Generations of chess players have grown up on Fred Reinfeld’s books. He has a way of reducing the most intricate, complicated combinations to their basic components. After Reinfeld explains a combination, it makes sense.
The Evolution of Solo Jazz Piano is a study of solo piano styles developed by 24 of the most influential solo pianists from 1900 to the present. In order to clearly illustrate the specific contributions of the various pianists, Bill Dobbins composed a theme based on the well known standard All Of Me. By applying the stylistic approaches of the different pianists to the same theme, one becomes aware of the subtle yet evocative elements of each individual style. Common elements between Waller, Ellington, Tatum, Monk and Rowles, Tatum, Hines and Wilson, Smith and Ellington, Corea and Beirach etc., should make it clear that musical individuality is largely the result of the subconscious emphasis of some musical elements over others, rather than the self-conscious cultivation of originality for its own sake. We sincerely hope that this DVD may serve as a stimulus toward the further study of the solo jazz piano tradition in particular and for creative music in general.