Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

2

Profound Pianistic Presentations: Jazz Heaven DVDs from Jean-Michel Pilc and Enrico Pieranunzi

Dan Bilawsky By

Sign in to view read count
There's more to music than the simple absorption and understanding of notes, rhythm, melody, and harmony; there's more to jazz than what naturally meets the eyes and ears; and, most daunting of all, there's more to learn than we can ever possibly imagine. But fear not, for there are resources out there to help aspiring musicians in their quest for a deeper understanding of music.

Jazz Heaven has been tapping into some of the finest jazz player-educators out there, recording and sharing their wisdom for all to hear and see. In just a few short years, this company has released videos from saxophonist Jerry Bergonzi, piano guru Kenny Werner, drummer Ralph Peterson, and numerous others. These lengthy video classes are each unique, but they're tied to a common goal: To assist musicians in their journey toward betterment. With that goal in mind, Jazz Heaven ushered in 2015 with the release of these two piano-centric videos.

Jean-Michael Pilc
Piano Playing: Transcending The Instrument
Jazz Heaven
2015

Pilc's first Jazz Heaven video—True Improvisation (Jazz Heaven, 2011)—was a universal tool that looked beyond his instrument. On his second Jazz Heaven release, the pianist telescopes his presentation and thinking. Piano Playing: Transcending The Instrument still speaks to the need for broad listening skills, understanding, and vision, as Pilc relates the piano to a variety of things, shares universal truths, and touches on the need to take on the role of other instruments. But make no mistake about it: This is a video geared specifically toward pianists.

Pilc links the ideas he presents here to his other video, but he quickly moves past it. He discusses important but oft-overlooked topics (i.e. economy in playing, musical consistency, etc.), shares creative ways to tackle and dissect scales and Hanon exercises, emphasizes the idea of improvising as on-the-spot creation rather than blowing, and references everybody from Martial Solal to Franz Schubert to Art Tatum to Glenn Gould to make his points.

Along the way, Pilc zones in on the importance of classical musical and gives helpful hints on how to improve and expand as a player (i.e. different fingerings, dynamic independence between hands, slow play, etc.). But he's quick to point out that technique is a means to an end, not an end in and of itself. While there's much to absorb here for any player, intermediate-to-advanced pianists will better appreciate the subtleties and ideas that Pilc shares through his words and his playing. In addition to the one-hundred-and-forty-five minute masterclass, the DVD contains a revealing sixty-five minute interview with Pilc, conducted by pianist Dan Tepfer.

Enrico Pieranunzi
Jazz Piano: A Melodic Approach
Jazz Heaven
2015

Countless jazz fans have admired the melodic beauty in Enrico Pieranunzi's music over the years, taking in his work with the greats—trumpeter Chet Baker, bassist Charlie Haden, and drummer Paul Motian, to name just three—and checking out his dates for labels like Soul Note, Challenge, and CAM Jazz. Now, Pieranunzi fans can peel back the layers of his mind a bit, as the master pianist shares some of his ideas and insights on this DVD. At eighty minutes long, this proves to be on the shorter side for a Jazz Heaven masterclass, but it's not lacking in material.

Over the course of this video, Pieranunzi tackles arpeggiated ideas, gets into the idea of note repetition, talks reharmonization, and helps the mind overcome rigid musical dogma that's been pounded into people for generations—his any note-fits-with-any-chord display and his vice versa explanation. He discusses left hand voicings, visits the blues, gets into enclosures, and uses scales and sequences as fodder for improvising. And through it all, Pieranunzi emphasizes and expands on the idea of jazz-as-language, explaining his understanding of the music's syntax and grammar. Jazz Heaven standards—the hour-long interview and PDFs—add value to the package, allowing the at-home-student to dig deeper into Pieranunzi and the ideas he presents.

Personnel and Production Notes

Piano Playing: Transcending The Instrument

Personnel: Jean-Michel Pilc: piano

Production Notes: Director/Producer: Falk Willis; Cinematographer: Greg Harriott; Camera Operator: Mike Doyle; Video Editors: Nate Stephens, Lauren Lench; Audio Engineer: Dan Stringer; Audio Mix/Master: Graham Stone; Interviewer: Dan Tepfer; Still Photography: Mike Doyle; Creative Advisor: Soren Fuhrer.

Jazz Piano: A Melodic Approach

Personnel: Enrico Pieranunzi: piano.

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Album Reviews
Film Reviews
Album Reviews
Live Reviews
Album Reviews
Multiple Reviews
Live Reviews
Album Reviews
Live Reviews
Album Reviews
Live Reviews
Album Reviews
Read more articles
Composing

Composing

Storyville Records
2015

buy
What Is This Thing Called? (Jean-Michel Pilc)

What Is This Thing...

Sunnyside Records
2015

buy
What Is This Thing Called?

What Is This Thing...

Sunnyside Records
2015

buy
True Story

True Story

Dreyfus Records
2010

buy
New Dreams

New Dreams

Dreyfus Records
2008

buy

Upcoming Shows

Date Detail Price
Apr20Sat
Moutin Factory Quintet Feat. Kavita Shah
Williams Center for the Arts
Easton, PA
$27

Shop

Start your shopping here and you'll support All About Jazz in the process. Learn how.

Related Articles

Film Reviews
Green Book: A Serious Comedy and Jazz Allegory
By Victor L. Schermer
December 28, 2018
Film Reviews
Home Invasion: In Concert at the Royal Albert Hall (2CD/Blu Ray)
By John Kelman
December 22, 2018
Film Reviews
Green Book Directed By Peter Farrelly
By Mike Perciaccante
December 3, 2018
Film Reviews
Rolling Stones: Voodoo Lounge Uncut
By Doug Collette
November 17, 2018
Film Reviews
Rolling Stone: Stories From The Edge - 50 Years of Defining Culture
By Doug Collette
October 7, 2018
Film Reviews
The US Festival 1982: The US Generation
By Doug Collette
September 2, 2018
Film Reviews
Lajos Dudas: Ein Künstlerportrait
By Mark Sullivan
August 26, 2018