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 Evans – Waltz 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 Hancock – Chameleon – 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: