Piano Corner / Piano Melody Transcriptions

Studying a piano artist's interpretation of a melody can be very rewarding and stimulating. Understanding all the nuances the artist creates can be difficult; looking at the transcription while listening to the performance gives you a deeper perspective.

    Donald Brown

    A lyrical pianist and prolific composer as well as a teacher, band leader and arranger, Donald Brown is considered one of the masters of contemporary jazz composition. Raised in Memphis, Tennessee, Donald studied trumpet and drums as a youth. It was not until he began studying at Memphis State University that he switched to piano as his primary instrument, the late start making his pianistic skill all the more incredible. Read more...

  • Booker T. - Donald Brown Swing (slow)
  • Jon Davis

    Jon Davis has performed with and contributed compositions to many of the top jazz musicians worldwide throughout his career, which has spanned over 35 years, and has recorded many albums as a leader. Jon took up piano and guitar as a young teenager; he was inspired to play jazz after hearing records of Red Garland and Miles Davis. He briefly studied with Lennie Tristano then attended New England Conservatory, where his teachers included Ran Blake, Jaki Byard, and Madam Chaloff. After six months, he left to begin gigging around Boston. Read more...

  • Here's Jonny - Jon Davis Swing (medium up)
  • Just Because Of You - Jon Davis Latin
  • Loop - Jon Davis Swing (slow)
  • No Kiddin' - Jon Davis 3/4 swing (medium up)
  • One Up Front - Jon Davis Swing (medium)
  • Too Good For Words - Jon Davis Swing (medium up)
  • Waltz For J.D. - Jon Davis 3/4 swing (medium up)
  • Kenny Drew, Jr.

    Kenny Drew, Jr., son of pianist/composer Kenny Drew, Sr., started music lessons at the age of four. He studied classical piano with his aunt Marjorie, but soon found he enjoyed playing jazz as well. He performed worldwide with a comprehensive variety of musicians, including Stanley Jordan, OTB, Stanley Turrentine, Slide Hampton, the Mingus Big Band, Steve Grossman, Yoshiaki Masuo, Sadao Watanabe, Smokey Robinson, Frank Morgan, Daniel Schnyder, Jack Walrath, Ronnie Cuber and many others. Read more...

  • This One's For Bill - Kenny Drew, Jr. 3/4 swing (medium)
  • Kenny Drew

    Kenny Drew was born in New York City. He studied classical piano but soon turned to jazz. His recording career started in 1950 at age 22, first with Howard McGhee for Blue Note, then Sonny Stitt for Prestige. These two 1950 recordings plus a surviving radio broadcast with Charlie Parker (December 8, 1950) put him in the company of jazz greats J.J Johnson, Max Roach and Art Blakey. Read more...

  • Dark Beauty - Kenny Drew, Sr. Ballad
  • Only You - Kenny Drew, Sr. Ballad
  • Weirdo - Kenny Drew, Sr. Swing (uptempo)
  • Tommy Flanagan

    Pianist Tommy Flanagan was born in Detroit. The youngest of six children, Flanagan began as a clarinetist before switching to piano. While his early influences included older style pianists such as Art Tatum and Teddy Wilson, he was ultimately drawn to bebop and the playing of Bud Powell. Read more...

  • Smooth As The Wind - Tadd Dameron Swing (medium)
  • Don Friedman

    Don Friedman was only four years old, living in San Francisco, when he started playing his parents' piano. A year later, he started lessons with a private teacher. His love for jazz music was born when he moved to L.A. and heard the likes of Les Brown and Lee Konitz for the first time. Read more...

  • Minor Ballade - Don Friedman Ballad
  • Buddy Montgomery

    Pianist Buddy Montgomery’s music was straight ahead bebop jazz. He played in many styles, but always with a bebop approach. With no formal training, he played entirely by ear in any key, choosing what he felt were the most beautiful and creative chord changes, making him a challenging and inventive sideman and leader. He infused lyrical ballads with warmth and swung hard as well. Though he never crossed over outside of jazz, his music is accessible to casual listeners but still prized by jazz fans. Read more...

  • Aki's Blues - Buddy Montgomery Swing (medium up)
  • Hob Nob With Brother Bob - Buddy Montgomery Swing (medium)
  • Herbie Nichols

    Herbie Nichols is a classic example of a visionary jazz composer whose music was way ahead of its time. His life story and music have some parallels to those of Thelonious Monk, whom he knew well. Like Monk, Nichols wrote music in the 1940s and '50s that was much more advanced and idiosyncratic than the mainstream of jazz at the time. However, whereas Monk's music became widely known later in his life, Nichols did not live long enough to see such recognition. Read more...

  • 'Orse At Safari - Herbie Nichols Swing (medium up)
  • Applejackin' - Herbie Nichols Swing (medium)
  • Nick At T's - Herbie Nichols Swing (uptempo)
  • Trio - Herbie Nichols Swing (uptempo)
  • Richard Wyands

    Richard Wyands is a remarkably gifted and precocious musician who is best known as a sideman. A native of Oakland, California, he started playing piano in local clubs in San Francisco when he was only sixteen years old, at which time he became a union member (with a sponsor, of course, due to his youth). Since the 1950s, he has played alongside some of the greatest and best-known American jazz musicians, such as Charles Mingus and Roy Haynes. Read more...

  • Down Home - Curtis Fuller Swing (medium up)