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Customer reviews

5.0 out of 5 stars

TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 2 September 2006
With a chapter each and running to 324 pages, this is one of the best books you can buy on Jazz Piano. The author Robert L Doerschuk is a Jazz pianist himself and writes with authority on his subjects.

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.
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