Yesterday I posted on Go Power!, saxophonist Illinois Jacquet's 1966 album with Milt Buckner on organ and Alan Dawson on drums. In the post, I mentioned that Buckner had created the locked-hands technique on the piano keyboard. Unleashing this difficult approach requires that both hands play the same chords with the song's melody note up on top. Thrilling for the listener, challenging for the player.
Buckner (above) began playing this way on the piano while with Lionel Hampton in the 1940s, largely to be heard over the brass. George Shearing popularized the style in the late 1940s and early '50s, and in interviews he said he picked it up from Buckner. One of the most exquisite examples of Buckner's locked-hands technique can be found on the album Milt Buckner: Locked Hands (MPS). Recorded in 1968, the album featured four songs on the piano and four on the organ, with Jimmy Woode on bass and Kenny Clare on drums.
The piano tracks are Buckner's Glady's Dance, Blues for Anita and Willie's Blues, and Jersey Bounce. The organ tracks are Sunny, Jitterbug Waltz, Li'l Darlin' and Honeysuckle Rose.
A few notes. Dig Clare's brushwork throughout. Feathery and absolutely superb. On the piano, Buckner exhibits this style as a percussive technique. On the organ, there' more emotion, largely because the volume on organ notes can be modulated and held in places for emphasis. As you can hear on this album, Buckner generated enormous excitement on both instruments with unrivaled skill. [Photos of Kenny Clare above, and Jimmy Woode below]
And here's George Shearing playing block chords using the locked-hands technique with his quintet on I'll Be Around in 1950. Doesn't get much cooler than this (with Joe Roland on vibes, Chuck Wayne on guitar, John Levy on bass and Denzil Best on drums)...
I was first exposed to Jazz when a couple of dear friends of mine turned me onto it around 1971. I was already into Progressive music, R n' B, Soul, Motown, Latin Rock and other styles that were a great ladder to Jazz
I was first exposed to Jazz when a couple of dear friends of mine turned me onto it around 1971. I was already into Progressive music, R n' B, Soul, Motown, Latin Rock and other styles that were a great ladder to Jazz.
Being a Musician myself, (Lead Guitar/Bass Guitar), I studied at the Dick Grove School of Music with Dick Grove, Jeff Richman and Lee Ritenour. This was around '84-'85. I started playing the Guitar in November 1967. Playing Guitar came quite naturally to me thank goodness. Though I spent hours upon hours practicing while my school buddies were doing Sports.
It was in the early '70s that I really got into Jazz, Jazz Rock, Jazz Fusion and World Music. Seeing Weather Report, Miles Davis, Wayne Shorter, Larry Carlton, Steely Dan, John McLaughlin and the Mahavishnu Orchestra, RTF, Herbie Hancock and the Headhunters, VSOP, Freddie Hubbard and so many, many more amazing artists opened my eyes to the beauty and eloquent nature of Jazz. I really love the brilliant ensemble playing that is in Jazz!!
When I play and write music, it blends so many style together. Many fans ask me why my playing sounds so jazzy. It's because I understand Blue Notes, the phrasing, the tonality, time signatures and more. I can also play Rock, Folk, Soul, R n' B and other styles too. I seem to gravitate more and more as I get older to a jazzier style. Currently I'm 62 years old. I have released 2 CDs world-wide. Working on my 3rd.
I also teach Guitar/Bass/Music Theory to my students. They range from 6 years old to much, much older. (I was hired by the City of Aurora, CO to teach ages 6-13 specifically). Currently I teach 41 children in 5 classes. Additionally another 7 private students.
My wife, Meesh, and I love Jazz dearly. It was one of the things that we share together!
Most of the people that I know today do not get jazz. I try to explain what to listen for, but many times the music of Jazz is a bit much for them. So be it.
In a nutshell, I live, breath and listen to Music 24/7. No TV except the Food Channel and Weather.
I love John Kelman's articles. They are so insightful and well-constructed!
Thank you all for doing what you do.