Mike Nelson's publications

"THE CRAFT OF JAZZ PIANO"
(due for publication early 2005)


The CRAFT OF JAZZ PIANO is to be a handbook covering many areas of interest to jazz piano students and music educators. I commenced this project in response to the many requests for further information I received following a number of jazz workshops I conducted for the Orff Society and the W.A. Music Teacher's Association. These workshops were the result of a perceived need by professional piano teachers for an explanation of essential jazz piano techniques following the introduction of jazz (in the form of fully realised jazz flavoured pieces) into the A.M.E.B. syllabus.

While the performance of these pieces may recreate to some extent the sound of jazz piano this activity by itself will not necessarily identify and acquaint the performer with the various idiomatic jazz piano systems the composers have utilised.

An essential element of jazz is improvisation. The jazz musician usually encounters written music which is incomplete by traditional "classical" standards. Most often the music consists of nothing more than a melody or theme written on one staff (usually treble) with chord symbols indicating the underlying harmony. The musician is expected to create the elements of texture, style, rhythm, thematic development and even form as an expression of his own creativity. To do this effectively the jazz performer must embark upon a course of years of rigorous practice and study in order to master a number of systems to the point where the player's grasp of these systems is sufficiently intuitive to enable him to create meaningful music from (ideally) the first reading. Of course to reach this point would require an exclusive commitment to jazz for many years, something which an experienced "classical" music teacher would be understandably reluctant to do just as few jazz musicians would attempt to gain even a basic familiarity with the repertoire of the "great" composers.

It is possible without too much effort however to gain sufficient understanding of jazz systems to remove the fear of the unknown, enhance listening enjoyment through increased understanding, identify the various larger 20th century harmonic systems which are often the source of jazz systems and experience the enjoyment of elementary improvisation. It is my sincere hope that this series will help you achieve this goal. (MIKE NELSON)

HOME
ABOUT MIKE NELSON
ABOUT JENNY WRENN
CONTACT
ABOUT US (WNP)
JAZZ EDUCATION
[including FREE Tutorials]
RECORDINGS
LINKS
Email us!
CLIENT PAGES
GIGS - WHAT'S ON


page top


©Mike Nelson 2001