McCoy Tyner underappreciated? I suppose you could say he is so phenomenal that any appreciation is not enough (could say the same for Bill Evans or Keith Jarrett) but McCoy is generally regarded as among the top three or four pianists in jazz. Same comments on a lower scale for Silver, Garland, Kelly, Rubalcaba and Jamal. All very renowned, and deservedly so.
Here are some of my picks (limited to living pianists), off the top of my head:
Good lists, guys. I'll include another "baker's dozen" that deserve wider recognition (unfortunately, about half of them are now deceased):
1. Roland Hanna
2. Tommy Flanagan
3. Michel Petrucciani
4. Jimmy Rowles
5. Erroll Garner
6. Marian McPartland
7. Chucho Valdez
8. Michel Camilo
9. John Hicks
10. Barry Harris
11. Cedar Walton
12. Kenny Drew
13. Gene Harris
Scott, I hate to nitpick. OK, I love to nitpick! :-) Do you think Erroll Garner is under appreciated? I think this a case where you would be gladly mistaken, no? If he is under appreciated it is a situation that deserves much publicity. I would have thought that Soliloquy, Gems, and Concert by the Sea, among others would already have a place on most jazz pianist lovers' shelves.
I post this question not so much to take issue with your taste or opinion of anything jazz, which is consistently impeccable and accurate, but rather to highlight to others that his are recordings that are among those in the "must have" category.
Yes, I am quite confident that Erroll Garner falls into the "underappreciated" category. Ask the vast majority of people about Erroll, and they'll give you a blank look. Even if you ask people who have some interest in jazz, you will find that most of them know little about Garner, and probably have not heard anything but "Concert By The Sea".
I had the good fortune to hear Erroll Garner several times during the 1950's, both in concert and in clubs, and his exuberant, joyful music remains with me even today.
Should you and I start an Erroll Garner fan club?
Scott, hopefully this thread will constitute the fan club and perhaps others will remove the "under" portion of the underappreciated label. Garner played with a fluidity and "cheerfulness" that I find somewhat unrivaled. And, he was a wonderful master of block chords. Probably many don't know that he was the composer of the famous song "Misty". Was not his brother Linton, an accomplished pianist in his own right?
Some other titles that may be of interest to others which I have acquired since being "tuned on" to Garner by Scott and after conferring with my father who once had a definitive collection of jazz LP's:
Body and Soul
That's My Kick
Feeling is Believing
Night and Day
Though I choose the vinyl, when available, many Garner titles have been reissued on CD, as well.
Find and enjoy!
Some great players so far, most of em are pretty well known and probably still under appreciated. Here are some more who have alot to offer:
Virtually anyone who recorded a solo recital for Concord CDs in the Maybeck Recital series. Largely terrific performances, in splendid sound. Look for all 40-odd of them... many have been remaindered recently. With perhaps one exception, all of them are highly enjoyable-- both those by pianist with whom I was previously familiar and by several who were new to me.
Duke Ellington's mastery of the piano is not always given its due. Likewise, Fats Waller is sometimes seen as an entertainer and his musicianship is not fully appreciated. Not always easy to say when someone is under appreciated. Presumably, you have to discount the fact you are talking about an under appreciated art form. Some were appreciated by critics yet did not sell a lot of records (or vice versa). Some were appreciated in their time but are under appreciated today (or vice versa). At any rate, other jazz pianists who in some sense were/are under appreciated include:
Mary Lou Williams
Martial Solal (his At Newport '63 LP is a gem)
In response to 4yanxÂI think you can't go wrong with Montreux '77 and Alone with the Blues, but Ray Bryant is pretty consistent in quality, if quite eclectic in material.
Also, Tommy Flanagan is so masterful that I forget that he may be underappreciated. Giant Steps, his homage to Coltrane, is one of my favorite albums of any type.
Dorothy Donegan - One of the few contemporaries of Tatum that had comparable chops...really! She was also a fantastic entertainer with an extraordinary ability to mimic jazz vocalists of various eras. Check out any of her concert recordings and make sure your mouth is taped shut.
Phineas Newborn - Nobody, NOBODY has ever eclipsed Mr. Newborn's pianism. Speed, articulation, phrasing, swing are all non pareil. Criminally underappreciated.
BTW: Thelonious labored in relative obscurity until he was 40 years old because listeners weren't prepared for him. His musical contemporaries knew he was their Mozart...or Beethoven, but it took Jazz fans a long time to catch up. We're still catching up!
Second the mention by Sdcampbell of Gene Harris,and my other favorites Jr. Mance,Oscar Peterson,Benny Green.Gene Harris is not only not dead however,but (I found out about it too late to attend)the Gene Harris Jazz Festival is April 4-7 in Boise Idaho.Hope there is another next year!Also if anyone is interested,cduniverse has a box set of Errol Garner on Telarc.Some sound better than others,but all are at least decent.
Gene Harris is not only not dead however,but (I found out about it too late to attend)the Gene Harris Jazz Festival is April 4-7 in Boise Idaho.
While Gene's spirit is definitely alive at his namesake festival, he's been playing to packed houses at The Pearly Gate since January 16, 2000. A great player who's music always left me feeling happy, no matter the mood.