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  1. #101
    Teddy Wilson ?
    Michel Petruciani ?
    McCoy ?
    Teach me tonight

    pretty fxcking great
    Dunno about the 'best' tho

  2. #102
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    2bop,

    I feel neglectful in not mentioning Gene Harris. Great talent.

  3. #103
    Not the "best" but Wynton Kelly was pretty great.

  4. #104
    Bud Powell
    Sonny Clark
    Barry Harris

  5. #105
    I've been listening a lot to Portrait in Jazz by Bill Evans this week. I was becoming more and more overwhelmed with just how astonishing his playing is there. Now, I'm no stranger to being astonished, and I can certainly say Bird, Trane, Cannonball, Rollins, Dexter, Getz, Wes etc have blown my head off. (and still do, always will... I hope) But I think, and I say this very carefully, that Evans astonished me the most!

    I even went back and listened to Tatum and OP, just to be certain that it wasn't just the "Piano" that was overwhelming me (well, the well played piano is more impressive than just about any other instrument- no question), and as much as I love a little grandstanding by those 2 titans, Evans seemed more supple, inventive, surprising, varied, displayed more dynamic as well as emotional range and incorporated greater harmonic complexity. Like with Rollins and Wes, I hang on every single note and am on the edge of my seat like I'm watching a tight rope act. Just so darn compelling!

    So for those reasons, this week Bill shoots to the top of my hit parade. And for the same reasons, Jarrett's Standards Trio work moves in to take second slot.

  6. #106
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    +1

  7. #107
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    I would Agree that Evans' Portrait In Jazz is astonishing. It was my morning wake-up music for about three years and I never got tired of it. I think eventually I just had to burn the CD in a new computer and that was the only reason I removed it.

  8. #108
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    Not wanting to get in the "best" classification, but one of my favorites is this self taught youngster who I've been following for the last several years. He's now 15 years old.

    B+
    Frank (aka fep)

  9. #109
    Quote Originally Posted by Greentone View Post
    2bop,

    I feel neglectful in not mentioning Gene Harris. Great talent.
    Hey GT! Yes, but I have to admit I'm a Gene Harris homer. I must have seen him perform over a dozen times. There was an 8 or 9 year stretch before his passing that he played Seattle's Jazz Alley. What a classy guy too! Very approachable during set breaks. Gene had such a relaxed in the pocket rhythm. Several years Ron Eschete appeared with Gene. Great live jazz piano, it doesn't get any better than that! I recently saw Joey Defrancesco at the alley, and JD tore it up! Happy holidays GT!

    And a shout out to the great Chico Freeman, here performing with George Cables, Chico's 'to hear a teardrop in the rain'...just because! There are an endless number of truly great jazz pianists!

    Last edited by 2bornot2bop; 12-24-2018 at 09:46 PM.
    John Coltrane has been sort of a god to me. Seems like, he didn't get the inspiration out of other musicians. He had it. - Wes Montgomery

  10. #110
    Quote Originally Posted by coolvinny View Post
    I would Agree that Evans' Portrait In Jazz is astonishing. It was my morning wake-up music for about three years and I never got tired of it. I think eventually I just had to burn the CD in a new computer and that was the only reason I removed it.
    Yet, it rarely appears high on the list of people's fave Bill Evans Albums.

    But everything he did with Motian and LeFaro is pure gold, so take your pick I s'pose...

  11. #111
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    Art Tatum and Bud Powell for me.

    Almost all jazz musicians back then considered Tatum the eighth wonder of the world. His playing was so fluid and seemed so easy - which of course it wasn't. It was hard work and he practiced long hours at home to keep himself on top of the competition.

    Powell - like Tatum - was classically trained and also a great technician. He admired Tatum endlessly. Powell managed to play with high dedication and great artistic honesty throughout his carreer - despite all odds. He suffered from schizophrenia and from the mid 1950s onwards he was treated with neuroleptic drugs whose motor side effects affected his virtuosity and precision at the keyboard but IMO he managed to compensate by digging deeper emotionally and what he lost in speed he gained in the voicings and the way he let them ring.

    Tatum, who was very competitive and knew he was the best technician of them all, also respected Powell. There's story going that Tatum had needled Powell and his fellow bop pianists for having a weak left hand. Powell responded by playing the next set with his left hand only. Tatum then said to a friend: "I was wrong. He sure has a strong left hand - but don't tell him I said that." Well, Tatums friend did tell Powell whose jubilations knew no limits. An approval from Tatum was like being blessed by God himself. At jam sessions Tatum usually waited so he could be the last man to play - and when he had finished, the other pianists seriously considered if they should have become carpenters instead.

    Another story is about Fats Waller. Waller was playing at a club when Tatum entered the room. Waller then announced to the audience: "You know, I play the piano, but God is in the house to night."
    Last edited by oldane; 12-25-2018 at 01:47 PM.
    "But if they all play like me, then who am I?" (Lester Young)

  12. #112
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    Quote Originally Posted by goldenwave77 View Post
    The reason Oscar Peterson is not the greatest jazz pianist ever, IMO, is that his groups are far from the greatest. He may be very good at playing the piano is a jazz style--but Tatum could play rings around him. Tatum also was not a fellow who brought out the best in other musicians---they were 2nd bananas to his playing. (I also think Tatum's playing sometimes is not even improvisation--but rather incredibly ornamented and curlicued elaborations of the main work. It is almost as if his technical facility, and desire to show it, gets in the way of his saying anything authentic.)
    This is a challenge for all technically facile musicians. The ones who have to fight against the limits of their technique are often more interesting because of those limits. I'd rather listen to Keith Richards than Yngwie, you know? But on the other end of the spectrum, not having enough facility stands in the way of expression.
    Beauty is as close to terror as we can well endure. -Rainer Maria Rilke

  13. #113
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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkRhodes View Post
    A pianist once told me that many pianists were jealous of Oscar's brilliant technique and started saying he was 'all flash,' 'not serious' and the like. Shame. Guy was a brilliant player.
    New reply to an old post -- it's strange to read him being called "all flash", as I listen to his All the Best. He does have moments of flash, but he hits my ears as very melodic, it's very easy for me to hear his thoughts unfold. He obviously had chops, but just as obviously didn't kowtow to them.

    ETA: Just want to say thanks for the thread ... stopped reading and started jamming with OP's album mentioned above, good lord what fun. No neighbors were harmed ... I hope.
    Last edited by Thumpalumpacus; 12-26-2018 at 01:01 AM.

  14. #114
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    I thought Monk could say the "most" rhythmically, harmonically, and melodically, with the least amount of notes of any other pianist.

  15. #115
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    Did read the entire thread; I may have even posted in it a few years ago. But ...
    The idea of "best" seems silly to me.
    I will say, however, that OP is my personal favorite. (Ray Brown is also my personal favorite bass player.):
    "Thanks, but you should have heard what I was trying to play!" - T. Monk
    http://network.online.berklee.edu/profile/1200078

  16. #116
    Elton John of course.

    Just kidding, great topic, lot of music (work) to listen.

  17. #117
    Some favorite pianist...Thelonious Monk (probably one of the most original on the instrument), Erroll Garner (some of the most joyous playing ever), Fats Waller (one of many stride masters I dig), Count Basie (happy sparse phrases)... Living masters at piano Marcus Roberts, Eric Reed, Fred Hersch, Diana Krall and, despite his many interest as an entertainer, Connick is pretty amazing and was my first intro to the art of jazz piano.

    Also, kudos to Marian McPartland and her Piano Jazz radio show. Lots of pianist I've learned about from that broadcast.

  18. #118
    Personally I feel Ahmad Jamal gets overlooked

  19. #119
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    Quote Originally Posted by henryrobinett View Post
    OP definitely played with Bird and a bunch of guys in his early days at JATP. That's the same time he recorded with Billie. I didn't know he played with Trane, or the other way around. When was that? I can't play the video presently.

    Later George Wein, same guy who did JATP concerts and Newport, loved OP and had him record with a bunch of guys like Dizzy and Eldridge.

    1960 European Tour, with a recording featured on German television.

  20. #120
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    Quote Originally Posted by jbavettajazz View Post
    Personally I feel Ahmad Jamal gets overlooked
    Ahmad Jamal is definitely overlooked.

  21. #121
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    I don’t think anyone could out-comp Barry Harris.
    "Think responsibly." The Economist

  22. Not saying he's "the greatest," but another great pianist who hasn't been mentioned is Gwilym Simcock:


  23. #123
    Quote Originally Posted by guitarbuddy View Post
    Ahmad Jamal is definitely overlooked.
    Mal Waldron to.

  24. #124
    Bud Powell.

  25. #125
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    3 1/2 years and 3 pages, no mention of Lennie Tristano?!

  26. #126
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    Bill Evans, Monk, Tommy Flanagan Oscar Peterson...

  27. #127
    Cecil Taylor

    Don Pullen

  28. #128
    Tatum
    Monk
    Powell
    Harris
    Hawes
    Silver

    Subjective

  29. #129
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    Quote Originally Posted by goldenwave77 View Post
    The reason Oscar Peterson is not the greatest jazz pianist ever, IMO, is that his groups are far from the greatest. He may be very good at playing the piano is a jazz style--but Tatum could play rings around him. Tatum also was not a fellow who brought out the best in other musicians---they were 2nd bananas to his playing. (I also think Tatum's playing sometimes is not even improvisation--but rather incredibly ornamented and curlicued elaborations of the main work. It is almost as if his technical facility, and desire to show it, gets in the way of his saying anything authentic.)
    I know this is very old, but I take great exception to this comment. Oscar had done remarkable trios. Ray Brown?? Are you kidding me? One of the absolute greatest swinging, hard driving bassists in jazz. And Ed Thigpen drums, brushes? A master. So I’m not sure. I’ve seen this comment through the years and just let it go. But I thought I’d chime in. Totally different than the Bill Evans trios. He didn’t swing like Oscar. He needed a more sensitive, impressionistic group. Different style. Doesn’t mean either was better or worse than the other.

    Frankly I have a hard time listening to either for very long periods. But I can take a lot of Oscar for limited times. Once every couple of years I get into Oscar for a week, then I can take any more.


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  30. #130
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    Hans Groiner. He is the only one who plays nice and tidy.

  31. #131
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    Quote Originally Posted by jbernstein91 View Post
    Not saying he's "the greatest," but another great pianist who hasn't been mentioned is Gwilym Simcock:

    My mate Henry once did a messy tackle on Gwilym in the weekly London musician's football (soccer) match and Simcock goes over and has a nasty fall.

    Put his right hand out of action for a gig with Wolfgang Muthspiel, so he just did the gig with his left hand.

  32. #132
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    It's one way to stop a pianist from over comping, I guess.

  33. #133
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    Quote Originally Posted by henryrobinett View Post
    I know this is very old, but I take great exception to this comment. Oscar had done remarkable trios. Ray Brown?? Are you kidding me? One of the absolute greatest swinging, hard driving bassists in jazz. And Ed Thigpen drums, brushes? A master. So I’m not sure. I’ve seen this comment through the years and just let it go. But I thought I’d chime in. Totally different than the Bill Evans trios. He didn’t swing like Oscar. He needed a more sensitive, impressionistic group. Different style. Doesn’t mean either was better or worse than the other.

    Frankly I have a hard time listening to either for very long periods. But I can take a lot of Oscar for limited times. Once every couple of years I get into Oscar for a week, then I can take any more.


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    I agree Oscar's trios are EPIC! Probably the most storied long-running small group in jazz history. Those recordings with Joe Pass and Herb Ellis--aw man. He made ALL his colleagues sound great.

    Tatum was probably more technically proficient--he was kind of a Aspergian savant in this regard and did little outside of eating (lots), drinking (lots) and playing piano. I don't think he slept much either. But he didn't improvise on the spot too much to my knowledge. There's a video of him playing Jitterbug Waltz--incredible playing--and it's identical note for note with the studio recording.

    While I love these guys, personally I prefer Chick, Herbie, Bill Evans and Erroll Mann, just because of their unique voice and the feel they bring to their songs.
    “Without music, life would be a mistake”--Friedrich Nietzsche

    Current lineup: Gibson ES-135 ('02), Peerless Sunset, Harmony Brilliant Cutaway ('64), Godin 5th Avenue, Alvarez AC60 A/E classical, Kay K37 ('56), Fender Squier VM Jazz bass, several ukes. Amps: Fishman Artist, Fender SCXD, Pignose 7-100.

  34. #134
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    Yeah. I’m a huge Chick, Herbie fan. Jarrett less do lately. I love Brad Mehldau. Sp? But also love Cedar Walton and Red Garland. Phineas. Going over my old ground again.


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  35. #135
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    Any one mention Dave Brubeck.

  36. #136
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    Quote Originally Posted by JaxJaxon View Post
    Any one mention Dave Brubeck.
    There’s a reason. I love Brubeck but he’s never been known as a great pianist, as far as I know.


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  37. #137
    A few of my favorites are:

    Oscar Peterson
    Art Tatum
    Red Garland
    Tommy Flanagan

  38. #138
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    Kenny Barron

  39. #139
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    I don't know about "best" or even if he was mentioned in this thread, but I have always dug Kenny Drew.

  40. #140

  41. #141
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    also a Kenny Drew fan

    Quote Originally Posted by lammie200 View Post
    I don't know about "best" or even if he was mentioned in this thread, but I have always dug Kenny Drew.
    Funny but yesterday I was going to mention Kenny Drew but this thread is titled 'best Jazz pianist ever' and so I wimped out. I find the term 'best' to be bogus unless the participants in such a discussion are some of the 'best' in their respective field.

    Anyhow, I really dig Kenny Drew because he isn't too busy, there is breathing-room in his solos and he is very melodic. I have all the albums Drew did with Philip Catherine as well as some others.


  42. #142
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    Just finished listening to the Oscar Peterson Trio's Encore at the Blue Note recorded March, 1990 (length: 74:49) with Herb Ellis, Ray Brown, and Bobby Durham. The digital CD version is a treasure.

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