Jazz piano is a genre of music that encompasses a wide range of styles, from ragtime to Latin jazz and beyond. While many jazz keyboard players focus on the piano, they can also play the organ, electronic keyboard, or other keyboard instruments. Jazz music is based on the same underlying theory, and typically uses chords, guide tones, and improvisation. Ragtime is an American musical genre that began in the late 19th century and was popular for about twenty years.
It is considered to be the first radio station in the history of
jazz piano music. Ragtime has four distinct styles, but only the classic style has remained popular. It is characterized by Martian rhythm pieces for piano or bands, with a firm left hand playing the bass on the first and third bars and chords on the second and fourth bars. Variations in this style enriched it further.
Latin jazz is a unique flavor of jazz with its own sound and rhythm. The most defining characteristic of Latin jazz is its rhythm, which some musicians call “swing” to contrast with the “swing” style of conventional jazz. Pianists must understand montuno and tumbao to play Latin jazz; montuno is a kind of vamp that draws chords, octaves and syncopation, while tumbao is an accompanying bass line played with the piano when there is no bass section. Cool jazz was particularly popular among white musicians because it downplayed jazz's African roots.
Thelonious Monk is widely accepted as a true master of American history of jazz piano music. Cocktail piano refers to a solo piano style in which the melody is heavily adorned with series and arpeggios. The 1960s saw the emergence of a small jazz group led by saxophonist Wayne Shorter, bassist Ron Carter and drummer Tony Williams; this group is widely considered to be the best small jazz group of the 1960s. Cool jazz represented a stage in which jazz music joined the general trend towards sound sculpture, which was the quintessence of twentieth-century Western music.
Pianists such as Scott Joplin, Jelly Roll Morton and Fats Waller are influential in building the jazz scene in New York, Chicago and New Orleans. These musicians paved the way for modern jazz piano music, which continues to be kept alive by contemporary jazz musicians today. To master the piano in all its glory, it's important to understand all possible styles of playing it. Thelonious Monk was not only an incredibly cerebral pianist but also one of the best composers of the Bebop era.He toured with many important jazz ensembles during his career, such as Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers and Rahsaan Roland Kirk's experimental saxophone group.
He also became the acoustic pianist for Charles Lloyd Quartet on their successful tours of Western and Eastern Europe, where American jazz was particularly popular. Without understanding classical piano technique, it can be difficult to learn other styles of piano playing. To become a master at playing jazz piano music, it's important to understand all its different styles and nuances.