The Book Of Jazz - online reference book

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

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68                              THE INSTRUMENTS, THE SOUNDS, THE PERFORMERS
Just as the Teddy Wilson influence in the 1930s found its parallel in the following decade with the emergence of Bud Powell, the boogie-woogie phenomenon had a stylistic counter­part in the 1940s with the advent of a new jazz piano technique. This was the 'locked hands'* or "block chord* style, in which the left hand moves parallel with the right, playing extra notes in the chord or duplicating the right hand's chord, instead of supplying a bass line. This style, like the bop piano of Powell, is often meaningless without accompaniment by bass and drums. Initiated in the early 1940s by Phil Moore, the arranger, and by Milt Buckner, the pianist in Lionel Hampton s band, it was popularized by George "Shearing and is now used occa­sionally by most modern pianists, all of whom, however, relieve its tendency to monotony by reverting frequently to a more horizontal style.
Two modern pianists who are fortunate enough to be able to defy pigeonholing are Dave Brubeck and Enroll Garner. Bra-becFs studies with Milhaud, and his belief in the influence of Bartok and Stravinsky on present-day jazz trends, are reflected in his piano improvisations. Though he has what his saxophonist Paul Desmond has described as a "pile-driver" approach to the piano, he is credited by Desmond with creating, in his best moments, "a profoundly moving experience, emotionally and intellectually ... the vigor and force of simple jazz, the harmonic complexities of Bartok and Milhaud, the form (and much of the dignity) of Bach, and, at times, the lyrical romanticism of Rachmaninoff." Brubeck, a passionately sincere and dedicated musician, has been the subject of no less passionate disagreement He and his quartet have gained such an ineluctable foothold with the American jazz fans tfhat the predominant attitude of musicians and critics toward his work seems paradoxical. Many of them believe that Brubeck, though an excellent musician, tries too hard to accomplish too much.
"He just doesn't swing," Tony Scott told a reporter. "BrubecFs music is like a box, and he's caught inside it. I don't think he's a jazzman and I think he's a poor musician even in what he plays. Tve studied modern music for years and had an education