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An introduction to jazz piano in 5 videos

If the word jazz makes you think of a bunch of musicians playing what sounds like a bunch of random notes, spend a few minutes listening to these.

Art Tatum
Yesterdays – 1947

Bear in mind that Tatum could play like this despite being blind:

If you want to hear how much he plays around with the song, compare it to the original.

Phineas Newborn Jr.Oleo – 1962

Phineas Newborn Jr.’s career was hampered by mental health problems, but at his peak he could really smoke:

For the technical among you, notice that he produces a rich, classical piano sound by playing melodies in both hands at the same time, 2 octaves apart.

Bill EvansWaltz for Debby – 1965

Bill Evans playing one of his own compositions that he wrote when he was in the army, aged 24:

Bill Evans was the pianist on the most highest-regarded jazz album of all time.

Herbie HancockChameleon – 1974

Herbie Hancock started his career playing straight jazz on an acoustic piano in the Miles Davis Quintet, but formed a funk outfit in 1973 called The Headhunters:

The album made it to Rolling Stone’s list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.

Tigran Hamasyan – Fides Tua – 2017

Tigran Hamasyan is an Armenian jazz pianist who incorporates Armenian folk music and slash metal into his playing, sometimes at the same time: