keys

113 / October 2019 / Bryn Chernoff

  1. Hymn to FreedomOscar Peterson Trio
  2. Poinciana (Live At The Pershing, Chicago, 1958)Ahmad Jamal Trio
  3. I Can't Get StartedBud Powell
  4. Autumn in New YorkBillie Holiday
  5. I Cover the Waterfront (The Complete Concert by the Sea)Erroll Garner
  6. Ballad MedleyStan Getz & The Oscar Peterson Trio
  7. I Loves You PorgyBill Evans Trio
  8. Three to Get ReadyThe Dave Brubeck Quartet
  9. HabanaFrank Emilio, Tata Güines, Guillermo Barreto, Orlando Hernandez and Gustavo Tamayo
  10. Night and DayBill Evans
  11. There's A Small HotelOscar Peterson Trio
  12. No Te Importe Saber (Swing)Quinteto Música Moderna, Frank Emilio, Tata Güines, Guillermo Barreto, Gustavo Tamayo, Papito Hernández and productor Adolfo Seeman
  13. Autumn LeavesAhmad Jamal
  14. Gandinga, Mondongo y Sandunga (Descarga)Frank Emilio, Tata Güines, Guillermo Barreto, Orlando Hernandez and Gustavo Tamayo
  15. Melodia del RioRuben Gonzalez
  16. I'm Glad There Is YouStan Getz & The Oscar Peterson Trio
  17. Please Send Me Someone To Love (feat. Paul Chambers & Art Taylor)Red Garland
  18. SkylarkCedar Walton Trio, David Williams and Billy Higgins
  19. Over the RainbowBud Powell Trio
  20. MistyErrol Garner Trio

My daughter Simone and I started piano lessons this spring. Our teacher Nathan comes on Wednesdays, spends a half hour working with me, then a half hour with Simone. It's been such a special addition to our routine. I'm picking back up with piano after about a 20-year hiatus since I last had regular lessons. It's a treasured part of my life, but like a lot of things (such as mix-making) I make much less time for it than my love and passion for it would indicate. This time around, I've asked Nathan to teach me about jazz piano, particularly improvisation. It's such a fun and challenging change from the classical training of my youth. This mix is a lot of the music I've been listening to as inspiration. 

A piano mix, especially a jazz one, might sound like snooze-a-palooza to you. Hopefully not but I kinda get it, if so. However, I love love love love love love love this mix. There's so much more for me to learn. But I love standards, so part of the thrill of this mix is basking in different versions of standards. 

Download all songs Spotify Google Music
  1. Oscar Peterson Trio / Hymn to Freedom

    All praise Oscar Peterson! Who does no wrong. I lead with this gospel number. Does anyone else blast quality gospel? I am so moved by it and this jazz-flavor on it is extra good.

    More Info from Last.FM

    Oscar Peterson (1925-2007) was a Canadian jazz pianist and composer. Born in Montreal, Canada, Peterson began learning trumpet and piano from his father at the age of five, but by the age of seven, after a bout of tuberculosis, he concentrated on the piano. Some of the artists who influenced Peterson during the early years were Teddy Wilson, Nat "King" Cole, James P. Johnson, and the legendary Art Tatum, to whom many have tried to compare Peterson in later years. Read more on Last.fm more...

  2. Ahmad Jamal Trio / Poinciana (Live At The Pershing, Chicago, 1958)

    This song was a huge hit when it came out. It's delicious. "On the NPR Basic Jazz Record Library radio show in 2011, Murray Horwitz and A.B. Spellman noted that "Poinciana" became "standard dance music" at parties, and, abridged, appeared on jukeboxes, because "Jamal lets the bass and drums establish a Latin groove that's very appealing. He floats lightly on top of it in a spare, tightly constructed series of embellishments that's full of what the popular music people call 'hooks.' There's a lot of repetition but no redundancy, if you know what I mean." (Wikipedia)

    More Info from Last.FM

    Celebrated pianist-composer Ahmad Jamal continues his performance schedule around the world, as he has for well over the last four decades. Noted for his outstanding technical command and identifiable sound as a piano stylist, Mr. Jamal was born on July 2, 1930, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. A child prodigy who began to play the piano at the age of three, he began formal studies at age seven. While in high school, he completed the equivalent of Read more on Last.fm more...

  3. Bud Powell / I Can't Get Started

    Bud Powell just drip drops so easily through this one. Lyrics by Ira Gerswin that start with: I've flown around the world in a plane I've settled revolutions in Spain The North Pole I have charted, but I can't get Started with you

    More Info from Last.FM

    Earl Rudolph "Bud" Powell (September 27, 1924 – July 31, 1966) was one of the most influential pianists in the history of jazz. Along with Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie he was instrumental in the development of bebop, and his virtuosity as a pianist led many to call him "the Charlie Parker of the piano". Powell was perhaps the first pianist to vocalize on the piano, meaning that he transfered his vocalized improvisations directly through his hands to the instrument. Read more on Last.fm more...

  4. Billie Holiday / Autumn in New York

    I swear I didn't plan it this way to put Oscar on here again so soon! I saved this track because I thought you'd want a dose of something other than piano here and there -- so Billie is your little treat -- but of course I selected it because the piano is so special throughout. Then I dig and dig and sure enough, Oscar played with her for this particular track.

    More Info from Last.FM

    Billie Holiday (Eleanora Fagan Gough, Philadelphia, PA, April 7, 1915 – New York City, NY, July 17, 1959) was an American jazz singer and songwriter. Nicknamed Lady Day by her loyal friend and musical partner Lester Young, Holiday was a highly original influence on jazz and pop singing. Her vocal style, strongly inspired by jazz instrumentalists, pioneered a new way of manipulating phrasing and tempo. Above all, she was admired for her deeply personal and intimate approach to singing. Read more on Last.fm more...

  5. Erroll Garner / I Cover the Waterfront (The Complete Concert by the Sea)

    This song murders me. Billie Holiday wrote it -- but I wanna bathe in it every time I hear it. And Erroll is my dream pianist. If I could be anyone at the keys, it'd be him. So of course he does this song total justice. Oh so sad and beautiful... I cover the waterfront I'm watching the sea Will the one I love Be coming back to me? I cover the waterfront In search of my love An I'm covered By a starlit sky above Here am I Patiently waiting Hoping and longing Oh, how I yearn Where are you? Have you thought back time? Will you remember? Will you return?

    More Info from Last.FM

    Erroll Garner (1921–1977) was a U.S. jazz pianist and composer, whose distinctive and melodic style brought him both popular acclaim and the admiration of his peers. Erroll Louis Garner was born on 15th June 1921 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and began playing the piano at the age of three. At the age of seven he began appearing on radio station KDKA in Pittsburgh with a group called the Candy Kids. By the age of eleven he was playing on the Allegheny riverboats. At the age of fourteen in 1937 he joined local saxophonist Leroy Brown. Read more on Last.fm more...

  6. Stan Getz & The Oscar Peterson Trio / Ballad Medley

    Medleys are good for the people who love every song that gets revealed along the way. This is that for me. 1) Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered 2) I Don't Know Why (I Just Do) 3) How Long Has This Been Going On? 4) I Can't Get Started 5) Polka Dots and Moonbeams

    More Info from Last.FM

    Stan Getz and Oscar Peterson worked together in 1957, recording the jazz classic album Stan Getz & The Oscar Peterson Trio, under the supervision of Norman Granz, for Verve Records. The other members of the Trio are guitarist Herb Ellis and bassist Ray Brown. Read more on Last.fm more...

  7. Bill Evans Trio / I Loves You Porgy

    Porgy & Bess by Gershwin is being revived by the Metropolitan Opera in New York this fall and it's had me revisiting the music. This is the song I'm learning currently with my teacher. I fell for this song when I heard Nina Simone sing it. Yes, more sad beautiful music!!! Never enough sad music!!!

    More Info from Last.FM

    One of the most famous and influential jazz pianists of the 20th century, Bill Evans formed the acclaimed piano trio in 1959, along with bassist Scott LaFaro and drummer Paul Motian. Evans' focus in this trio was jazz standards and original compositions, with an emphasis on interplay among the band members that often bordered on collective improvisation and blurred the line between soloist and accompanist. This trio recorded four albums: Portrait in Jazz (1959) Read more on Last.fm more...

  8. The Dave Brubeck Quartet / Three to Get Ready

    Don't go to sleep. I will try and keep this interesting.

    More Info from Last.FM

    The Dave Brubeck Quartet was an American modern jazz group formed in San Francisco in 1951 by jazz pianist Dave Brubeck (1920-2012). In what became known as the band's classic line-up, the band featured Joe Morello (1928–2011) on drums, Eugene Wright on bass, and Paul Desmond (1924-1977) on saxophone. The band remains best-known for their use of odd time signatures, and were a premier group in the cool jazz movement. They produced several standards, including Take Five and Blue Rondo à la Turk. Read more on Last.fm more...

  9. Frank Emilio, Tata Güines, Guillermo Barreto, Orlando Hernandez and Gustavo Tamayo / Habana

    Okay so if my other dream came true and I was a Cuban pianist, I'd wanna be Frank Emilio. Or damn, the drummers on this track. Okay I wanna be everybody.

    More Info from Last.FM

    Read more on Last.fm more...

  10. Bill Evans / Night and Day

    Another great standard.

    More Info from Last.FM

    There are at least three artists with this name: a jazz pianist, a jazz saxophonist and a banjo player. 1.) Bill Evans (born William John Evans; 16th August 1929-15th September 1980) was one of the most famous jazz pianists of the twentieth century. Along with McCoy Tyner and Oscar Peterson, he was the force behind the biggest evolution in jazz piano since Art Tatum and Bud Powell. His use of impressionistic harmony, his inventive interpretation of traditional jazz repertoire Read more on Last.fm more...

  11. Oscar Peterson Trio / There's A Small Hotel

    The album is called "Plays Pretty." Doesn't he though?

    More Info from Last.FM

    Oscar Peterson (1925-2007) was a Canadian jazz pianist and composer. Born in Montreal, Canada, Peterson began learning trumpet and piano from his father at the age of five, but by the age of seven, after a bout of tuberculosis, he concentrated on the piano. Some of the artists who influenced Peterson during the early years were Teddy Wilson, Nat "King" Cole, James P. Johnson, and the legendary Art Tatum, to whom many have tried to compare Peterson in later years. Read more on Last.fm more...

  12. Quinteto Música Moderna, Frank Emilio, Tata Güines, Guillermo Barreto, Gustavo Tamayo, Papito Hernández and productor Adolfo Seeman / No Te Importe Saber (Swing)

    Good ol Frankie at it again.

    More Info from Last.FM

    Read more on Last.fm more...

  13. Ahmad Jamal / Autumn Leaves

    Seasonal choice of course but also such a favorite. The way he rolls into those first chords... also such a sick beat from the drum and bass that follows in those first few moments. I feel like this should be used in a movie score.

    More Info from Last.FM

    Celebrated pianist-composer Ahmad Jamal continues his performance schedule around the world, as he has for well over the last four decades. Noted for his outstanding technical command and identifiable sound as a piano stylist, Mr. Jamal was born on July 2, 1930, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. A child prodigy who began to play the piano at the age of three, he began formal studies at age seven. While in high school, he completed the equivalent of Read more on Last.fm more...

  14. Frank Emilio, Tata Güines, Guillermo Barreto, Orlando Hernandez and Gustavo Tamayo / Gandinga, Mondongo y Sandunga (Descarga)

    Many of the same folks as the track above. I don't have time to research it right now, what do these words mean? Lazy, Tripe and Dance? That can't be it but it is all I've come up with at the moment. I'll get back to you.

    More Info from Last.FM

    Read more on Last.fm more...

  15. Ruben Gonzalez / Melodia del Rio

    Ruben! Of Buena Vista Social Club fame! That was a fun time in the 90s. :) But he's been an inspiration to me with piano since then and I love his solid, clunky yet rippling steps up and down the keys.

    More Info from Last.FM

    He learned to play the piano at the music high school of Cienfuegos. He studied medicine but abandoned his studies due to financial difficulties. He began playing with groups in Las Villas. In 1940, he moved to Havana, where he played in the charangas of Paulina Álvarez and Paulín, with Arsenio Rodríguez, Kubavana and Senén Suárez and in the big bands Siboney and Riverside. In 1943, he released his first recording, together with Arsenio Rodríguez. Read more on Last.fm more...

  16. Stan Getz & The Oscar Peterson Trio / I'm Glad There Is You

    In this world of ordinary people Extraordinary people, I'm glad there is you In this world of over-rated pleasures Of under-rated treasures, I'm glad there is you

    More Info from Last.FM

    Stan Getz and Oscar Peterson worked together in 1957, recording the jazz classic album Stan Getz & The Oscar Peterson Trio, under the supervision of Norman Granz, for Verve Records. The other members of the Trio are guitarist Herb Ellis and bassist Ray Brown. Read more on Last.fm more...

  17. Red Garland / Please Send Me Someone To Love (feat. Paul Chambers & Art Taylor)

    More Info from Last.FM

    Largely self-taught, Red Garland established a reputation as a solid post-bop mainstream player in the 50s, playing with many of the most famous jazz musicians of the time. He achieved international fame in the late 50s as part of the Miles Davis quintet. He went on to lead his own groups, but then retired in 1968, a victim the declining demand for jazz. He reemerged in 1976 and performed regularly until his death in 1984. Garland was known for his eloquent middle-of-the-road style. Read more on Last.fm more...

  18. Cedar Walton Trio, David Williams and Billy Higgins / Skylark

    One of my top ten favorite standards. I don't know anything about Cedar Walton but I tried to find pianists from my lifetime to appreciate, I really tried.

    More Info from Last.FM

    Cedar Anthony Walton, Jr. (January 17, 1934 - August 19, 2013) was an American hard bop jazz pianist. Walton grew up in Dallas, Texas, also home to jazz luminaries such as Charlie Christian and Red Garland. After attending the University of Denver, Walton moved to New York in 1955. After a two year stint in the army in which he performed in a jazz ensemble, he joined Kenny Dorham's band. By the late 1950s Walton was playing with J. J. Johnson, the Art Farmer and Benny Golson lead group the Jazztet, and Gigi Gryce. Read more on Last.fm more...

  19. Bud Powell Trio / Over the Rainbow

    Singing this a lot as a lullaby these days. What a good song. Shout out to composer Harold Arlen.

    More Info from Last.FM

    Earl Rudolph "Bud" Powell (September 27, 1924 – July 31, 1966) was one of the most influential pianists in the history of jazz. Along with Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie he was instrumental in the development of bebop, and his virtuosity as a pianist led many to call him "the Charlie Parker of the piano". Powell was perhaps the first pianist to vocalize on the piano, meaning that he transfered his vocalized improvisations directly through his hands to the instrument. Read more on Last.fm more...

  20. Errol Garner Trio / Misty

    Closing with my muse, Errol. My piano teacher got me to notice his use of octaves for the melody line... and now I've learned that rattling octaves is such a fun trick when playing! This is a song my dad taught me as a kid.

    More Info from Last.FM

    Read more on Last.fm more...

Past Mixes