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John Lewis and Billy Taylor - Jazz Piano Masters

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Uploaded on Dec 30, 2006

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Two Jazz piano masters make musical magic in a rare duo setting. Dr. Billy Taylor appeared on hundreds of jazz albums and wrote more than 300 tunes, including "I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel to Be Free," which became an unofficial anthem of the civil rights movement in the 1960s. It was the theme music of the 1996 film "Ghosts of Mississippi.

John Lewis was among the most conservative of bop pianists. His improvised melodies, played with a delicate touch, were usually simple and quiet. The accompaniments were correspondingly light, with Lewis's left hand often just grazing the keys to produce a barely audible sound. His method of accompanying soloists was similarly understated: rather than comping—punctuating the melody with irregularly placed chords—he often played simple counter-melodies in octaves which combined with the solo and bass parts to form a polyphonic texture. Occasionally, Lewis played in a manner resembling the stride styles of James P. Johnson and Fats Waller, all the while retaining his light touch.

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