Who Were The ‘Great’ Jazz Piano Players?

Posted by Jazz47 on May 25, 2016 in Uncategorized with Comments closed |

Cat on Jazz Piano KeyboardThe top three jazz music instruments are probably saxophone, trumpet and piano, each one having several greats, rather than just the one. It depends on you level of passion and of course your upbringing which voice speaks to you most. Are you mostly trad or rather progressive? Do you like lots of notes in your jazz, or a sparse collection charged with emotional darkness? These are the kind of criteria that drives your tastes. It’s great fun to follow a general history of the instruments and innovators to get a flavor of how the music developed over the years, and the history of jazz piano if particularly rich.

Nobody know how the piano sound evolved from the European classical music sounds through blues and jazz, but evolve it did and can now be classified into many musical sub-genres, one of which is pure jazz baby. I’ve said it more than once, so I’ll say it again for good luck – most modern music came from the American blues tradition. Without the that early soulful sound, the face of pop, rock and almost every other stye would (could) have been completely different. One day a son of an African slave was running his left hand up and down the keys in a rhythmic fashion and boogie woogie was born, later to become ‘stride’ piano.

Boogie woogie itself has a rich history and is a niche filled with great and outstanding players, from Ray Charles (oh yes, great boogie and stride pianist) to Doctor John. Doctor John himself is steeped in the New Orleans tradition which was instrumental in the crossover from boogie to full blown jazz – must have been the French influence!



Doctor John is an interesting figure – a numerous Grammy Award winner, he was instrumental in single handedly creating New Orlean blues-funk and R & B for the piano, influencing many artists along the way. He also worked as a guitarist, but after a bar room incident with a gun, he injured a finger and turned to the piano.

Is Piano Hard To Learn?

Oscar Peterson was the epitome of the smoke filled room laid back cool kind of jazz, and with his trio, paved the way for this kind of piano music. Of course, there were many, many trios featuring piano, drums and bass that tried to emulate the sound and feel, with varying amounts of success. It’s hard to be as original as the original, don’t you think?

Thelonius Monk had an unorthodox approach to his music, even for jazz pianist who are known for their innovation, but for sheer virtuosity, Art Tatum is widely regarded as the King of the genre.

Django Reinhardt – Jazz Guitarist Extraordinaire

Posted by Jazz47 on May 21, 2016 in Uncategorized with Comments closed |

Django Reinhardt - Jazz Guitar (Gottlieb 07301)When I was a kid I would listen to jazz, no not exactly listen, but rather ‘come into contact with’ jazz and it always baffled me. The traditional New Orleans band style is great fun and you can warp your head around the format – it’s predictable and it has a set structure within which the individual musicians can explore their own place within the whole sound.

Modern progressive jazz was, and in some cases, still is, tough to listen to because our ears have been tuned to simpler structures that we are comfortable with, and feel ‘safe’ with. We don’t like too many surprises in our lives or our music, so any musical exploration is preferable done within a framework that we already know.

When first hearing Django Reinhardt play guitar, the complete style of the music was extremely powerful. Even when picking old standards, his improvisations were impeccable and exciting – we knew where he was going, but how he got there was new, exciting and often unexpected. This article sums up the man quite nicely, if such a thing is possible at all, but at least it gives a primer to his life. The best way to learn more is to go through his recorded repertoire, particularly his partnership with Stefan Grapelli.

The Jazz Manouche Style Guitar Of Django Reinhardt


Django Reinhardt was a jazz guitarist who became one of the first important soloists in the genre.


Born in Belgium on January 23, 1910, Django Reinhardt learned guitar at an early age, adapting his technique to accommodate the loss of the use of two fingers burned in a caravan fire in 1928. Reinhardt toured the United States with Duke Ellington in 1946. He was one of the first important guitar soloists in jazz; his blend of swing and the Roma musical tradition, as well as his unconventional technique, made him a unique and legendary figure. Reinhardt died in France in 1953.

Early Life

Born on January 23, 1910, in Liberchies, Belgium, Django Reinhardt became famous for his unique musical sound, which blended elements of American jazz with traditional European and Roma music. Reinhardt’s father was a musician and entertainer and his mother was a dancer, according to some reports; they were Manouches, or French gypsies, and they eventually settled in a camp near Paris. Raised without any formal schooling, Reinhardt was practically illiterate.

In his youth, Reinhardt learned to play an interesting instrument—a hybrid of a guitar and a banjo. He was largely self-taught, never learning how to write or read music. Later on, Reinhardt had to depend on others to transcribe his compositions. He was already playing in clubs in Paris by his early teens. Reinhardt started out playing popular French music, but he became interested in American jazz in the mid-1920s. He especially liked the works of Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong and Joe Venuti. His promising career, however, was almost ended by a terrible accident in 1928.

Tragic Fire

In 1928, Reinhardt was injured in a fire in his caravan. A lit candle fell into some paper, or celluloid, flowers that his wife had made to sell, and the flames quickly spread throughout their home. Both Reinhardt and his wife made it out of the fire, but Reinhardt suffered bad burns to his right leg and left hand. Perhaps worst of all for this talented musician, he permanently lost the use of two fingers on his damaged hand. He would spend the next 18 months to two years recuperating.

During this time, Reinhardt taught himself how to play music again. It was a slow, painful process, but he devised an innovative style of guitar playing. With his two fingers and thumb, Reinhardt handled his instrument with remarkable speed and agility. He was back to dazzling audiences in the Paris nightclubs by 1930.
Famous Quintet

By the mid-1930s, Reinhardt had joined forces with violinist Stephane Grappelli to form the Quintet of the Hot Club of France (Quintette du Hot Club de France). Their group, which grew to include Reinhardt’s brother Joseph and others, became the first major European jazz band. Some of the band’s early recordings included covers of American songs like “Dinah” and “Lady Be Good,” and these tracks helped win them a following on both sides of the Atlantic.

Reinhardt also produced original music, which fused his musical heritage with the latest jazz and swing sounds. Some of his most famous works with the quintet are “Djangology,” “Bricktop” and “Swing 39.” His style from this period has been called “gypsy swing” and “le jazz hot.”
World War II

According to some reports, Reinhardt was in England touring with Grappelli in 1939 when World War II began in Europe. He decided to return to France, but his cohort remained abroad. The following year, the Nazis took control of France, a move that put Reinhardt in jeopardy. The Roma, or gypsies, were among those considered undesirable by the Nazis, and thousands and thousands of them perished in concentration camps during the war.

Remarkably, Reinhardt was allowed to play freely in the clubs of Paris during much of the war. It seemed that the Nazis viewed this famed city as their playground to some degree, and their military personnel enjoyed frequenting its nightclubs. Reinhardt expressed his melancholy over the occupation in one of his most famous compositions: “Nuages,” which means “clouds.” According to Contemporary Musicians, the musician made two attempts to flee France for Switzerland, but both of these efforts proved to be unsuccessful.
Final Years

After the war, Reinhardt became interested in electric guitar and experimenting with other styles of jazz. He toured the United States with Duke Ellington in 1946, but he failed to win over American audiences and critics. Reinhardt also started recording with a new version of his beloved quintet, but rarely gave public performances. Instead, he spent much of his time in the South of France.

In 1953, the famed improviser jammed with another jazz legend, Dizzie Gillespie and made some of his final recordings. The music world lost a great talent that May. Reinhardt died from a massive stroke on May 16, 1953, in Fontainebleau, France. He is regarded among the most prominent European performers to have heavily influenced American jazz. Additionally, his work has had a lasting impact on other guitarists in different musical styles, influencing such diverse artists as B.B. King and Carlos Santana.

Article Source: http://www.biography.com/people/django-reinhardt-9454889

The video above demonstrates the effortless control and mastery over the guitar with a style that even influence musicians proficient in other musical styles such as rock, folk and acoustic blues guitar – Jim’s got another great site with good info here – http://masterbluesguitar.com. It was reported (although it may be an Urban Myth), that he and the legendary classical guitarist Andrea Segovia were at a party in Paris and Django sat down to play Nuage. Segovia thought it was particularly beautiful and asked him for the music. “There isn’t any”, Django replied, “I just made it up.” Genius at work indeed!

Nice video lessons for blues here


Reviews, Views, News & All That Jazz!

Posted by Jazz47 on April 24, 2016 in Uncategorized |

Django's Selmer Guitar

Django’s Selmer Guitar

I play Jazz Guitar (yes, with capital letters!) myself and it’s generally got a bad press over the past few decades. It was characterized and associated with sandal wearing beatniks in the 50s and ever since has been considered a high brow musical genre made for people with have sophisticated tastes for their music. The idea that it isn’t for the masses is just ludicrous.

Jazz is a form of exploration and expression, as all music should be. Within the genre there are huge variations in style, from New Orleans to modern progressive. Admittedly, some progressive Jazz hardly seems like music at all, because it’s at the front end of musical exploration.

I’ll probably concentrate more on guitar, but also review some exciting music created by duos, combos of other instruments. Youtube videos will be plastered all over the place, so expect some diversity and many oldies, but goodies. Look around, click around and discover some jazz!


The Roots Of Jazz – Blues Guitar

Posted by Jazz47 on May 5, 2017 in Uncategorized with Comments closed |

Playing acoustic fingerstyle ragtime/ blues guitar is most likely the most fulfilling of all guitar designs I have actually ever learnt how to play. The fullness of seeming like 2 guitars playing together is something that’s tough to beat.

If you have actually ever wished to learn this style however never ever navigated to it due to the fact that it simply sounds too hard– then you are losing out for the incorrect factors. Ragtime and blues fingerstyle is primarily not as difficult to play as it sounds. Sure, a few of it can be hard, however typically the fundamentals are really rather simple … and still sound simply as excellent. A great deal of the noise of fingerstyle blues (specifically ragtime) can be something of an acoustic impression– there’s not as much going on as your ears would have you think. So exactly what’s the very best method to obtain begun?

The very best method to learn this style is to simply leap directly in and learn some tunes. Although this it not something for the total newbie, if you are at an intermediate phase of guitar playing then you must be more than efficient in playing acoustic ragtime blues. As long as you can conveniently play typical chord shapes and rhythms fairly well then that must be all you require, along obviously with the desire to learn and practice.

When I initially entered ragtime blues finger picking, there wasn’t much readily available in regards to videos revealing you this things. I found out by listening in addition to a couple of tabs from books. The most significant difficulty I had with this was (apart from being slower than gaining from video) where to put your fingers on the fretting hand. It wasn’t constantly evident whether you ought to be holding a typical chord shape or doing something else. TABs seldom provide this sort of details.

I ‘d arrive in the end however it took a while, I ‘d typically discover myself putting the book down and returning to it another time, just to discover the left hand was a lot easier than I initially believed. It was most likely a year later on that I understood I was working my fretting hand two times as tough as I had to. Exactly what I would have provided for video lessons at that time!

Okay, so this is expected to be an evaluation of Jim Bruce’s Ragtime Blues Lessons– From Texas to the Delta, I expect I should get to it! I’m constantly on the lookout for brand-new guitar mentor product (an illness that guitar players certainly comprehend!) and I came across Jim’s course by pure opportunity. The important things that captured my attention was it appeared like an authentic quality guitar course.

This is something you seldom discover when coming across the normal pricey downloadable things for guitar, something which there is no lack of sadly, however I’ll get to that in another tirade one day! In the meantime, let’s simply state Jim’s Fingerstyle Blues course is most likely the very first I have actually discovered that happily does not fit this bill. For when, worldwide of online guitar tutorials, you are in fact getting exactly what you spend for … great one Jim!

So exactly what do you get?

The course includes 38 downloadable videos (wmv format), every one revealing a total fingerstyle tune separated and decreased into areas revealing ideal and left hand close ups. Jim likewise discusses how each tune is played together with suggestions where required. Each video is accompanied by a different pdf TAB along with the chord shapes and each tab area being shown on screen in the video.
The tunes taught differ from artists such as Robert Johnson to Blind Blake covering basic tunings, open G bottleneck and open D. Click here for a complete list. There’s sufficient range to cover the different blues picking designs varying from the bouncy ragtime feel of Blind Blake to the more standard blues style of Lightnin’ Hopkins and Floyd Council.

If you wish to learn ways to play fingerstyle blues then there is no much better method than leaping directly in and learning some tunes. This is among those designs where you will do much better with hands on learning instead of the standard path of learning fundamental fingerpicking patterns and workouts, which while beneficial, do not truly reveal you much in the method of piecing them together. As soon as you have a couple of tunes under your belt you’ll discover you can break down some typical licks and patterns that work well in other tunes. This is terrific for including range and improvising blues fingerstyle.

In general, Jim’s course is among the very best worth downloadable guitar learning items I have actually ever stumbled upon. Not just do you get lots of hours worth of videos revealing you ways to play all the tunes however, most significantly you get high quality guitar tuition for a style that’s not in abundance. A lot of other download items are just reworked material priced at 3 times their worth.

Jim’s lessons are directly up exactly what they state on the tin … no magic, clear solutions that the pros do not desire you to understand (Grrrr!), simply plain straight talking “the best ways to play fingerstyle blues guitar”. In other words, it’s all you require. Be alerted however, you will require broadband to download the videos which weigh in at about 200 to 300mb each, and there’s 38 of them!


Jim uses a no concerns asked cash back ensure if you aren’t delighted with his item, personally I question he gets numerous disappointed consumers. As sales are dealt with through Clickbank you can feel confident your deal and warranty is safe and protected.

If you are all set to handle fingerstyle blues guitar then Jim’s course is going to be tough to beat and I’m more than pleased to suggest it.

Privacy Jazz

Posted by Jazz47 on May 20, 2016 in with Comments closed |


This privacy policy (“Policy”) and this site’s Terms of Service (together the “Terms”) govern all use of http://thewritejazz.com and that site’s services (together the “Site” or “Services”). The owners and contributors to the Site will be referred to as “we,” “us,” or “our” in this Policy. By using the Site or its Services, and/or by clicking anywhere on this Site to agree to the Terms and this Policy, you are deemed to be a “user” for purposes of this Policy. You and every other user (“you” or “User” as applicable) are subject to this Policy. You and each user also agree to the Terms by using the Services. In these Terms, the word “Site” includes the site referenced above, its owner(s), contributors, suppliers, licensors, and other related parties.

We provide this privacy statement explaining our online information practices, so that you can decide whether and how to interact with the Site and the Services.

We may release your information when we deem it appropriate to comply with the law, enforce our site policies, or protect ours or others’ rights, property, or safety.

This online privacy policy applies only to information collected through our website and not to information collected offline.

Please also review our Terms of Use section that governs the use and the users of the Site.

By using our site, you consent to our privacy policy.

If we decide to change our privacy policy, we will post those changes on this page. If we have your email address, we may also send an email notifying you of any changes.

Mobile Device Privacy

The following applies to our site, when viewed on a mobile device:
When accessed with a mobile deivce, our site may collect information automatically, such as the type of mobile device you have, device identifiers, and information about your use of the site. Regardless of the device you use to access the site, it will also collect information you provide, as well as information about your interaction with the site and its content.
If location services are activated on your mobile device, our site may collect information about the location of your device. Your mobile network service providers may collect device-specific information, such as a device identifier, when you use our website or one of our mobile applications. This information collected by your mobile network service will not be associated with your user account with us, or with your personally identifiable information.


We are based in Camperdown, UK and you are contracting to use our Site. This Policy and all matters arising from your use of the Site are governed by and will be construed according to the laws of Camperdown, UK, without regard to any choice of laws rules of any jurisdiction. The federal courts and state courts that have geographical jurisdiction over disputes arising at our office location in Camperdown, UK will be the only permissible venues for any and all disputes arising out of or in connection with this Policy or the Site and Service.

No Users Under the Age of 13

The Site is not intended for children under the age of 13. Children under the age of 13 should not use the Site at any time. We do not knowingly collect personal information from children under the age of 13. If we obtain actual knowledge that we have collected information from anyone under the age of 13, we will erase that information from our servers. It is a violation of our Terms of Service for children under the age of 13 to use the Site.

Terms Contact

If you have any questions about these Terms, please address them to ellendavis@gmx.com.

Last Updated

These terms were last updated on May 20, 2016

Copyright © 2017-2019 Music All rights reserved.
This site is using the Multi Child-Theme, v2.2, on top of
the Parent-Theme Desk Mess Mirrored, v2.5, from BuyNowShop.com