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Great Jazz Pianists: Instrumental Jazz From The 20s, 30s, 40s

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The piano is the most versatile of musical instruments. It enables a player to combine notes and create complex chords. For the ‘Great’ Jazz Pianists, greatness is no easy matter to define, and arguments will continue to rage over the merits of each of these soloists when compared to one another. The evidence is here and all you have to do is listen!
“This is amazing music to read the Great Gatsby to.” Joel
“Full marks to Past Perfect for the accurate discographcal data, with studio matrix numbers, dates and identities of vocalists” J Wright

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  1. Carolina Shout Fats Waller 0:30
  2. Fifty-Seven Varieties Earl Hines 0:30
  3. Snowy Morning Blues James P. Johnson 0:30
  4. King Porter Stomp Jelly Roll Morton 0:30
  5. Swampy River Duke Ellington 0:30
  6. Passionette Willie The Lion Smith 0:30
  7. Humoresque Art Tatum 0:30
  8. Tiger Rag Teddy Wilson 0:30
  9. Finishing Up A Date Billy Kyle 0:30
  10. My Blue Heaven Teddy Weatherford 0:30
  11. Ain't Misbehavin' Fats Waller 0:30
  12. Pilgrim's Chorus Donald Lambert 0:30
  13. Rockin' Chair Garland Wilson 0:30
  14. Swingin' For Joy Mary Lou Williams 0:30
  15. Original Rags Jelly Roll Morton 0:30
  16. The Ladder Joe Turner 0:30
  17. My Melancholy Baby Earl Hines 0:30
  18. When you and I were young Maggie Teddy Wilson 0:30
  19. Little Rock Getaway Joe Sullivan 0:30
  20. Morning Air Willie The Lion Smith 0:30
  21. You've Got To Be Modernistic James P. Johnson 0:30
  22. Begin The Beguine Art Tatum 0:30


  • Rhythm, Melody & Harmony
  • The Greatest Jazz Musicians
  • 15 Piano Classics
  • With Earl Hines & Jelly Roll Morton
  • An Hour Of Vintage Jazz
  • Including Rockin’ Chair & Carolina Shout

The piano is the most versatile of musical instruments. It enables a player to combine notes and create complex chords, and in the right hands, offers exceptional potential for dynamic variety. Unlike its predecessor, the harpsichord, the piano is essentially a percussion instrument. The notes are activated by felt hammers striking strings and each pianist brings differences of touch and emphasis to this process, helping to define the piano as the ideal vehicle for a creative art-form like jazz.
A late seventeenth-century innovation, the piano was perfected by one Bartolomeo Cristofori, then the Keeper of Instruments at the Medici Court in Florence. Originally the piano e forte (literally ‘soft and loud’), it embraces the staple elements of rhythm, melody and harmony.
Little wonder then that the piano became the instrument of choice for so many families throughout the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries or that great numbers of aspiring musicians were encouraged to tackle its complexities. Black families in America were no different to their white counterparts in this. They too, wished their offspring to acquire the preferred social graces of the day, among them, of course, sufficient mastery of the piano to provide the accompaniment for turn-of-the-century parlour socials, family festivities and neighbourhood recitals. Unsurprisingly, the piano also became a common feature of church and school life, and the perfect support for many kinds of public entertainment, much of it innocent; the rest, from all reports, sometimes verging on the downright disreputable.


2 reviews for Great Jazz Pianists: Instrumental Jazz From The 20s, 30s, 40s

  1. Marion

    Many thanks for the delivery of the Jazz Pianists CD.  I like this for the car, it is easy listening, a nice little collection and at a nice price too.

  2. Desmond Carrington

    The quality of the transfers is absolutely first class.  Past Perfect have wisely resisted any further processing of the sound: even so, old 78s reveal nuances one never thought possible.  Theirs is not merely ‘Hi Fi’ but a true ‘high fidelity’ sound. Bravo, Past Perfect!

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