Pianoteq’s New York Steinway D Jazz Recording

Pianoteq’s New York Steinway D Jazz Recording. A clear, strong piano – great for an edgy improv to vent frustration. For character, I added a little age to this, using the slider in PTQ, some saturation and a little tape wow.

Learn to hear harmony

To be fluent tonally, to handle harmony and melody with effortless ease, you need to know all your harmonic blocks as unified structures plugged into the whole keyboard map. We tend to focus on the musical surface, often simply the melody, using our “karaoke” sense. Or we try to grasp theoretical objects like chords and intervals. But if we train our innate ability to tune into the wash of harmonic colour that underpins music at every moment, and learn how these harmonic blocks plug into the structure of the keyboard map, we then find it easy to grasp all the possible tonal shapes (melodies and chords) that are woven into this harmonic fabric.

The Sun through the Trees

My jazz-soul album under my artist name PJ Best, will be released (available to stream on Spotify, Apple Music etc.) on August 16th 2021. Here’s a sneaky preview of the title track. This song tells the simple truth that music is our source of solace bringing us back to the state of ease that is our birth right.

Rachmaninov Prelude in D flat op. 32 no. 13

As a fluent pianist, I work to find a proper grasp of the musical language of any piece I play. This prelude can easily sound dense, noisy and inaccessible, even in a solid technical performance with all the notes played accurately. In order to communicate its glorious, soaring, virtuoso, post-romantic story intelligibly, all intricate harmonies and contrapuntal lines must be clear and logical. Rachmaninov did not write atonally – there are no “wrong notes” in his music – but his very rich tonality (and rhythm too sometimes) can be extremely intricate and involved.