinnias Newborne, Jr. – listen to: A Whole World of Piano
• Tommy Flanagan – worked w/ Ella Fitzgerald; played on Giant Steps
• Sonny Clark -knew Lennie Tristano and Bill Evans
• Bobby Timmons – composer of Moanin’
• Herbie Nichols – innovative composer/arranger
Modern innovators (late ‘50s-early ‘60s)

• Bill Evans – most influential jazz pianist after Bud Powell
• Chick Corea – fusion pioneer; Latin and Spanish styles
• Keith Jarrett – classical; solo improvisations; straight ahead

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