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Who's the fastest?


Jazz+

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I know it's a silly question, but who is the fastest jazz pianist?

To qualify, the jazz pianist must play fast with clarity and with a straight ahead melodic sense, not just technical patterns, no pre-written parts, no smears or "free improveisation." He must be ad libbing inside the changes.

 

I give it to Oscar Peterson for his fast swinging consistently melodic eighths. Runner up would be Art Tatum for speedy descending runs, which Oscar can also match.

 

Art Tatum

"Tea for Two"

triplet sixteenths at 165 bpm = rate of 990 single notes per minute

 

 

Oscar Peterson

Eighths at 344 = rate of 688 single notes per minutes

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4mJ8lHRVWY0

 

Gonzalo Rubalcaba "Giant Steps"

Eighths at 350 bpm = rate of 700 single notes per minute

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s4HPqJyBMrU

 

For comparison:

 

Sviatoslav Richter

Sixteenths at 192 bpm = rate of 768 single notes per minute

 

 Find 660 of my jazz piano arrangements of standards for educational purposes and tutorials at www.Patreon.com/HarryLikas Harry was the Technical Editor of Mark Levine's "The Jazz Theory Book" and helped develop "The Jazz Piano Book."

 

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Submit some other jazz piano contenders and I will try to clock them.

 Find 660 of my jazz piano arrangements of standards for educational purposes and tutorials at www.Patreon.com/HarryLikas Harry was the Technical Editor of Mark Levine's "The Jazz Theory Book" and helped develop "The Jazz Piano Book."

 

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That Richter playing of the Chopin Etude #4 Op. 10 that Marino posted would have to rank high on the list for me....maybe Mitsuko Uchida playing the "four finger" Debussy Etude #6 from Book I is right there as well. Sorry no utube examples, unless you can find one.

I'm talking classical, so apples and oranges.

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linwood, Oscar Peterson playing "Just Friends" clocks in at around 344 bpm playing eights (688 notes per minute)

 

Good catch, Dave. I mistyped my findings up above, he's playing faster than the jazz guys.

Sviatoslav Richter

Sixteenths at 192bpm = rate of 768 single notes per minute:

 

 

 Find 660 of my jazz piano arrangements of standards for educational purposes and tutorials at www.Patreon.com/HarryLikas Harry was the Technical Editor of Mark Levine's "The Jazz Theory Book" and helped develop "The Jazz Piano Book."

 

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It's gotta go to Oscar.

 

A little ot, but look at this kid. OP has to be smiling at stuff like this.

 

 

This was on MTV Europe?? That sums up the difference between Europe and the US right there.

Kawai C-60 Grand Piano : Hammond A-100 : Hammond SK2 : Yamaha CP4 : Yamaha Montage 7 : Moog Sub 37

 

My latest album: Funky organ, huge horn section

https://bobbycressey.bandcamp.com/album/cali-native

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Also a contender:

 

ELDAR: http://youtube.com/watch?v=1p8oGdeZAMY&feature=related

 

Although there aren't a million clips of him playing lightning fast on You tube.

Kawai C-60 Grand Piano : Hammond A-100 : Hammond SK2 : Yamaha CP4 : Yamaha Montage 7 : Moog Sub 37

 

My latest album: Funky organ, huge horn section

https://bobbycressey.bandcamp.com/album/cali-native

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I had a girlfriend in college once... :)

 

Kind of a hairy, chubby, hippie chick... never shaved her pits... or her legs.

 

I never thought of her as fast.

 

Eager was probably a better description.

 

Very eager. :thu::D

 

Eager Beaver.

 

Ahahahahahahahaha.

 

Yeah.

 

That's it...

 

Ummmmmm. Nevermind. :rolleyes:

 

:snax:

 

 

 

 

 

"Music expresses that which cannot be put into words and that which cannot remain silent." - Victor Hugo
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Pointless thread. Fast? Silly.

 

Sorry J+. I'll take slow and soul-drenched over robotic speed any day.

 

I doubt that Jazz+ meant for this to be taken too seriously. ;)

Reality is like the sun - you can block it out for a time but it ain't goin' away...
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Although not a jazz pianist, Charles-Valentin Alkan, the man whose technique even Franz Liszt called the most perfect he had ever seen, composed some of the most demanding piano music ever written. His etude "Comme le Vent" (op. 39, no. 1) requires the player to play 32nd-note triplets at a tempo of 16th note = 160, which is the equivalent of playing eighth-note triplets at quarter-note = 640. That equals out to somewhere close to 2000 single notes per minute. No pianist since Alkan has been able to match the tempo marking. Then again, Alkan lived long before the days of Youtube (and even the wax cylinder, for that matter), so I guess there's no concrete way to verify that Alkan himself could play the etude.
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Although not a jazz pianist, Charles-Valentin Alkan, the man whose technique even Franz Liszt called the most perfect he had ever seen, composed some of the most demanding piano music ever written. His etude "Comme le Vent" (op. 39, no. 1) requires the player to play 32nd-note triplets at a tempo of 16th note = 160, which is the equivalent of playing eighth-note triplets at quarter-note = 640. That equals out to somewhere close to 2000 single notes per minute. No pianist since Alkan has been able to match the tempo marking. Then again, Alkan lived long before the days of Youtube (and even the wax cylinder, for that matter), so I guess there's no concrete way to verify that Alkan himself could play the etude.

 

Ok - this is just nuts:

 

I'm going to bed.

Reality is like the sun - you can block it out for a time but it ain't goin' away...
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Although not a jazz pianist, Charles-Valentin Alkan, the man whose technique even Franz Liszt called the most perfect he had ever seen, composed some of the most demanding piano music ever written. His etude "Comme le Vent" (op. 39, no. 1) requires the player to play 32nd-note triplets at a tempo of 16th note = 160, which is the equivalent of playing eighth-note triplets at quarter-note = 640. That equals out to somewhere close to 2000 single notes per minute. No pianist since Alkan has been able to match the tempo marking. Then again, Alkan lived long before the days of Youtube (and even the wax cylinder, for that matter), so I guess there's no concrete way to verify that Alkan himself could play the etude.

 

Funny you should mention that. I just discovered Alkan 3 weeks ago when I was hanging out with Steve Weingart and he started raving about him. He played me some of those op. 39 etudes on his computer, and I was blown away. I set myself on a quest to find Alkan's stuff in print, and it turns out that it's only available from overseas publishers. You can get it online though, you just have to wait a couple weeks. Shit, it's way too hard to play anyway. :P

Kawai C-60 Grand Piano : Hammond A-100 : Hammond SK2 : Yamaha CP4 : Yamaha Montage 7 : Moog Sub 37

 

My latest album: Funky organ, huge horn section

https://bobbycressey.bandcamp.com/album/cali-native

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Kad...I was going to throw Marc-Andre Hamelin out there as well.

His Grammy winning recording of the Godowsky studies (Hyperion) on the Chopin Etudes could very well be one of the most incredible feats on the piano.

 

I've worked on this first one that he plays here for about 5 yrs. now....I can't seem to ever get it past half-speed.

 

Check this out:

 

 

This guy is arguably king of the mountain as far has technique in the classical world today.

 

Leopold Godowsky (1870-1938)...do check this guy out piano aficionados.

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He he, I love this forum. First, a lot of philosophic discussion (in the Gonzalo thread) about what's of value in playing fast etc. - then, a shameless "who's faster?" :D

 

Well, I think the keyboard is quite conductive to fast playing. But of course it depends on what you're playing. I know I can play very fast if *I* am the one who chooses the notes. :D

Brahms is not very fast usually, but his music is very hard to play nonetheless. Listz and Chopin are hard *and* fast. :freak: Playing a blues very fast is much easier than playing "Giant Steps" at the same speed (wow, really?!). Boulez Second Sonata is not consistently fast, but deciphering all those rhythms and dynamics is mind-boggling. (give me 10 years, and maybe I'll able to do it)

 

And so on. I've searched for another example of lightning-fast piano playing, but frankly, I can't think of a better one than Richter's Chopin Etude which I had already posted. I find that really on the border of impossible, guys - *especially* since he keeps it very musical, with melody and form always in good evidence.

 

I enjoyed the videos very much, especially the wonderful Hamelin playing Alkan. Funniest of all was the following comment from YouTube:

 

alkan my ass,,,clayderman and yann can kick hes ass on the piano

 

It's wonderful to be a keyboard player, isn't it? :)

 

 

 

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Let me add this one.

 

http://youtube.com/watch?v=rk-7fbHBvOY

 

Slightly OT because is not always fast, but as virtuosic playing goes, it has few peers. It's Glenn Gould's solo piano transcription of Ravel's orchestral masterpiece, "La Valse". I first saw it on TV more than 25 years ago, and I remember sitting there with my mouth open for the whole time. This piece has been criticized because Gould replaces all Viennese "schmaltz" with Bachian clinical precision, but what can I do - I just love it. :D

 

I couldn't find a high-quality one-shot version, so it's in two parts. I strongly recommend to watch it to the end - the final bars (of part two) are quite incredible.

 

 

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Maple Leaf Rag is at around 160 bpm playing sixteenths (4x160 notes per min)

 Find 660 of my jazz piano arrangements of standards for educational purposes and tutorials at www.Patreon.com/HarryLikas Harry was the Technical Editor of Mark Levine's "The Jazz Theory Book" and helped develop "The Jazz Piano Book."

 

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