Recensioni ai Quanah Parker (progressive rock)

Below here, some excerpts from some beautiful reviews to my Italian progressive rock band “Quanah Parker” (www.quanahparker.it). Our music is available on cdbaby and at www.gtmusic.it  Many thanks to our reviewers and… we hope you’ll enjoy reading this!

Un disco che inorgoglisce il Progressive Italiano, senza spazio e senza tempo, a dimostrazione che questa magia mai finirà. (Massimo Salari, recensione al CD Suite degli Animali Fantastici, 28 febbraio 2015, http://nonsoloprogrock.blogspot.it/2015/02/quanah-parker.html).

Continua…

Preview of the new Quanah Parker CD “Suite degli Animali Fantastici”

Good news! The new CD Suite degli Animali Fantastici by my Italian progressive rock band Quanah Parker (www.quanahparker.it) is going to be released by M.P. & Records and will be available in a few days through www.gtmusic.it, where you can also find our first album Quanah!

Below here are the  links to a SoundCloud preview of two pieces from Suite degli Animali Fantastici. This CD features twelve original pieces, among them a 30-minutes long Suite in the best Progressive Rock tradition. More on this album soon.  Good listening and… enjoy! 🙂

From Distant Lands:
https://soundcloud.com/unfolk/from-distant-lands-full-version

Animale Multiforme:
https://soundcloud.com/unfolk/animale-multiforme-full-version

https://soundcloud.com/unfolk

 

Prog Suite Animali Fantastici dei Quanah Parker!

Great news: the 2nd album by my Quanah Parker progressive rock band has been completed and is going to be released soon! This album will feature five original compositions of mine, among them the 25-minutes long Suite degli Animali Fantastici, whose truly beautiful and fascinating lyrics (and some musical parts as well) have been written by my long-time friend and musical partner Alessandro “unfolk” Monti (also a member of the original 1981-1985 line-up of this band). Here are the detailed, very interesting introductory notes Alessandro himself wrote on these lyrics.

In my view, the lyrics written by Alessandro for this Suite have a very high poetic quality and are worthy to stand alongside the greatest masterpieces of progressive rock. To you to discover them!

All the titles of this album have been arranged by the Quanah Parker band, with Alessandro contributing (in the Suite and another piece) as a very interesting bassist too. The album will be released by the label M.P. & Records and will be distributed by G.T. Music Distribution, which already distributes our 1st album Quanah! (2012, Diplodisc dpl 004) and the very interesting DIPLOCOMP: A Diplodisc Sampler (this latter including a new voice-piano-choir arrangement of my piece After The Rain from the Quanah Parker repertoire). In its catalog, M.P. & Records has many albums by Prog legends such as Rick Wakeman, Arturo Stàlteri, Pierrot Lunaire, Le Orme, Bernardo Lanzetti, etc, so we Quanah Parker are very proud of being part of this!

More on this album soon, so… stay tuned! 🙂

Quanah Parker: Riccardo “Rick” Scivales (keyboards), Elisabetta “Betty” Montino (voice), Giovanni Pirrotta (guitars, bass), Paolo “Ongars” Ongaro (drums), Alessandro “unfolk” Monti (bass, second voice, Moeck flute, tabla, assorted percussions).

 

TESTO IN ITALIANO:

Grandi novità:  il secondo album della mia band di progressive rock Quanah Parker è finalmente completo e sta per essere pubblicato! Conterrà cinque mie composizioni, tra le quali la Suite degli Animali Fantastici, un brano di 25 minuti i cui straordinari testi (e alcune parti della musica) sono stati scritti dal mio amico e partner musicale di lunga data Alessandro “unfolk” Monti (già membro della formazione originale della band nel 1981-1985). Qui possiamo leggere le bellissime note introduttive che lo stesso Alessandro ha scritto su queste sue “lyrics” affascinanti e le ispirazioni da cui esse sono nate.

A mio avviso, i testi scritti da Alessandro per questa Suite hanno un’altissima qualita poetica e sono degni di stare accanto ai più grandi capolavori del rock progressivo. A voi scoprirli!

Tutti i titoli di questo album sono stati arrangiati dalla band Quanah Parker, e Alessandro vi ha dato un bellissimo contributo anche come bassista della Suite e di un altro brano. L’album uscirà per l’etichetta M.P. & Records e verrà distribuito da G.T. Music Distribution, che già distribuisce il nostro primo album Quanah! (2012, Diplodisc dpl 004) e l’interessantissima DIPLOCOMP: A Diplodisc Sampler (quest’ultima con un nuovo arrangiamento di voce-pianoforte-coro del mio brano After The Rain dal repertorio dei Quanah Parker). Nel suo catalogo, la M.P. & Records ha molti album di leggende del Prog come Rick Wakeman, Arturo Stàlteri, Pierrot Lunaire, Le Orme, Bernardo Lanzetti, ecc, quindi è inutile dire quanto i Quanah Parker siano orgogliosi di entrarne a far parte!
Presto maggiori informazioni su questo CD…  stay tuned! 🙂

Quanah Parker: Riccardo “Rick” Scivales (tastiere), Elisabetta “Betty” Montino (voce), Giovanni Pirrotta (chitarre, basso), Paolo “Ongars” Ongaro (batteria), Alessandro “unfolk” Monti (basso, seconda voce, flauto dolce Moeck, tabla, percussioni).

Reviews to Riccardo Scivales’ music books

Hi! Excerpted from reviews written by well-known jazz musicians and musicologists, below here some comments to my books of transcriptions and original piano pieces. I wish to thank all these people who found them good and spoke so highly of them!

Scivales gives us superb transcriptions, […] with details […] carefully worked out. […] what we have here is a major addition to the “must” folios shelf. (Butch Thompson, review to Harlem Stride Piano Solos, “The Mississippi Rag”, March 1991). www.youtube.com/watch?v=FwuxpsEzXE4

[…] a magnificent work tool, whose quality is comparable with the books of James Dapogny on Jelly Roll Morton or of Jed Distler on Art Tatum. (Louis Mazetier, review to Harlem Stride Piano Solos, “Bullettin du Hot Club France”, September 1991).

[…] Riccardo Scivales, […] one of the foremost authorithies on traditional jazz piano playing we know […] has recently completed a new book just now going to press, Jazz Piano: The Left Hand. This is an extraordinary treatise that traces, demonstrates, and puts into practice the techniques of the left hand in popular and jazz piano styles from ragtime to the present day. The age-old complaint, “I don’t know what to do with my left hand,” has plenty of sure-fire remedies lurking within the pages of this major work. (Ed ShanaphyPeople of Importance, “Sheet Music Magazine”, Summer 2005). http://www.riccardoscivales.com/290/

[…] an impressive folio. The transcriptions feel right under the hands and sound good to hear. (Mark Tucker, review to Harlem Stride Piano Solos, “I.S.A.M. Newsletter”, November 1991).

[…] hats off to Maestro Scivales for a superlative job. Again, my deepest gratitude; please keep up this good and important work. (Frank Feldman, letter on Harlem Stride Piano Solos, “Sheet Music Magazine”, July/August 1990).

[…] il trascrittore ha fatto un lavoro, oltre che eccellente, estenuante: ogni suono udibile (e non pochi si collocano al limite estremo della soglia di udibilità), ogni figurazione ritmica per complessa che sia, ogni accento significativo sono stati notati fedelmente […]. (Angelo Zaniol, review to Harlem Stride Piano Solos, “Rivista Italiana di Musicologia”, XXV, 1990).

Il lavoro svolto è pressoché perfetto […]. Solo chi ci si è provato […] potrà quindi apprezzare fino in fondo la precisione di Scivales. [..] C’è solo un pericolo: che adesso gli americani credano che in Italia gli esperti di jazz siano tutti bravi come Scivales. Ma per ora lasciamoglielo credere. [Marcello Piras, review to Harlem Stride Piano Solos, “Musica Jazz”, marzo 1991).

Riccardo Scivales, musicista e musicologo che si può considerare il massimo esperto a livello mondiale di stride piano, […]. (Maurizio FrancoDentro le note,“Musica Jazz”, novembre 2003).

Riccardo Scivales è, in assoluto, uno dei più autorevoli studiosi dello stride e le sue trascrizioni rappresentano un indispensabile punto di riferimento didattico per chiunque voglia accostarsi a questo stile pianistico. (Claudio Angeleri, dal sito del CDpM-Centro Didattico produzione Musica di Bergamo, www.cdpm.it).

Il lavoro di Scivales si può definire “unico” perché per la prima volta tenta di dare un quadro completo dello “stride piano” […] (Giovanni Greto, review to Harlem Stride Piano Solos, “Blu Jazz”).

Your piece, Chant Of The Sea-Horse, is a lovely and pianistic bit of impressionism. I like it quite a lot. (Dick Hyman, letter to the author, January 1, 1995).

Scivales’ transcriptions here and in his earlier book Harlem Stride Piano Solos are superb. More of this, please. (Butch Thompson, review to Dick Wellstood Jazz Piano Solos, “The Mississippi Rag”, October 1995).

[…] Wellstood’s stride-fueled improvisations have been faithfully transcribed by that keyboard lion of Venice, Riccardo Scivales. Like Scivales’ earlier collection, Harlem Stride Piano Solos, the Wellstood folio offers a passport to those in search of digital thrills and rhythmic revelation. (Mark Tucker, review to Dick Wellstood Jazz Piano Solos, “I.S.A.M. Newsletter”, Spring 1995).  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yJFUlxiwjKQ

As usual, the transcriptions are of a superb quality […]. This work is indispensable to everyone is interested in stride piano and in the music of Dick Wellstood more in particular. (Louis Mazetier, review to Dick Wellstood Jazz Piano Solos, “Bullettin du Hot Club France”, May 1995). http://www.riccardoscivales.com/dick-wellstood-version-entertainer/

[…] a valuable addition to the Wellstood legacy. […] thanks to Riccardo Scivales for this bouquet of evergreens. (Jack D. Styne, review to Dick Wellstood Jazz Piano Solos, “Jersey Jazz”, March 1995).

Riccardo Scivales […] è un trascrittore formidabile […]. E’ italiano, eppure pubblica i suoi preziosi lavori negli Stati Uniti, dove hanno regolarmente successo […]. Questo libro è un mattone fondamentale, che non dovrebbe mancare sul vostro pianoforte. […]  (Stefano Zenni, review to Dick Wellstood Jazz Piano Solos and Learn To Play Latin Piano, “Musica Jazz”, maggio 1996).

[…] nessuno affronta con sistematicità il problema ritmico come lo affronta Scivales. […] Una sorta di “il mio primo latin piano”che gli interessati […] non dovrebbero farsi sfuggire. (Stefano Zenni, review to Dick Wellstood Jazz Piano Solos and Learn To Play Latin Piano, “Musica Jazz”, maggio 1996). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dp6firGVcmw

[…] è notevole anche lo sforzo creativo che si accompagna al metodo: le composizioni sono brani compiuti e suonabilissimi, arrangiabili e proponibili in un programma di musica latinoamericana. (Giorgio Cuscito, review to Learn To Play Latin Piano, “Jazz”, Novembre-dicembre 1995).

Giustizia è fatta! […] Riccardo Scivales […] colma una lacuna gravissima nel campo della didattica jazzistica, ristabilendo le giuste proporzioni fra Tatum ed altri campioni del jazz che, al contrario, hanno goduto di ben diversa attenzione da parte degli studiosi. […] Scivales è senz’altro il più autorevole esperto “non americano” del settore, […] le sue trascrizioni, tutte molto ben fatte, sono tra le più eseguite in Italia e all’estero […]. (Giorgio Cuscito, review to The Right Hand According To Tatum, “Jazz”, ottobre 1998).

Have a good time. And when you are taking your bows, imagined or real, thank Riccardo Scivales for his hard work in making it possible. (Russ Chase, review to Dick Wellstood Jazz Piano Solos and The Right Hand According To Tatum, “IAJRC Journal”, Winter 1999).

Scivales offre allora dieci preziose trascrizioni integrali […] e le commenta sinteticamente con il suo consueto acume didattico. […] il lavoro dell’autore è unico e meritorio, in quanto non esistono in commercio testi che analizzino il linguaggio tatumiano. (Stefano Zenni, review to The Right Hand According To Tatum, “Musica Jazz”, marzo 2000). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LGEcXxUgdhI

[…] un metodo valido ed efficace le cui composizioni, lungi dall’essere meri esercizi scolastici, pongono significativi problemi di carattere stilistico, formale, ritmico e armonico […]. (Luca Bragalini, review to Blues Piano, “Musica Jazz”, novembre 1999).

Una proposta che si distingue dalle molte altre pur piacevoli raccolte “jazzeggianti”, per il rigore stilistico e il livello compositivo che ne fanno un ottimo strumento jazzistico. (Chiara Zocca, review to Blues Piano, “Musica Domani”, marzo 2000).

Per l’assoluta cura dei dettagli e la ricchezza delle annotazioni spicca quindi questa nuova, notevole fatica del pianista veneziano Riccardo Scivales […] già autore di altri volumi di trascrizioni pianistiche, tra cui il fondamentale Harlem Stride Piano Solos. (Maurizio Franco, review to The Soul Of Blues, Stride & Swing Piano, “Musica Jazz, dicembre 2002).

A truly indispensable book because of the reliability of its transcriptions. (Maurizio Franco, review to The Soul of Blues, Stride & Swing Piano, “Musica Jazz”, December 2002).

All of the compositions are challenging but sound great. (D.P., review to Southern-Fried Blues, “Clavier”, December 2002). www.youtube.com/watch?v=tezN3ZNTF_s

Riccardo Scivales […] has done us an invaluable service. He’s given us piano solos, faithfully and lovingly transcribed; a well-observed career overview and analysis of style; and […] a comprehensive inventory on Wellstood on record and film. (Richard M. Sudhalter, from the Preface to Dick Wellstood: The Art of Jazz and Blues Piano, Vol. 1). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sp1jZefOD9s

These solos are faithfully transcribed and are very accurate. […] I found this production very worthwhile. (John Collinson, review to Dick Wellstood:The Art of Jazz and Blues Piano Vol. 1, “VJM Jazz and Blues Mart”, 2002).

I brani sono analizzati in modo sintetico ma illuminante […]. E varrà la pena che pianisti e musicologi prestino orecchio a Scivales […] uno dei più esperti e abili trascrittori del pianismo jazz […]. (Luca Bragalini, review to Dick Wellstood: The Art of Jazz and Blues Piano, Vol. 1, “Musica Jazz”, novembre 2004).

 

Jazz Piano: Left Hand Techniques

One of my most beloved and successful books is my method Jazz Piano: The Left Hand, published by Ekay Music (Bedford Hills, New York) in 2005 as part of the prestigious Steinway Piano Library of Piano Music (then reprinted in 2010 as part of the outstanding Ekay Piano Library), easily available through music dealers and online through Amazon, Alfred Music Publishing, etc. This book offers 257 pages featuring about 500 musical examples, most of them 8-bar, 12-bar or 16-bar long (or even longer). Below here are some audio samples: a tumbao” bass figure applied to the beginning of Groovin’ High (page 218):

a boogie-woogie chorus on a Dick Hyman‘s bass figure (p. 110):

an application of Bud Powell’s “harmonic fragmentation” (also with syncopated low notes) to the changes of Autumn Leaves, section A (p. 148):

an application of Michel Camilo’s “salsa stride” bass to Beautiful Love (not printed in complete in this book, yet published in complete in “Piano Today” magazine):

a basic stride bass used in section A of Just One Of Those Things (p. 3):

a stride bass with “back beats” applied to the bridge of Dinah (p. 30):

Cliff Jackson’s “walking stride bass” with “back beats” applied to the changes of Honeysuckle Rose, section A (p. 35):

a “countertime syncopation” of the basic stride bass  (p. 42):

a typical Swing-style “three-handed” effect applied to section A of Moonglow (p. 124):

a simple application of Art Tatum’s syncopated “ostinato” octave skips to the opening changes of Night And Day (pp. 137-138):

a tumbao-like bass pedal point with broken octaves from the D section of my piece Mi Ritmo (p. 216):

some applications of the well-known “walking bass” technique when stating a theme (C Jam Blues, p. 169), then along with a right hand improvisation (on the changes of Summertime, pp. 169-170), then along with right hand chords when comping (on section B of Autumn Leaves, pp. 170-171):

the opening of a blues chorus featuring Donald Lambert’s “12ths and beyond” contrapuntal bass (p. 24, adapted from my piece Quiet Blues in my collection Southern-Fried Blues, San Diego, CA, Neil A. Kjos Music Company):

a blues chorus on a Junior Mance’s jazz-waltz bass pattern (p. 194):

a blues/boogie chorus on Luckey Roberts’s “anticipated and filled-in broken octaves” (p. 17):

and finally a bluesy drill on the exciting Johnny Guarnieri’s “syncopated 5/4 swing bass” (p. 181):

Covering a span of time and styles ranging from jazz beginnings to some of the most recent developments, this book collects and analyzes many of the most frequently used jazz, blues, boogie-woogie, Latin, and Latin jazz left-hand piano techniques. Generally, each proposed technique is first introduced by a “model” figure transcribed or derived from original sources, followed by an explanation of its pattern, and finally by some sample applications using well-known songs, harmonic progressions, or original pieces. For the sake of completeness, most of these left-hand applications are integrated with sample right-hand parts that validate the efficacy and concrete application of the left hand figures. In this book you will find the specific techniques used by most of the major jazz, blues and Latin piano masters, such as Eubie Blake, Jelly Roll Morton, James P. Johnson, Willie “The Lion” Smith, Fats Waller, George Gershwin, Jimmy Yancey, Meade Lux Lewis, Earl Hines, Art Tatum, Teddy Wilson, Erroll Garner, Thelonious Monk, Bud Powell, George Shearing, Red Garland, Dick Wellstood, Dick Hyman, Dave McKenna, Dave Brubeck, Oscar PetersonBill Evans, McCoy TynerChick Corea, Keith Jarrett, Ernesto LecuonaEddie Palmieri, Santos ChillemiMichel Camilo, etc. Therefore, this book can also be seen as an essay and historical guide on most of jazz piano styles and developments. Also covered are several peculiar techniques devised by some lesser known yet outstanding figures such as Luckey Roberts, Donald Lambert, Cliff Jackson, Bob Zurke, Johnny GuarnieriJames Booker, etc. Some chapters on voicings, ostinatos, and jazz waltz stylings are included too.

I wish to thank my publisher Edward J. Shanaphy, President of Ekay Music, who gave me the idea for this book and made it a dream come true, also introducing it as follows: <<[…] Riccardo Scivales, […] one of the foremost authorithies on traditional jazz piano playing we know […] has recently completed a new book just now going to press, Jazz Piano: The Left Hand. This is an extraordinary treatise that traces, demonstrates, and puts into practice the techniques of the left hand in popular and jazz piano styles from ragtime to the present day. The age-old complaint, “I don’t know what to do with my left hand,” has plenty of sure-fire remedies lurking within the pages of this major work.>> (Ed ShanaphyPeople of Importance, “Sheet Music Magazine”, Summer 2005).

This book has got very favourable reviews, and I hope you will enjoy the audio samples featured here! Jazz Piano The Left Hand

#2 cover JAZZ PIANO THE LEFT HAND

  TESTO IN ITALIANO: Uno dei miei libri preferiti e di maggior successo  è il mio metodo Jazz Piano: The Left Hand, pubblicato nel 2005 da Ekay Music (Bedford Hills, New York) nella prestigiosa collana The Steinway Piano Library of Piano Music e ristampato nel 2010 come parte della serie The Ekay Piano Library. Facilmente disponibile presso i rivenditori di musica e online attraverso Amazon, Alfred Music Publishing, ecc.,  questo libro offre 257 pagine con circa 500 esempi musicali, la maggior parte dei quali lunghi 8, 12, o 16 battute (o anche più). Qui di seguito, eccone alcuni esempi audio: un basso “tumbao applicato all’inizio di Groovin ‘ High (pagina 218): 00:0000:00 un chorus boogie-woogie su una figura di basso di Dick Hyman (p. 110): 00:0000:00 un’applicazione della cosiddetta “harmonic fragmentation” di Bud Powell (anche con note basse sincopate) sul giro armonico di Autumn Leaves, sezione A (p. 148): 00:0000:00 un’applicazione del fantastico basso “salsa stride” di Michel Camilo a Beautiful Love (esempio  stampato parzialmente in questo libro, ma pubblicato in completo nella rivista “Piano Today” ): 00:0000:00 un “Basic stride bass” nella sezione A di Just One Of Those Things (p. 3): 00:0000:00 un “Basic stride bass” con “back beats” applicato al bridge di Dinah (p. 30): 00:0000:00 il trascinante “Walking stride bass  con back beats di Cliff Jackson”, sugli accordi di Honeysuckle Rose, sezione A (p. 35): 00:0000:00 una “sincopazione in controtempo del Basic stride bass” (pag. 42): 00:0000:00 un tipico stilema del pianismo Swing con effetto “a tre mani”, sulla sezione A di Moonglow (p. 124): 00:0000:00 una semplice applicazione della tecnica Swing ‘”ostinato con salti d’ottava sincopati” usata da Art Tatum ecc. , sugli accordi iniziali di Night And Day (pp. 137-138): 00:0000:00 un “bass pedal point a ottave spezzate su pattern tumbao”, dalla sezione D del mio brano Mi Ritmo (p. 216): 00:0000:00 alcune applicazioni della nota tecnica “walking bass” all’esposizione di  un tema (C Jam Blues, pag. 169), poi insieme a un’improvvisazione della mano destra (sugli accordi di Summertime, pp 169-170), poi con accordi della mano destra in una situazione di comping (nella sezione B di Autumn Leaves, pp 170-171): 00:0000:00 l’inizio di un chorus blues basato sul “basso contrappuntistico di Donald Lambert con salti di dodicesima (e oltre)”  (p. 24, adattato dal mio brano Quiet Blues, dalla mia collezione Southern Fried-Blues, San Diego, CA, Neil A. Kjos Music Company): 00:0000:00 un chorus blues su un pattern di basso “jazz-waltz” di Junior Mance (p. 194): 00:0000:00 un chorus blues/boogie alla Luckey Roberts, con “basso anticipato a ottave spezzate e con note di riempitivo” (p. 17): 00:0000:00 e infine, un esercizio bluesy sul trascinante “basso Swing sincopato in 5/4” di  Johnny Guarnieri (p. 181): 00:0000:00 Coprendo un arco di tempo e di stili che vanno dagli inizi del jazz ad alcuni dei suoi più recenti sviluppi, questo libro raccoglie e analizza molte delle tecniche per la mano sinistra più frequentemente utilizzate nel jazz,  il blues, il boogie-woogie, la musica latinoamericana e il Latin Jazz. Generalmente, ogni tecnica proposta è introdotta da una figura “modello” trascritta o desunta da fonti originali, poi seguita da una spiegazione del suo pattern, e infine da vari esempi applicati a famose canzoni e progressioni armoniche, o a brani originali. Per ragioni di completezza, la maggior parte di queste applicazioni  sono integrate da parti complete della mano destra, che convalidano l’efficacia e la concreta applicazione delle figure della mano sinistra. In questo metodo sono trattate le tecniche specifiche utilizzate dalla maggior parte dei più grandi maestri del piano jazz, blues e Latin, come Eubie Blake, Jelly Roll Morton, James P. Johnson, Willie “The Lion” Smith, Fats Waller, George Gershwin, Jimmy Yancey, Meade Lux Lewis, Earl Hines, Art Tatum, Teddy Wilson, Erroll Garner, Thelonious Monk, Bud Powell, George Shearing, Red Garland, Dick Wellstood, Dick Hyman, Dave McKenna, Dave BrubeckOscar PetersonBill EvansMcCoy TynerChick CoreaKeith JarrettErnesto LecuonaEddie Palmieri, Santos ChillemiMichel Camilo, ecc. Pertanto, questo libro può anche essere visto come un saggio e una guida storica sulla maggior parte degli stili di pianoforte jazz e i suoi sviluppi. Inoltre, sono qui descritte numerose tecniche particolari ideate da vari maestri meno noti, ma assolutamente straordinari (come Luckey RobertsDonald LambertCliff JacksonBob Zurke, Johnny Guarnieri, James Booker, ecc.), e sono inclusi anche alcuni capitoli sui voicings, gli ostinato, e i molti stilemi di “jazz waltz”.

Ringrazio il mio editore Edward J. Shanaphy, Presidente della Ekay Music, che mi ha dato l’idea per questo metodo, lo ha fatto diventare realtà e lo ha presentato così ai lettori di Sheet Music Magazine: <<[…] Riccardo Scivales, […] one of the foremost authorithies on traditional jazz piano playing we know […] has recently completed a new book just now going to press, Jazz Piano: The Left Hand. This is an extraordinary treatise that traces, demonstrates, and puts into practice the techniques of the left hand in popular and jazz piano styles from ragtime to the present day. The age-old complaint, “I don’t know what to do with my left hand,” has plenty of sure-fire remedies lurking within the pages of this major work.>> (Ed ShanaphyPeople of Importance, “Sheet Music Magazine”, Summer 2005).

Questo libro ha ricevuto recensioni molto favorevoli, e spero vi piacciano gli esempi audio riportati nel testo in inglese qui sopra!

Rick Wakeman and “Amazing Grace”

More than 1800 existing versions of the well-known hymn Amazing Grace, but just one of them played in “3/4+3/8” time! This is what one can hear in Rick Wakeman‘s beautiful 2 Disc DVD & CD collection Amazing Gracehttp://youtu.be/z6_Ulj_CyCI Progressive rock legend Rick Wakeman seems fond of this meter–it is the same one used in the opening theme of his famous masterpiece Journey To The Centre Of The Earth (1974). Of course, you can also think the “3/4+3/8” time as a “9/8 (2+2+2+3)” mixed meter, or as a “4/4+1/8” mixed meter if you prefer. In any case, this version of Amazing Grace is another witness to Wakeman’s originality and lyrical approach to the piano. Continua…

Progressive rock: Quanah Parker “Quanah!”

Just found another great review  to the CD Quanah! (Diplodisc dpl 004) by my Quanah Parker progressive rock band. Released in November 2012 and co-produced by Quanah Parker and Alessandro “Unfolk” Monti, this CD is gaining many very favourable reviews, a fairly nice amount of airplay (in Italy, USA and UK), and it has recently been re-released with an expanded cover artwork too. Quanah! is distributed worldwide by G.T. Music Distribution and is available through many websites, such as CDBaby.com and Amazon.it . Quanah Parker is currently completing a second CD, which among other things will also include a 25-minutes long Suite degli Animali Fantastici, whose masterful lyrics have been written by our friend Alessandro “Unfolk” Monti. More on this band on these pages soon! Meanwhile, thank you again Redazione Hamelin Prog for this beautiful review, and… long live Prog!

TESTO IN ITALIANO:

Appena uscita sul web un’altra bellissima recensione al CD Quanah! (Diplodisc dpl 004) della mia band di progressive rock Quanah Parker! Pubblicato nel novembre 2012 e co-prodotto dai Quanah Parker e da Alessandro “Unfolk” Monti, questo CD sta raccogliendo molte recensioni positive, una buona diffusione radiofonica (in Italia, USA e UK), ed è stato recentemente ristampato con un artwork espanso della copertina. Quanah! è distribuito da G.T. Music Distribution ed è disponibile anche  su molti siti web, come CDBaby.com e Amazon.it . I Quanah Parker stanno attualmente completando il loro secondo CD, che tra le altre cose conterrà anche un lungo brano di oltre 25-minuti, la Suite degli Animali Fantastici, con dei testi assolutamente meravigliosi scritti dal nostro amico Alessandro “Unfolk” Monti. Presto in queste pagine altre informazioni su questa band! Intanto, grazie ancora alla Redazione Hamelin Prog per questa sua bellissima recensione, e… long live Prog!

A “Sanctified Rhythm Blues” from “Southern-Fried Blues”“Sanctified Rhythm Blues”, da “Southern-Fried Blues”

 “SANCTIFIED RHYTHM BLUES” and my book “SOUTHERN-FRIED BLUES” The piece featured today is Sanctified Rhythm Blues, an original composition of mine from my book Southern Fried-Blues, published by the Neil A. Kjos Music Company of San Diego, California. Here is a beautiful “Classitronic” interpretation of it, posted by Jim Engel on YouTube (thank you, Jim, and nice to meet you!): http://youtu.be/tezN3ZNTF_s Southern Fried-Blues is a collection of five blues piano originals illustrating various facets of blues piano. Sanctified Rhythm Blues is an example of the much favored slow blues approach in 6/8 time, with left hand “rootless voicings” too. The other pieces in this book deal with the “walkin’ bass” technique, some useful variants and re-harmonizations of the basic 12-bar blues form, Gospel-like colorations, etc.Continua…

Dick Wellstood version of “The Entertainer”

Among many other masterworks, jazz and stride piano great Dick Wellstood devised a memorable and very original interpretation of Scott Joplin’s famous ragtime classic The Entertainer, taken at a slow tempo and with plenty of bluesy colorations. He recorded it many times, for example in his LP Live at Café des Copains (Unisson DDA 1003). My note-for-note transcription of this great recording is included in my book Dick Wellstood Jazz Piano Solos (San Diego, California, Neil A. Kjos Music Company, 1994). Here is a beautiful live performance of this transcription, played by my friend the Italian ragtime specialist Marco Fumohttp://youtu.be/yJFUlxiwjKQ

As one can easily see here, Wellstood departs considerably from the original Joplin score and he also improvises in the repetitions of each strain. Contrary to the popular belief that Ragtime has to be played exactly as written, Wellstood was “legitimate” in using this improvisational approach from a historical point of view too. As reported by Eubie Blake and many other ragtime pioneers and instructors, every good ragtime pianist had his own performing style and would improvise or at least personalize his renditions. More on this fascinating and very important matter soon on these pages…

Recorded in 1985, Live at Café des Copains is definitely one of Wellstood’s best albums.  Really, it’s a pity that (at least to my knowledge) it has not been reissued on CD until now. Anyway, a similar studio version of this version of The Entertainer is currently available in his truly great CD Ragtime Piano Favorites, from which I transcribed five of the piano solos included in my book. I hope you’ll enjoy this transcription of Dick Wellstood The Entertainer!

Libro Wellstood Jazz Piano Solos

Dick Wellstood Jazz Piano Solos: Seven Historic SolosTranscribed and annotated by Riccardo Scivales, with a preface by Dick Hyman (San Diego, California, Neil A. Kjos Music Company, 1994, pp. 64, WP332, $ 8.95). A collection of note-for-note transcriptions of seven great piano solos recorded by this stride, jazz, and blues piano master. Includes outstanding stride piano versions of famous old standards such as The Entertainer, Bill Bailey, If Dreams Come True, Hello My Baby, Washington & Lee Swing, My Gal Sal and Ida, Sweet As Apple Cider, plus performance notes and introductory notes to each solo and to Wellstood’s style. The Preface is by jazz piano great Dick Hyman, who also performed and recorded with Wellstood in the highly acclaimed “Stridemonster!” two-piano team. 

photo Dick Wellstood

Dick Wellstood

Fats Waller stride piano styleLo stile stride di Fats Waller

Fats Waller‘s jubilant piano style certainly was one of the most popular facets of the whole Harlem Stride Piano style and a main model of the Swing Piano style too. Here is my own arrangement of the song Truckin’using many of Waller’s peculiar techniques and originally published in the Summer 2005 issue of Sheet Music Magazine. Please contact me in case you are interested in receiving the score of this music: 

For more on Fats style and note-for-note transcriptions of famous recordings by him such as Numb Fumblin’Smashing Thirds, Martinique, Dinah, etc., you can see my folios Harlem Stride Piano Solos and The Soul Of Blues, Stride & Swing Piano, and my method Jazz Piano: The Left Hand.

Fats Waller