Monday, September 1, 2014

Video: the History of Jazz Piano in 11.5 minutes

This YouTube video released several months ago by pianist Kris Bowers and his band takes you through the history of style of one instrument—jazz piano—since its inception in the late 1800s to today. In less time than it takes to cook pasta. 

What I really like about this video is how Bowers 1) gives us a taste of all these styles with musical examples, 2) does it in real time, and 3) plays it all himself.  What a performance!

While I disagree with the reductiveness of the video (such as the claim that one person inviting ragtime or the stride style, for example), I understand that in the short time they had, they gave their audience of lot of really interesting information. They also understandably spend much more time on the present day than warranted, and perhaps too much time on Herbie Hancock, important as he is.

For more commentary on the video, I first saw the video linked from the NPR Jazz blog, a Blog Supreme by Patrick Jarenwattananon. Enjoy!

Vocab: ragtime, stride

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