Under Appreciated Jazz Piano Players

The same is the case for any instrument but I would like to mention some piano players that never seem to be mentioned enough. This list is off the top of my head, I am sure you other members have some to add.
Ahmad Jamal
Hampton Hawes
Don Pullen
Horace Silver
Stanley Cowell
Red Garland
Winton Kelly
McCoy Tyner
John Lewis
Kenny Barron
BoBo Stenson.....
Gonzala Rubalcaba
Marian McPartland
Hampton Hawes
John Lewis
Carla Bley
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:

Jessica Williams
Benny Green
John Hicks
Geoff Keezer
John Campbell
Dave McKenna
Lynne Arriale
John Taylor
David Hazeltine
John Coates, Jr.
Enrico Pieranunzi
Richie Beirach
Bill Charlap
Chris Anderson
Larry Willis
Bill Mays
Jessica Williams
John Taylor
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
Here's another one, sparked by seeing the name Kenny Drew - Kenny Drew, Jr. (the son) has a phenomenal technique and plays interesting material.
Marcus Roberts
Here's one you might not expect--one of my personal "under appreciated" which is Chick Corea. I never really appreciated his brilliance until he did the Mozart Sessions.
The late Art Edgerton. He played solo and with a trio.
Richie Beirach
Kirk Lightsey
Walter Norris
Bill Charlap
Mulgrew Miller
Wynton Kelly
John Taylor
Larry Goldings
Clare Fischer
Hank Jones
Harold Mabern
David Hazeltine
John Hicks
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.
Irmin Schmidt,
Sergei Kuriokhin(only appreciated after his death),

I don't believe that Carla Bley was ever under-appreciated.

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?
How about Ray Bryant?
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
Other Voices
Paris Impressions
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!
I second Ray Bryant–a phenomenal, funky, bluesy pianist. I think I'll go listen to a couple LPs right now . . .
Muzikat, Jconder - care to share a tasty title or two with respect to Ray Bryant?
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:
Michael Wintsch
John Stetch
Anthony Davis
Rainer Brunnighaus
Misha Alperin
Mitchel Foreman
Myra Melford
Horace Tapscott
Francois Bourassa
Wayne Horvitz
Sakoto Fuji
Marylin Crispell
Eric Watson
Neils Thybo
Joachim Kuhn
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.
bill evans,russ freeman and more recently benny green super list to start with spindrifter.
Hey, what about Oscar Peterson and Andre Previn?
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:
Al Haig
Tommy Flanagan
George Wallington
Mary Lou Williams
Martial Solal (his At Newport '63 LP is a gem)
Michel Camilo
Monty Alexander
John Campbell
In response to 4yanx–I 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.
Marian McPartland, the grande dame. Her knowledge of harmony is so profound and her demonstration of that knowledge so subtle that her artistry is lost on many folks. May you live forever, my love!

Hey Peach...Russ Freeman plays guitar. I agree however that no amount of appreciation is enough for Bill Evans! Eric Reed anyone?
Thelonious Monk
When for the entire his time Thelonious Monk was under-appreciated???
1.Bill Evans
2.Oscar Peterson
3.Bud Powell
4.Art Tatum
5.Art Tatum
6.Art Tatum
Hey Ghasley ... Russ Freeman played a lot of piano with Chet Baker and others in the 50s and 60s. And Bill Evans plays tenor sax. Bill Evans also PLAYED piano, to put it mildly.

Herbie Nichols belongs on the list.

Also, although his admirers certainly appreciate him, I do not believe Cecil Taylor always gets his due as the titanic figure he is.
Much like your response it deals with composition and technique. Although Thelonious made the cover of Time he had many detractors especially toward the end of his career when he continued to revise his previous works.
Hey Dopogue...MY BAD, I thought he was referring to the Russ Freeman of the Rippingtons. I should have known better. Crow anyone?
Cyrus Chestnut
Ellis Marsalis
Horace Silver (appreciated more as composer)
Bobby Timmons
Randy Weston
Hampton Hawes
Muhal Richard Abrahms
Ray Bryant
James Williams
Mulgrew Miller
Benny Green
Gerri Allen
Junior Mance
I reckon I could go on. Check out Ben Sidran's "Piano Players"!
I guess, by definition, "underappreciated" is someone who is less well known and shouldn't be. As nobody has mentioned Cedar Walton, I think he should be added to the list.
It seems like I'm the only one who's ever heard of her. Very Monk inspired, but more lyrical. Check her out if you haven't.
Jacky Terrasson. His collaboration with Cassandra Wilson (Rendezvous) is very nice, as are his solo efforts.
UNDER appreciated...right?
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!
Kirk Lightsley (sp?)
Peter Martin, Marcin Wasalewski, Frank Kimbrough, Frank Hewitt
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.
Clint Eastwood
Did anybody mention Andre Previn? If not they should have. :-)
Forgot to mention 2 more greats.Alan Broadbent,and Dick Hyman.
Herbie Hancock is God.
For all times sake check out Sergei Kuriokhin who had always been critisized...
Duke Pearson
Ahmad Jamal (already listed)
Duke Ellington (ditto)
Keith Jarrett - I don't think I saw his name yet...
I would also give a nod to Bruce Hornsby as some of his solo performances are very much in the jazz vein, and he handles himself admirably.
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.
Everybody forgot Ruben Gonzalez... shame on you.
Phineas Newborn Jr.!

Agree with Surfgod. Ruben's gone now, but even in his late 70's he could still run up and down the keyboard.
Garyk,well I stand corrected,and also stand deeply saddened to know that.I echo your comment about Gene's music.