I watched a clip from a tv show in which Wynton Marsalis interviewed Marcus Roberts, one of the great jazz pianists. Wynton Marsalis says exactly that – which of course is why he interviewed him. If you hear Marcus Roberts play just a few notes it’s obvious how “real” is his pianism. He gets into the notes.
The Sound Of The Piano
For me “getting into the notes” is a phrase that describes the sound MR gets from the instrument. I remember his sound from the 1st Thelonious Monk International Piano Competition where the competition – he was awarded 1st prize. His playing was light years and then more light years and a few extra light years ahead of every other pianist in the competition. The thing is when Marcus Roberts plays stride he REALLY plays stride. But even with that fabulous stride it was the sound he pulled from the piano. It was on a different plane, a different level of existence.
Everything At The Piano Comes From Sound
My observation about sound – which probably isn’t all that surprising – is get it right – pull great tone from the instrument – and everything else follows. Marcus Roberts is the fabulous example of that.