Best Jazz Pianists part 2

Here is the second part of the list of the best jazz pianists. In case you missed it, here is the first part

Herbie Hancock

A powerhouse of jazz, fusion, and funk, Herbie Hancock began his long career in Miles Davis' legendary second quintet. There he demonstrated that he was an innovative post-bop jazz pianist who had developed his own proficient style that was incredibly advanced harmonically, rhythmically, and conceptually. He continued to explore new sounds throughout the 70's and 80's and revolutionized funk and even influenced early hip hop.

Oscar Peterson

Though he wasn't the most innovative pianist, Oscar Peterson is considered one of the best jazz pianists because he had an uncanny ability to play the instrument at a very proficient level. He achieved an amazing technique that even rivaled the great Art Tatum. Not only could he play fast, but he played with lyricism and elegance. This video is a good example of his superhuman skills.

Chick Corea

One of the best players to emerge from the post-Coltrane era was Chick Corea who has had a long successful career playing acoustic jazz as well as jazz fusion and experimental avant-garde. His playing style mixed his classical technique with bebop and the angular pentatonics of McCoy Tyner and John Coltrane. 

Keith Jarrett

Keith Jarrett has been on a strong force in jazz since the late 60's and still greatly influences pianists today. He has been at times a bit eccentric in his performances and style but that is part of what makes him brilliant. He has a strong personal connection with the piano and it comes through in his lyrical and emotive playing. He is also very creative and throughout the 70's played many legendary improvised solo concerts.

Phineas Newborn Jr

There are many pianists that are more influential than Phineas Newborn, but he deserves to be on this list despite being relatively unknown. He was one of the most talented pianists to come out of the late 50's. He had amazing technique and interpreted jazz standards with creativity and excitement. Luckily he released a few albums before his career was cut short due struggles with health.

Head back to the First Part or to the Jazz Resource Home Page