Dirk Bleese

Composer | Pianist



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Piano News (Edition 04/2022)

It’s probably thanks to the ever-growing The popularity of jazz has led to a whole series of jazz instructional books that provide the interested piano student or amateur with a step-by-step introduction to the world of jazz piano. Now the X renowned Jazz pianist and composer Dirk Bleese also presents a Jazz piano school that pursues precisely this goal. The jazz course comprises five booklets with eight to ten pieces per booklet, accompanied by finger, rhythm and improvisation exercises. The latter are divided into a notated sample improvisation and an open improvisation section in which the tonal space can be expanded at will and the left hand can be varied rhythmically. The pieces are written in a variety of jazz styles including blues, Rag-Time, and Hardbob. Each booklet marks one of a total of five difficulty levels. Level 5 is naturally the most demanding. Pedagogically, the idea is to work through the increasing level of difficulty on one and the same piece. A composition such as the blue song (Jazz-Piano 1, &. 11) thus appears in five verses, which differ from each other in all movement dimensions and place increasingly higher demands on the player. At difficulty level 4, the addition of a powerful bass accompaniment, seventh chords in the middle chord and a rhythmically elaborate melodic line have turned the blue song into a full-sounding blue Nocturne. Bleese notates on three systems and adds a fourth, in which he records the underlying scales. This makes it easy to improvise. The last version is characterized by new sections, a differentiated melody as well as a more agile accompaniment. The composition reaches a length of 80 bars and is suitable as an effective performance piece. However, those who embark on this course should have some prior knowledge, since Bleese refrains from more detailed explanations. However, since not all piano students know that the performance term Swing is linked to a certain rhythmic pattern that produces the swing feeling, in this and in some other cases an experienced piano teacher is needed to demonstrate and explain. Those who persevere to the end will be rewarded with plenty of jazz groove. Level of difficulty: 2-4

Dirk Bleese

Jazz piano 1, Jazz piano 2, Jazz piano 3, Jazz piano 4, Jazz piano 5 Universal Edition UES 101 343-410, 101 520-410, 101 521-410, 101 341-410, 101 323-410

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