The Lineage of Modern Jazz Piano

by Richie Beirach

A history and profiles of the ten most influential jazz pianists of the past 100 years as told by Richie Beirach.

"Richie is one of the great explainers of difficult concepts that can be understood both in academia and on the street."
Dave Liebman
Musician, Educator

This newly expanded edition includes Richie's analysis of Bill Evans' improvised introductions to Nardis

Excerpt from the book: Now, you might ask if the content of this intro was really that different in terms of harmonic vocabulary. Yes! These were much more contemporary harmonic and melodic ideas than he would normally use in the context of playing his tunes with the bass and drums.

Bill studied and played the great music of the 20th century composers like Scriabin, Prokofieff, Ravel, and Berg. He also loved and played Rachmaninoff.

“Bill was a combination of Bud Powell with a little lighter touch and the beautiful voicings of George Shearing. And of course, he was also influenced by Ravel and Debussy, Scriabin, Chopin, and Rachmaninoff, especially in his ballads– Richie

You're about to discover...

Richie's view of these master's distinctive voicings

For Bill Evans, McCoy Tyner, and Bud Powell, see an example of a harmony or voicing that distinguished them.

An understanding of how each jazz great lead to the next

Very few of even the greatest music masters develop a style in isolation from what came before. Learn the aspects of each of these players that influence future greats

How jazz piano evolved over the past 100 years

The jazz played by Art Tatum was very different from the jazz of Bud Powell, who was very different from McCoy. Explore how not just piano, but jazz harmony and improvisation evolved through these 10 masters.

These master's most important recordings

At the end of each chapter, see the three most important albums chosen by Richie for that particular pianist.