|My sketch of Fats Waller|
Listen to Fats Waller play, "Ain't Misbehavin'":
To learn more about Jason Moran's 'Fats Waller Dance Party' project, read this NPR article, "Jason Moran Takes Fats Waller Back To The Club".
To learn more about stride piano, read this NPR article, "Stride Piano: Bottom-End Jazz" and this PBS biography. Also listen to this NPR podcast, "The Genius of Fats Waller".
Jazz is a party
Jazz used to be played at "rent parties". Tenants would hire musicians to play at a social occasion and would collect money to go towards paying their rent. This type of informal, social music is where a lot of stride piano or boogie woogie music was played. Stride piano is a type of piano playing characterized by a constantly moving and leaping left hand - the left hand would 'stride' between different octaves of the piano.
Listen to Fats Waller play stride piano with James P. Johnson here:
Some notable stride pianists were James P. Johnson, Willie 'The Lion' Smith, and Fats Waller. These pianists brought a lot of technical skill to their playing, but also kept a lot of humor within their music. One listen to the crazy Fats Waller reminds us all to laugh at life. Because stride musicians played at parties, people would dance to this music making the music bouncy and lively.
Listen to Willie 'The Lion' Smith play "Echoes of Sping/ Tea for Two":
|My sketch of Erroll Garner|
Listen to Eroll Garner play, "Honeysuckle Rose":
Listen to James P. Johnson play, "Carolina Shout":
Listen to Fats Waller playing "'Taint Nobody's Business If I Do":
|Jason Moran playing piano|
Please visit my jazz poetry blog, "Without a Poem" where I improvise a new poem everyday. I also have a drawing and song of the day, so stay updated! This week of stride piano inspired my haiku, "Honey".