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Top five favourite living jazz pianists


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Okay, please tell: Who are your top five favourite living (!) jazz pianists? I repeat, alive and playing. We all love Bud and Tatum and you know who, Bud (Note: this is such a nice Freudian Fehlleistung that I do not want to edit it out) I want to talk about those who are alive and kicking!

My top five:

1. Herbie Hancock

2. Geoffrey Keezer

3. Marcus Roberts

4. Ahmad Jamal

5. Mulgrew Miller

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I apologize for the very obscure reference, but can any NYers reading this remind me of the name of the Bud Powell-esque pianist who plays regularly at Small's?? I *always* forget the guy's name. Anyway, he makes my list, in addition to Herbie Hancock and McCoy Tyner. I'm tempeted to add Chick Corea, but I'm not very familiar with his more recent work.

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Are we talking pianists with "legendary" status or just pianists who are alive and well? Anywhooo here's my current favs list (although it changes on a weekly basis). Basic stuff, really - but these guys are the best.

1. Herbie Hancock

2. Chick Corea

3. Brad Mehldau

4. McCoy Tyner

5. Keith Jarrett

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1.Paul Bley

2.Keith Jarrett

3.Andrew Hill

4.Brad Mehldau

5.Uri Caine

Three legends and 2 relative newcomers-as a piano nut there's too many to choose from.It wouldn't be so dificult to pick out,say, tenor players or guitarists, but drummers are another lot I'd find it hard to squeeze out five favourites.

Great board by the way,and glad to be aboard.

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In no particular order:

Bill Charlap

~I caught his trio at Sculler's in Boston, when an ice storm EMPTIED the place before the second set.... Bill personally invited me up to the seat right next to his piano bench. As much as I love Written in the Stars, that performance knocked me out. His subtlety really shines through when you're sitting 2 feet from the keyboard.

Brad Mehldau

~Art of the Trio III, IV, and V stil knock me out. The real deal as far as I'm concerned

Keith Jarrett

~I've had to pass on the live shows in Boston the past two years, as they are too pricey for me. Keith's ballad playing hits a soft spot for me, and he plays the blues like the saddest man alive.

Kenny Barron

~Live at Bradley's and the duo discs with Charlie Haden and Regina Carter gets lots of airtime around here

Jason Moran

~So respectful of jazz tradition that he's willing to put it all aside in the heat of the moment and play whats inside him.



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I just recently got hip to what Eddie Higgins has done over the last 20 years or so, and what he's doing right now. He's my current favorite, hands down. I've always like Hank Jones, Cedar Walton, Barry Harris. I dig Marian McPartland. I also like Bill Charlap a lot...

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Lots of really good newish players out there. Of these newer palyers I particularly like

Ethan Iverson

David Berkman

Jason Moran

Dave Milligan :g

Craig Taborn

seeing Vijay Iyer on Thursday so he might make a challenge of the current top five. Also rans would be George Colligan, Esbjorn Svensson and Brian Kellock/ Chick Lyall from my neck of the woods.

I suddenly realise how much piano I listen to. :D:D:D

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Cecil and Andrew Hill, for sure.

I wasn't thinking of Ray Bryant, but after I saw him live and heard him play the hell out of 'After Hours' (just like on that Rollins/Stitt album!), he's got to be there.

And what do you guys think of Stephen Scott? I have to say, I really enjoyed his playing when I saw him with Sonny. Monster solo on 'Tenor Madness'.

And, I've only got one disk of his (at present), but on the basis of that and a live show, Muhal Richard Abrams gets my vote no.5!

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