Saturday, December 31, 2011

You Will Never Hear Anything Better Than This!

I was not familiar with Eddie Brown until Roger (Lots2Learn) turned me on to him.  What I love about this is that he is sharing his music in the service of others.  He can play very modern, but here he harks back to his grandmother's era and does something half way between old time gospel and Art Tatum.   He plays a broken down, out of tune spinet for his grandmother -- and magic  happens.  Not to be overly mystical, but sometimes you can tell when someone taps into a flow that is beyond themselves.  That's what I hear in this. I read that this was the last time he played for his grandmother, and she died a few days later.  It was as if he was there to bring an amazing message of what was to come for her.  This really touched me.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Tutorial: Still Crazy After All These Years

I recently posted a YouTube tutorial loosely based on the Paul Simon/Richard Tee version below.  I misnamed a good number of the chords -- calling +13's +11's more often than not.  That said, it was an attempt to straddle gospel and jazz in rhythm and voicing.  In some of my other posts, I've tried to straddle jazz and various styles of classical.  I find those intersections incredibly interesting (and challenging).   From the feedback I get, these tutorials can be pretty frustrating to a lot of viewers because they have some advanced concepts in them and require good piano skills to execute.  That said, when I have listened to a difficult recording, I just try to pick out one or two things that I find relevant and I focus on those.  That kind of buffet style of picking and choosing is what I bet most viewers do with these tutorials, which is great in my book. Below is the  link to the tutorial.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Richard Tee: Still Crazy After All These Years

Richard Tee was a genius piano player who straddled gospel and jazz more evenly than anyone else I can think of. Here he gives the perfect accompaniment to Paul Simon singing Still Crazy. He totally gives the flavor of the song (gospel) in what would otherwise have been a nice but fairly generic arrangement. He stays out of the way of the singer but totally stamps his personality on the performance.