blog post
12 August 2018

Playing Jazz Standards

A good deal of time with my students I dedicate to showing them the ways of playing jazz standards and using various approaches of harmonization.

Alone Together

Here is a one minute of “Alone Together” from a lesson a few years ago.

‘Round Midnight

Here is a Thelonius Monk “Round Midnight“, one of the most popular jazz ballad tunes showed to one of my students on a lesson a few years ago

In Your Own Sweet Way By Dave Brubeck

Another video is a demonstration of a beautiful Dave Brubeck classic composition “In Your Own Sweet Way

Learning Jazz Standards

Studying harmony, learning how to connect the chords (voice leading) and make chord movements is important. And of course, listening to a great jazz piano masters like Art Tatum, George Shearing, Bud Powell, Bill Evans, Erroll Garner, Dave Brubeck, Oscar Peterson and many others is crucial for studying various approaches to standards. Pianists can also get much inspiration from getting to know the orchestral works of Tadd Dameron, Ellington and Strayhorn, Stan Kenton and Thad Jones. There is so much beauty in orchestrations made for singers. The great arranger Nelson Riddle made some beautiful arrangements for Frank Sinatra and Nat King Cole. Here are some great albums by the singers (YouTube links):

Ray Charles and Betty Carter (arrangements by Marty Paich). Listen to “Alone Together”

Frank Sinatra Sings for Only the Lonely

Nat King Cole Sings For Two In Love

Somewhere Over The Rainbow (piano arrangement)

I have written dozens of jazz piano arrangements to demonstrate some approaches to jazz standards, harmonization techniques, etc. Here my arrangement version of a popular song Somewhere Over The Rainbow by Harold Arlen and E.Y. Harburg. Click on the image below to go to the page with the audio and sheet music.

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Claudio Werner
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Great music, jazz is the best

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