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88: The Giants of Jazz Piano Hardcover – 21 Mar 2002
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Top customer reviews
Starting with Jelly Roll Morton, though stride (James P Johnson, Fats Waller), Mainstream (Errol Garner Oscar Peterson) and finishing with contemporary artists such as Brad Mehldau and Geoff Keezer all the artists are given a fair analysis. All the main players are covered: Tatum, Powell, Monk, Evans, Brubeck, Tristano, Hancock, Tyner, Jarrett etc.
What I like about this book is that its not all praise. Yes he likes these guys as musicians, but its an honest appraisal, so when he listens to a recording and hears flaws we're told.
For example when writing about Monty Alexander:
"then stumbles moments later with an awkard figuration that disrupts the momentum". Now in fairness to Monty Alexander most of this appraisal was as compared to Oscar Peterson at the height of his powers. But at least its honest and not just blind hero worshipping.
If you're buying this book it'll certainly help if you're a musician, but its not essential, and there is plenty of interesting material here for non-musicians as well. Most noteably a CD with 11 tracks including pianists such as Mary Lou Williams, Teddy Wilson, Earl Hines and Adam Makowicz.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
Update 7/28/2011: This book makes its' way off my bookshelf and into my hands more than I expected. It really is interesting especially for a jazz piano player. I've added one more star!
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