At the heart of solo jazz piano playing lies the use of spread and rootless voicings. But to truly transform a simple lead sheet into a captivating piece of music involves digging deeper into the jazz player's bag of tricks and employing an array of arranging and reharmonization techniques to develop and intensify the underlying character of the melody and harmony of the tune. Each lesson in this series features a comparison of a fully realized two-handed arrangement of a tune with it's basic lead sheet that will reveal the techniques and devices used to transform the piece from a melody and chord symbols to a finished arrangement.
Inspired by Bill Evans's frequent use of melodic harmonization, especially in his Village Vanguard recordings of 1961, this classic jazz standard was harmonized using a mix of six techniques: spread voicings, rootless voicings, upper structure triads, block chord voicings (4 way close double lead and drop 2), fourth and so what voicings.
In this lesson, watch as each device is implemented to transform this must-know tune into a lush solo jazz piano arrangement.
After the lesson, download and play the fully annotated piece.
Watch this short video for an overview of the content of this course.
Upper Structure Triads
Solo Jazz Piano
Rootless Voicings with Added Tension
Contact me with questions at any time.
Start a discussion with fellow students by clicking on the discussion link in your student control panel to leave a message or search previous conversations.
Consult the Lesson Road Map to for a suggested sequence of lessons.
To continue your study of this topic, face-to-face, live webcam lessons are available.
“I have been a past subscriber over many years, and was pleasantly surprised to see the new UI and carefully guided lessons. The overall experience is much more logical and lessons are easier to follow. I am mightily impressed with your body of work, your reasoned analysis and your attention to detail.” -Bill
About the instructor
Bill did undergraduate work at the Berklee College of Music and holds the M.Mus. degree in Jazz Studies from the Boston Conservatory/Berklee College of Music where he studied with Ray Santisi and Charlie Banacos. Bill taught and played extensively around the Boston area for the better part of two decades appearing everywhere from the legendary Ryles Jazz Club in Cambridge MA to a long stand at the Hampshire House on Beacon Hill in Boston before relocating to the Raleigh-Durham NC area where he teaches full-time on JazzPianoOnline.com.