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  1. #126

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    Not to be overly argumentative, but just saying I'm not hearing prolific triad use in the tradish players such as the ones you mentioned of Errol Garner and Bud Powell. They used 7th chords for the most part.

    Can the individual do whatever he or she wants? Yes.

    Do mod players use triads? Yes.

    Did the tradish players use triads? Not prolifically. The style is based on 7th(+) chords.

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    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #127

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    Quote Originally Posted by Clint 55 View Post
    Not to be overly argumentative, but just saying I'm not hearing prolific triad use in the tradish players such as the ones you mentioned of Errol Garner and Bud Powell. They used 7th chords for the most part.

    Can the individual do whatever he or she wants? Yes.

    Do mod players use triads? Yes.

    Did the tradish players use triads? Not prolifically. The style is based on 7th(+) chords.
    And Bud Powell used Shell Voicings prolifically. 7th’s and 10th’s were his thing. Why, because he had huge hands.

  4. #128

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    An awful lot of piano in this guitar group these days.

  5. #129

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    Quote Originally Posted by Litterick View Post
    An awful lot of piano in this guitar group these days.
    It’s about time piano gets some love.

  6. #130

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    Quote Originally Posted by Litterick View Post
    An awful lot of piano in this guitar group these days.
    I went looking for a keys group but couldn't really find one. The organ forum is a joke. There are like 2 posts per day lol. I was already a member here so I thought oh well I'll just participate here on keys since it's such a huge and good forum.

  7. #131

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    Quote Originally Posted by Clint 55 View Post
    I went looking for a keys group but couldn't really find one. The organ forum is a joke. There are like 2 posts per day lol. I was already a member here so I thought oh well I'll just participate here on keys since it's such a huge and good forum.
    Finding a decent piano forum is problematic. That’s why I’ve been here for 12 years. Otherwise I’d be on a piano forum.

  8. #132

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  9. #133

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    Quote Originally Posted by Clint 55 View Post
    Not to be overly argumentative, but just saying I'm not hearing prolific triad use in the tradish players such as the ones you mentioned of Errol Garner and Bud Powell. They used 7th chords for the most part.

    Can the individual do whatever he or she wants? Yes.

    Do mod players use triads? Yes.

    Did the tradish players use triads? Not prolifically. The style is based on 7th(+) chords.
    Yeah so here's the thing about Bud. People read Piano and Theory books and they learn that Bud played shell voicings in his left hand - 1 3 7.

    Did he? I mean it says he did in a book, but did he?

    First of all, it's actually fairly unusual to find 7th chords in a tonic function in 1940s - early 50's jazz as left hand or accomanying voicings... (as in Imaj7, Im(maj7)) You'll absolutely find those notes melodically from the 20s (and upper extensions too)... but in terms of what the pianists were playing in specifically the left hand... Not so much.

    I haven't listened to everything, but in the stuff I have listened to general 6th chords are favoured for accompanying, if not just triads. Dominant chords on the other hand get really quite complex, 7b5, 7b9, 7#5, 9#5 etc etc, all there. (7b5 is a real bop Bud/Monk sound)

    However when I listen to what Bud's left hand is actually doing, it sounds to me like it's 10ths, 6ths, that type of thing. Maybe just a b7 on a dominant chord. This is - unsurprising when you think about it, because that's stride piano stuff. Bud broke up the rhythm into modern jazz comping, but that connection to the generation before is really clear especially on his solo stuff.

    Think about Bud's influences - the great stride pianists and jazz and popular music of his childhood, the classical repertoire and, of course Charlie Parker in his right hand.

    You also hear that stride thing with Monk, right? And Monk studied with James P Johnson. Lots of 10ths and 6ths (and complex dominant chords) in Monk's music...

    And what is going on in the right hand is bop language right? And bop language, quiet as it's kept is quite often on the triad. Just think of the opening melodies of Confirmation, Anthropology, Segment, Dexterity... All based on 1 3 5.

    To be fair, "shell voicings" are used, and have been for several hundred years. Originally we see shell voicings in baroque music, because they are a good contrapuntal combination for what we would today call back cycling or cycle-4 harmonic movement. So, I would expect to see 7th chord shell voicings used in any era of jazz in the same context, on a tune like ATTYA (well, it's in the melody of course). In the case of swing and bop, the destination tonic chords remain 6ths or triads. Now they are used everywhere in jazz... but just because that's the way they are used now doesn't mean that's the way Bud used them. Furthermore jazz edu has a nasty habit of taking things out of context and generalising them, which leads to what Bill Evans was on about when he was talking about the problems with music students "approximation" of music. Good musicians listen carefully and draw their own conclusions, and don't make assumptions about the basics. (A trap I've fallen into many times.)

    (Another very irritating thing jazz edu does is sort of 'flatten out' the grammar of chord use. So, you look at a piece of Bach, say and you see all the 'jazz chords' but the grammar of their use is specific; the language of the music will allow you to use a maj9 chord this way, but not that way. I feel this is also somewhat true of pre-jazz edu era jazz, but that detail can be lost. Post-CST, everything in the chord scale is up for grabs all the time, but of course any good musician will tell you not all the options always sound good all the time. But I don't think you need to be some sort of expert musicologist or theorist provided you are sensitive to what you are hearing and what you are not hearing.)

    Anyway, to claim that it's a legitimising feature of jazz piano that they always do the 'shells+extension' thing is just plain wrong (I mean it's a daft position to take to start off with). Bud is the bedrock of modern jazz piano and at best he does it... sometimes? (Mostly on dominant chords.)

    Anyway I've already wasted too much time on this (it's kind of beside the point) and this is just one example. The lesson I draw from this is people are desperate to tie the style of jazz to pitch choice, but the thing that defines jazz is a feeling. Its phrasing and rhythm. There IS a distinctively jazz approach to harmony too, it's true (which is much more than just shell + extensions) but it's not the distinguishing feature, and there's plenty on record to bear that out.
    Last edited by Christian Miller; 10-07-2021 at 07:55 PM.

  10. #134

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    Very thorough assessment of the pianists' voicings. I agree. Extremely solid understanding for someone who doesn't play keys.

    Agree with the 3rd to last paragraph. You should be able to able to gauge what level of harmony is appropriate.

    2nd to last paragraph. 2b wasn't claiming that was the end all approach, just saying it's a solid, representative starting point to traditional jazz playing.

    Last paragraph. Noone in this discussion said that. Noone's saying everyone has to be like Bill Evans and voice every chord with every single note of the scale. Seems everyone here is pretty rational and would agree with the to taste approach.

    And about the triads. So if we agree that Thelonious and Bud weren't playing left hand triads, then what was the fuss about? Agreed that bebop melody motifs are often built on triad arps.

  11. #135

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    Quote Originally Posted by Clint 55 View Post
    Very thorough assessment of the pianists' voicings. I agree. Extremely solid understanding for someone who doesn't play keys.

    Agree with the 3rd to last paragraph. You should be able to able to gauge what level of harmony is appropriate.

    2nd to last paragraph. 2b wasn't claiming that was the end all approach, just saying it's a solid, representative starting point to traditional jazz playing.
    Well it *ahem* depends on what you mean by traditional. Traditional to me is Carolina Shout, perhaps even early, Jelly Roll style.

    Last paragraph. Noone in this discussion said that. Noone's saying everyone has to be like Bill Evans and voice every chord with every single note of the scale. Seems everyone here is pretty rational and would agree with the to taste approach.

    And about the triads. So if we agree that Thelonious and Bud weren't playing left hand triads, then what was the fuss about? Agreed that bebop melody motifs are often built on triad arps.
    Ah yeah. Reading back through the read I think I got my wires crossed. The statement that 2b made about shells/extended triads was a separate piece of commentary to him not rating Esbjorn as a pianist. I read between the lines and understood he was giving that as a reason why he was a bad pianist, which he was not. (Obviously he could play all of that stuff.)

    People, I suppose, are allowed not to like EST. (Which is to say I think they are silly, but I can't prove it haha.)

    So I can offer a moderate grovelling apology, as it's not the silliest thing I've every read on here by a long shot. That distinction must now go to another post.

    In any case, this is still a massively generalised and (largely) historically inaccurate version how jazz piano is played, it is irritating because I feel that the focus on mastering seventh and larger chords first actually de-skills pianists (and guitarists) from mastering other styles of harmony, including historical and some types of contemporary jazz harmony. The cliche being the jazz musician who extends all the harmonies on a pop or swing jazz gig, because they think they know what harmony is (in fact that's the harmony of the Real Book ONLY). It's easy to be a by numbers jazz player, but truly sensitive, ego-less and switched on musicians are rare (I certainly wouldn't include myself in that category haha). There's a reason why everyone loves Larry Goldings so much...

    For myself, I had to retrain to play basic harmony well and build up from there - no I don't mean cowboy chords, though every working guitarist knows who valuable they are, but just a mastery of basic voice leading and the possibilities of triads. I often have to de-program guitarists into working on basic triads as these are so common in jazz language. Often they haven't even learned the shapes.

    Again - as Bill Evans said all those years ago when jazz edu was in its infancy, the basics and the specifics are really important. Jazz edu is full of short cuts; they exist for certain reasons, in this case, the shells + extensions thing is a quick way to sound 'jazzy' (at least superficially jazzy like an approximation of Herbie or Bill, obviously not like Fats or Bud, say), but I think that there are certain short cuts its not worth taking. People then get confused about the importance of note stacking to jazz... and this is a real thing, much as people like to gaslight about it.

    There's 100 years of jazz history out there... for more in depth critique I would refer anyone interested to Ethan Iverson's blog, as many of my opinions are the same as his, but better substantiated by him with transcriptions and so on.
    Last edited by Christian Miller; 10-08-2021 at 11:55 AM.

  12. #136

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    Sure, agreed. The end goal should be understanding and use of the appropriate level of harmony. Not, 'you'd better be playing a D triad over every C7 shell.' Still, I don't see why you're straw manning here. I've been a jazz pianist for about 16 years and have done a lot of listening from Jelly Roll Morton, to Teddy Wilson, to Bud Powell, to Duke Ellington, to T Monk, to Bill Evans, to Bobby Timmons, to Erroll Garner, to Herbie Hancock. I understand the idea of using the harmony to suit the music, rather than just extending everything by default. It's one of the things that comes naturally to me.

  13. #137

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    Quote Originally Posted by Clint 55 View Post
    Sure, agreed. The end goal should be understanding and use of the appropriate level of harmony. Not, 'you'd better be playing a D triad over every C7 shell.' Still, I don't see why you're straw manning here. I've been a jazz pianist for about 16 years and have done a lot of listening from Jelly Roll Morton, to Teddy Wilson, to Bud Powell, to Duke Ellington, to T Monk, to Bill Evans, to Bobby Timmons, to Erroll Garner, to Herbie Hancock. I understand the idea of using the harmony to suit the music, rather than just extending everything by default. It's one of the things that comes naturally to me.
    Strawmanning? No. I mean I'm not really responding to you, you seem to know what I am talking about... if I'm strawmannirg the way a LOT of people actually seem to think jazz harmony is, I would say my personal experience would say this is not the case.

    Anyway it doesn't really matter ...

  14. #138

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    Yeah I understand.

  15. #139

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    My teacher at CCNY, Ed Summerlin, used to say that the guitar is 'homogenous'---it blends well. I agree: The wood and metal blend well sonically with both bass and a drum's cymbals. It DOES give the harmonic underpinning, as Mr. Rollins avers---but in a less obtrusive way than piano generally. ('Generally' b/c anyone can overplay and not listen---probably the leading cause of musician ulcers [or gun purchases]).

    When I saw the thread title I thought this would be about guitar trios vs piano trios, so I'll delve into it a bit: As a listener I enjoy anyone doing anything well, so a guitar; bass; drums configuration is peachy keen w/good, listening players. I was impressed with Toninho Horta's Once I Loved, w/Gary Peacock and Billy Higgins. It was a different slant with his wordless vocals and he's SUCH a great musician.

    For myself the bassist would have to be a good 'conversationalist' to keep me interested. I'd get bored with myself quick if I was the main event. I run out of ideas so I don't play (or, frankly, like to hear) long solos. But if it's a real dialog, including with the drums, it can be magic.

    I'd like to try a King Cole Trio configuration with a good singer-pianist so we could just play tunes, tunes, tunes---and I could slip in an occasional vocal (my latest interest) myself...

  16. #140

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    Quote Originally Posted by joelf View Post
    For myself the bassist would have to be a good 'conversationalist' to keep me interested. I'd get bored with myself quick if I was the main event. I run out of ideas so I don't play (or, frankly, like to hear) long solos. But if it's a real dialog, including with the drums, it can be magic.
    Or you could play lots of different tunes.

    IME you have to find ways to vary it - feels - solo formats - every trick you can imagine. It was really good for my playing to go through a period of doing this. I miss it a lot as I'm not doing any playing in this format atm.

  17. #141

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    Quote Originally Posted by Christian Miller View Post
    Or you could play lots of different tunes...
    You could---but for me it's more about the approach. How do we keep it interesting for 5-8 minutes/tune for ourselves and the listeners?

    (As you suggest) there are simple orchestration devices: not having everyone play at once---bringing 'em in separately for contrast and the surprise element; features; starting with the solos to get the changes in their ears, then ending w/the melody; having drums play the melody; splitting the melody up; if someone's singing sing it in and play it out---etc., etc.

    These can easily become routines though, if overdone. I still stress the conversation---just getting players with ears; wisdom; flow and trusting that you'll get each other's back. It's also important if you want to REALLY improvise to sometimes not solo 1st. I mean I KNOW what I sound like, and would rather be taken somewhere new when it's my turn than possibly get into a recitation. And the reverse: I want them to listen to me and do the same---then, with everyone listening, it can build and really go magical places---no licks or profiling.

    It's arguably easier or more 'wieldy' the less people involved, but it's possible with a quintet or more with the right ears and trust. (I've seen Thad Jones give out parts and directions on the spot and the band instantly respond).

    So, more tunes? Sure---but with the right people and sensitivities a lot can happen within one tune...
    Last edited by joelf; 10-09-2021 at 09:43 PM.

  18. #142

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    Quote Originally Posted by joelf View Post
    You could---but for me it's more about the approach. How do we keep it interesting for 5-8 minutes/tune for ourselves and the listeners?

    (As you suggest) there are simple orchestration devices: not having everyone play at once---bringing 'em in separately for contrast and the surprise element; features; starting with the solos to get the changes in their ears, then ending w/the melody; having drums play the melody; splitting the melody up; if someone's singing sing it in and play it out---etc., etc.

    These can easily become routines though, if overdone. I still stress the conversation---just getting players with ears; wisdom; flow and trusting that you'll get each other's back. It's also important if you want to REALLY improvise to sometimes not solo 1st. I mean I KNOW what I sound like, and would rather be taken somewhere new when it's my turn than possibly get into a recitation. And the reverse: I want them to listen to me and do the same---then, with everyone listening, it can build and really go magical places---no licks or profiling.

    It's arguably easier or more 'wieldy' the less people involved, but it's possible with a quintet or more with the right ears and trust. (I've seen Thad Jones give out parts and directions on the spot and the band instantly respond).

    So, more tunes? Sure---but with the right people and sensitivities a lot can happen within one tune...
    The joy of a trio is how it can 'turn on a dime', so to speak...