Joe Sample has been a favorite of mine for many years, beginning back when he was playing with the Crusaders.
Kenny Barron is probably the most overlooked pianist around and one of the best still living along with Keith Jarrett.
Although he is more of a keyboard player. Jordan Rudess.
Dave Gruisen is in there as well
Too many great ones out there: Keith Jarrett, Brad Meldau, Enrico Pieranunzi, John Taylor, Bobo Stenson, Ray Bryant, Paul Bley, Tord Gustavsen, Jessica Williams, Bill Mays, Larry Willis, McCoy Tyner, Frank Kimbrough, John Coates .. and that's just off the top of my head.
Oscar Peterson, Lyle Mays, McCoy Tyner
Cyrus Chestnut is mone of my favorite current jazz pianists.
my favorites of my favorites...keith jarrett(in the context of the charles lloyd quartet)..bill evans(verve years)....hank jones(the great jazz trio)....manfred mann(up the junction soundtrack)....les mccann
thelonius monk, cecil taylor...
Schroeder (Peanuts), ....Lucy agrees...:-)
It's really Vince Guaraldi
Classic: Oscar Peterson
New: Bill Charlap
I'll second the Art Tatum. Also a plug for my latest infatuation of Phineas Newborn. And, lastly, an honorable mention for my home town homie, Cyrus Chestnut.
I can't believe I forgot Bill Charlap, Hank Jones, and Kenny Barron in my list up above. Probably lots more too (I'm limiting to pianists still alive; at least I hope so). Dave
Art Tatum and McCoy Tyner when he was with Trane.
also 2 overlooked classics
Red Garland Sonny Clark
Monk, and then Bill Evans
Dan Knight. Jazz Steinway artist. played Montreaux 3 years in a row. Incredible improvisation. We also recorded him and sell the CD we recorded--so I have a biased interest. He is also my piano instructor--and a heck of a nice guy.
Here's a link to the CD: Dan Knight - the Walt Whitman Suite.
Be sure to read the column about the recording--it's very interesting.
Dave Brubeck is a close second to my post above.
The answer that requires the least qualification on my part is Thelonious Monk. I find his work the most consistently surprising, exhilirating and just plain fun. In fact, he is my favorite musician ever.
Bill Evans, Monk, Vince Guaraldi, Jessica Williams
For something a little different: Irene Schweitzer
Oscar Peterson, Gene Harris, Bud Powell, Horace Silver, Bill Evens, T. Monk and Mcoy Tyner just to name a few.
As Dopogue said, there are too many great ones out there. I'd include Gene Harris and Joe Zawinul among my favorites. Gene's "Live at Maybeck" disk, and Joe's songs "Mercy, Mercy, Mercy" and "The Country Preacher" with Cannonball Adderly are absolute treasures.
As someone who listens to a lot of jazz piano, especially solo jazz piano, thank goodness for them all!
There's a wonderful young Norwegian jazz pianist named Tord Gustavson who records on ECM. Great sounding albums too!
I'm with Pawlowski6132 however MUST add Wynton Kelly and Kenny Kirkland as well.
I recently saw Dan Nimmer, a piano player touring with Wynton Marsalis, for the third time. This was in a small local club, standing room only. He played with his trio. This young 24-25 year old just tears it open. Speed, timing and delicacy. Reminds me of a young Oscar Peterson mixed with Bill Evans. Incidently, I found two lps of his trio on the Venus label.
Jhon taylors tops on my list...oscar was a classic.So many,jarret,mays,stenson,kenny kirkland.For people looking for a killer recorded piano trio bobo stensons war orphans as good as youll get,imho.
Lots of great players mentioned so far...
One that usually stays under the radar is Monty Alexander. His playing is like listening to a fireworks display!
Oscar Peterson hands down, Gene Harris close second, Bill Evans should be on everyones list. Joe Sample in the modern era along with Bob James. Everyone mentioned is special so it's extremly tough to pick. I think it comes down to personal preference and them playing songs that moves you.
How can we possibly over look Marian McPhartland, one of the great jazz pianist to ever touch the keyboard. It was once said that she has three things against her. She's white,British and a woman other than that she ranks with the best ever. her NPR radio program has more than withstood the test of time and remains an icon of the NPR network.
I have several of her albums and she can hold her own with anyone past or present. I always wanted someone to make a duo album with her and Bill Evans, now that would have been magical.
In many ways she has never gotten her just due, but if you have never heard her, then pick up a few of her albums and hear for yourself. My favorites are "From This Moment On" and "Personal Choice" on the Concord Label. Let's honor her while we still can.
Anybody like Ahmad Jamal besides me? If you haven't heard him you should give him a listen. For anyone who likes an easy going jazz (not smooth jazz!) excellent sound check him out in his two Telarc recordings, "Chicago Revisited' and 'I Remember Duke, Hoagy and Strayhorn'.
Along with Jamal I like Andre Previn's recent releases.
Also enjoy very much Bill Evans, Tommy Flannagan, Gene Harris, Hank Jones, and Dave Brubeck.
Great as Oscar Peterson may be, I find I usually prefer his earlier recordings to any made in the past 15 years or so.
Thanks guys - you left me the gimmes - ladies and gentleman it gives me immense pleasure to present Duke Ellington and Count Basie...
I just picked up a CD with Peterson and Basie - called "Satch and Josh" very cool.
And yes of course, Tatum, Evans, Harris
Another new discovery - a CD with Tatum and Ben Webster - simply called "The Album" - magical
Among the newer guys I like Marcus Roberts and Gonzalo Rubalcaba who is a pretty amazing Cuban player - has done some neat work with Charlie Haden
But like a lot of you, I am sure gonna miss Oscar
Zawinals the the most of every musicians experience,they are the best of the best people in music bar none.No person can put an end to anyones passing.Zawinals last tibuite is sweet,so cool.thankyou all you incredible players!!!
I haven't seen Herbie Hancock yet? Not my favorite, but certainly a major contributor. I'm a 'softcore" fan of his. I have both of his latest collaborations with well known vocal artists (Possibilities and River). Very well recorded and a nice eclectic mix of music with a consistent piano overtone pulling them all together.
I have always liked Phil DeGreg and Johnny O'Neal. Although they are not well known they are superb jazz pianists.
Whoa, whoa, wait a minute. Have we mentioned Erroll Garner yet?
Two greats: Jacky Terrasson and Michael Cain.
I just cannot make a true 'favorite' distinction between the (IMhO)best of all,Gene Harris and Oscar Peterson.So, they, in my mind, are dead even tied for best ever.
I'm with the Ahmad Jamal suggestion..seems he's almost universally overlooked & yet he's been around for a very long time. The Essence 1 & 3 cd's are excellent. Also Jessica Williams. Great recordings too. Monk, Evans, Red Garland, all great.
Oscar Peterson, Dave Brubeck, Teddy Wilson, Bill Evans.
Oscar Peterson - for his non-stop swing;
Bill Evans - for his elegance, beauty, and depth;
and Red Garland - for his soulful groove.
Bobo Stensen followed by Marilyn Crispell