1 Laurence Hobgood, “Two For One: Kurt Elling's Pianist and Collaborator Explores the Symbiotic Nature of Accompanying Singers,” JazzTimes (June 2004): 54-60, and Bill Charlap, “Woodshed: Master Class - Building an Accompanist-Vocalist Partnership,” Down Beat (December 2005): 106.
2 Paul Berliner, Thinking in Jazz: The Infinite Art of Improvisation (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1994).
3 Gerald Moore, The Unashamed Accompanist (New York: Macmillan, 1944), 1.
4 Chuck Israels, “The Piano and the Art of Jazz Accompaniment,” Jazz Player (February/March 1995): 26
5 Israels, 26.
6 Chick Corea, “The Pianist’s Duties, Part II: Accompaniment,” Contemporary Keyboard (December 1979): 39.
7 Bob Bernotas, “Playing for Jazz Singers,” Piano and Keyboard (March/April 2000): 15.
8 Defining what constitutes being jazz vocalist is problematic. Some singers like Frank Sinatra and Billie Holiday did not improvise using scat soloing but are often referred to as jazz singers. For the purposes of this project, which examines pianists that work with vocalists that sing mostly jazz standards and improvise, a jazz singer is “someone who uses his or her instrument in a disciplined and intelligent manner to sing songs in a jazz setting and who, during performance, will communicate not only a commitment to and love for the music to the audience, but will also, at times, improvise within the framework of the music to create a performance that demonstrates a kind of premeditated spontaneity” (Bruce Crowther and Mike Pinfold, Singing Jazz- The Singers and Their Styles. (San Francisco: Miller Freeman, 1997), 14. I would add that the jazz singer has the ability to swing, has a solid time feel, is able to vary their phrasing, has an individual conception, is emotionally involved with the lyrics, is aware of the jazz vocal lineage, has detectable jazz influences and in general takes risks with the music.
9 Quoted in Norman David, The Ella Fitzgerald Companion (London: Praeger, 2004), 194.
10 David, 194.
11 An excellent video shows his accompaniment work with Holiday on “My Man”: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IqlehVpcAes, accessed October 24, 2010.
12 Len Lyons, The Great Jazz Pianists (New York: Da Capo, 1983), 155.
13 Lyons, 155.
14 Phillip D. Atteberry, “Paul Smith: Interview,” Cadence - The Review of Jazz & Blues - Creative Improvised Music (June 1994): 5-10.
15 Paul Hofmann, “Accompanying the Jazz Vocalist,” http://www.mhrrecords.com/articlesandessays/essay07.html, accessed October 25, 2010
16 Personal interview with author via e-mail on June 11, 2010. All subsequent quotes and ideas from this artist are from the same interview.
17 Personal interview with author via Skype on July 20, 2010. All subsequent quotes and ideas from this artist are from the same interview.
18 Personal interview with author via e-mail on October 18, 2009. All subsequent quotes and ideas from this artist are from the same interview.
19 Personal interview with author via e-mail on October 25, 2009. All subsequent quotes and ideas from this artist are from the same interview.
20 Though many consider Peterson to be a “busy” player, his accompaniment on these recordings is never intrusive, perhaps because, like Count Basie, he preferred ornamentation in the higher register of the piano.
21 Personal interview with author via e-mail on January 30, 2010. All subsequent quotes and ideas from this artist are from the same interview.
22 Colianni notes Sharon “knew how to bring out whatever feeling and emotion is supposed to be portrayed in the song.” Several of his favorite Sharon/Bennett tracks include “A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square,” “I Wish I Were in Love Again,” What Are You Afraid Of,” “Why Do People Fall in Love” and “How Do You Keep the Music Playing.”
23 Personal interview with author via Skype on August 13, 2010. All subsequent quotes and ideas from this artist are from the same interview.
24 Personal interview with author via Skype on July 27, 2010. All subsequent quotes and ideas from this artist are from the same interview.
25 Hobgood advises to watch the entire movie “Round Midnight” and to only listen to Hancock’s “astounding” accompanying. He believes Hancock is “a master of time and feel.”
26 This video is currently available on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HHJryf42O14, accessed October 24, 2010. The camera work is excellent, showing several instructional shots of Corea watching Wilson for cues.
27 Corea, 39.
28 Personal interview with author via Skype on July 20, 2010. All subsequent quotes and ideas from this artist are from the same interview.
29 Bill Charlap, “Woodshed: Master Class - Building an Accompanist-Vocalist Partnership,” Down Beat
(December 2005): 106.
30 Bret Primrack and Richard Dubin, “Detroit’s Triple Gift to the Jazz Piano World,” Contemporary Keyboard (December 1979): 22.
31 Wayne Enstice and Paul Rubin, Jazz Spoken Here: Conversations With Twenty-Two Musicians (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State Press, 1992), 165.
32 Enstice, 165.
33 Comping is an abbreviation for accompanying with chords and for complimenting the soloist and oneself in a jazz setting.
34 Personal interview with author via e-mail on June 2, 2010. All subsequent quotes and ideas from this artist are from the same interview.
35 Clusters are voicings that contain at least three consecutive tones (ie. C,D,Eb,F,G).
36 Moore, 28.
37 This piece is part of the medley “Leaving Again/In the Wee Small Hours” on Kurt Elling’s Nightmoves.
38 Though not directly influenced by it, Hobgood’s accompaniment strongly resembles Schumann’s “Hör' ich das Liedchen klingen” from the song cycle Dichterliebe.
39 Newton notes he learned this technique by listening to a Carpenter’s album, noting how each instrumental entrance was layered, which built noticeable tension until the piece began.
40 Moore, 31.
41 Algernon H. Lindo, The Art of Accompanying (New York: Schirmer, 1916), 32.
42 Moore, 29.
43 Bill Charlap, “Woodshed: Master Class - Building an Accompanist-Vocalist Partnership,” Down Beat
(December 2005): 106.
44 di Martino notes that pianist Tom Garvin learned this approach from watching Carmen McRae accompany herself during portions of shows.
45 The vocal phrasing here is approximate - rhythms have been simplified for ease of reading.
46 “Sometimes the accompanist should take his hands off the keyboard and release his sustaining pedal, taking off his tone at the same moment the singer does, thus making a noticeable gap in the music. This should be a rehearsed effect and should be done either for dramatic emphasis or to precede and to ensure a perfectly timed attack from both of them on the next note,” Moore, 29.
47 Paul Berliner, Thinking in Jazz: The Infinite Art of Improvisation (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1994), 361.
48 Israels, 27.
49 Per Danielsson, “Accompanying a Singer,” Creative Keyboard (February 2002): 1.
50 Hobgood, 58.
51 Refer to Mark Levine’s The Jazz Piano Book (Petaluma, CA: Sher, 1989), 141, for further discussion of the “Kenny Barron” voicing.
52 Bernotas, 17.
53 For further discussion of open and closed voicings refer to Bill Dobbins’s A Creative Approach to Jazz Piano Harmony (Rottenburg, Germany: Advance Music, 1994), 11-26.
54 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zUOi1ogwE8o, accessed October 24, 2010.
55 Refer to Luke Gillespie, Stylistic II/V7/I Voicings for Keyboardists (New Albany: Jamey Aebersold Jazz, 2000), 73-93.
56 Entice, 151.
57 Primrack, 22. Hank Jones credited Jimmy Jones with being “the greatest accompanist in the world,” adding that in addition to his melodic “one-finger line” approach, his orchestral style was reminiscent of Debussy and Ravel.
58 Entice, 151.
59 Entice, 151.
60 Primrack, 22.
61 Additionally, Newton speculates that George Shearing and Oscar Peterson were two of the few pianists who could successfully fill in abundant single-note lines behind vocalists.
62 Danielsson, 1.
63 Danielsson, 1.
64 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zUOi1ogwE8o, accessed October 24, 2010.
65 David, 195.
66 Lyons, 155.
67 Bernatos, 18. As an example, di Martino notes he may place the melody as the top note of the voicing on the “tricky minor ninth jump” between the second and third notes of Duke Ellington’s “I Got it Bad.” Other examples in the standard repertoire that have challenging intervallic leaps include “Tenderly,” “Stardust,” the bridge to “What Are You Doing the Rest of Your Life,” and the bridge to “Sophisticated Lady.”
68 Jon Dryden, The Pro Keyboardist’s Handbook (Van Nuys: Alfred, 2001), 60.
69 Moore, 8.
70 Douglas Henry Daniels, “Lester Young: Master of Jive,” American Music, Vol. 3, No. 3 (Autumn, 1985): 313-328.
71 Marian McPartland, Marian McPartland’s Jazz World: All in Good Time (Urbana, University of Illinois Press, 1987), 8.
72 David, 194.
73 Danielsson, 3.
74 For exemplary recordings of German Lieder refer to Fischer-Dieskau and Gerald Moore’s many collaborations, notably Schubert:Winterreise (Deutsche Grammophon, 1985).
75 There are many instances of text painting in Schubert’s song cycles Die Winterreise (The Winter’s Journey) and Die schöne Müllerin (The Fair Miller-Maid).
76 Pettinger, 234.
77 Hobgood, 59.
78 Randy Halberstadt, Metaphors for the Jazz Musician (Petaluma, CA: Sher, 2001), 238. Halberstadt adds that simple roots in the left hand can be used alternatively to bass lines. The vocal line has been added to the piano example from the book.
79 Pettinger, 158.
80 Pettinger, 158.
81 Lyons, 224.
82 Moore, 47.
83 Primrack, 22.
84 Primrack, 22.
85 Pettinger, 158.
86 Pettinger, 158.
87 Bernotas, 18.
88 He may, for example, play a ballad in Eb very simply with right hand melody and left hand roots. Then he would play the next chorus in E with fuller voicings. In F he would play it in the style of George Shearing with block chords. The next chorus (up another half step) he would play it Red Garland style, with left hand rootless voicings and a filled-in octave in the right hand. In the next key he would perform it in Erroll Garner style, which is similar to the Red Garland style, except that the left hand is playing quarter notes. Up another half step, he would play the piece in a stride style, and another half step up he would play the next chorus in a Brazilian style.
89 Interview with Tierney Sutton: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vOf3ZdC49hQ, accessed October 24, 2010.
90 “The Beauty Of All Things” came together because Laurence had a vision of me on a windswept, moonlight coastal night at some festival somewhere laying out that music and that message in such a way that we’d know we were doing what we came on this earth to do.” – Kurt Elling, liner notes to The Messenger.
91 Kurt Elling, liner notes, This Time It’s Love.
92 D.D. Jackson, “The Beat: Living Jazz - The Art of Comping,” Down Beat (August 2008): 19.
93 Hofmann, 2.
94 Dryden, 62.
95 Dryden, 62.
96 Hobgood, 58-59. Hobgood notes that performances of Dexter Gordon’s “Tanya” felt entirely better when he aligned his time placement with the bass and drums instead of with Elling who tended to lay behind the beat for his vocalese on certain key rhythms.
97 Hobgood notes that with most standard tunes, after the first phrase the next harmonic destination point is either going to be right at the end of the first phrase, or the beginning of the next phrase. Sometimes the real harmonic arrival point may not even be until mid-way through the following phrase.
98 Hobgood, 58.
99 Though di Martino recommends the duo recordings Larkins made with Fitzgerald, he feels the albums he made with Ruby Braff is also worth listening to due to their superior recording quality.
100 Arthur Taylor, Notes and Tones: Musician-to-Musician Interviews (New York: Da Capo Press, 1993), 134.
101 Taylor, 144.
102 Crowther, 47.
103 Crowther, 47.
104 Berliner, 360.
105 Berliner, 360.
106 Crowther, 48.