The Book Of Jazz - online reference book

Its Nature, Instruments, Sources, Sounds, Development & Performers

Home Main Menu Singing & Playing Order & Order Info Support Search Voucher Codes

Share page  Visit Us On FB

Previous Contents Next
The Piano
at one time with Gillespie, Parker or both: Al Haig, Duke Jordan, Lou Levy, George Wallington and Billy Taylor.*
Contemporaneous with Powell as an arbiter of bop, but more important as a uniquely creative composer than as a pianist, was Thelonious Monk, sometimes called the "high priest of bop*, whose approach in many ways was directly opposed to Bud's. Monk has always favored an economy of notes, a tendency to work along vertical lines t that are as thought-provoking as Powell's are numbing. Monk, like Powell, has composed melodies of great harmonic charm. In his improvisations he is given to the unpredictable use of two-part intervals and has a predilection for seconds; he has made frequent use of whole-tone scale runs and has an almost pathological aversion for playing the awaited chord at the expected moment. Though he has worked exclu­sively with bop musicians and is harmonically compatible with the hoppers, Monk is beyond classification as a pianist of any sect.
Since Monk and Powell there has been a plethora of jazz piano talent, but few of the newcomers show signs of becoming influential enough to start a school of imitators. Horace Silver, a Powell devotee, can claim to have produced a composing and improvising style that has earned many adherents. Quiet-mannered, personable, leader of his own quintet, he reflects in his single-note lines the more orderly nature of his mind while displaying an incisive touch that is instantly recognizable to his followers.*
* Among the more important pianists the origins of whose styles lie to some degree in bop are Barbara Carroll, Eddie Costa, Kenny Drew, Russ Freeman, Buddy Greco; the remarkable Bengt Hallberg, a hero of every American jazzman who has visited Sweden; Hampton Hawes, Elmo Hope, Dick Hyman, Ahmad Jamal, Pete Jolly, Hank Jones, Dick Katz, Wynton Kelly, Roy Krai, Wade Legge, John Lewis, Junior Mance, Marian McPart-land; Phineas Newborn, an exceptional technician and one of the most highly regarded of the younger school; Marty Paich, Carl Perkins, Terry Pollard, Andre" Previn, Ralph Sharon, Toshiko; Randy Weston, whose main influence is Monk; Gerald Wiggins and Claude Williamson.
f Definitions of the terms "vertical" and "horizontal" in their musical usage will be found in the Anatomy of Improvisation chapter, on Page 212.
* Others who have shown originality during this period include Jimmy Jones, the long-underrated accompanist to Sarah Vaughan; Dave McKenna and Herbie Nichols.