Blog Archives


I recently heard the tail end of a radio interview with actor Simon Russell Beale. The discussion was about a new theatre production he’s doing which involves him actually playing the piano – yes, actually playing. Debussy, I think it

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Posted in e) Rants & Ramblings

Right, Said Fred

I’ve been working with a student recently who’s concerned about getting more out of her piano soloing. And my suggestion has been to commit piano heresy – practise with the right hand alone. Before the ghosts of generations of piano

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Posted in a) Soloing Scales & Modes

Circling the Square

I’ve been asked to post something on piano fingerings for jazz. I’ll do my usual – half-answer the question and then talk about something I think is far more important. With precomposed music, you work out a fingering in advance

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Posted in a) Soloing Scales & Modes, c) Musicianship

Frankly My Dear… He Gives a Damn

If you haven’t heard of pianist Dave Frank, this is your lucky day. He’s a formidable, eclectic performer; a former Piano Prof at Berkelee, before he founded his own school in NYC; author of two books and a DVD (published by

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Posted in i) Reviews

Drop 2 More

I wrote about Drop 2 last year here and I’ve had some feedback (a few people really loved the picture of the Golden Retriever with four tennis balls in her mouth – so here she is for a well-deserved encore).

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Posted in a) Soloing Scales & Modes, b) Harmony & Comping

The Silver Bullet

Adios then, Señor Blues. We did a couple of numbers as tributes to Horace Silver on the gig last Monday. Didn’t even know someone had written lyrics to Nica’s Dream. Cool though. Horace came up in the bebop era, but

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Posted in b) Harmony & Comping, c) Musicianship, i) Reviews

A Rose by Any Other Name…

…would smell as sweet. (That’s yer actual Shakespeare, folks.) But sometimes the rose isn’t what it seems. So when is a rose not a rose? When is a fifth a fourth (or eleventh) and a third not a third? Having possibly thoroughly

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Posted in a) Soloing Scales & Modes, b) Harmony & Comping
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Wednesday Gig/Jam

We play every Wednesday night, 9 to 12.30, at Toulouse Lautrec in Kennington, South London. It starts as a gig then becomes a jam. We welcome and accommodate all, but please do have a squizz at Thoughts from the Piano Chair of a Jam Session.
Illustration by Sue Harding

June guest soloists
7 Sara Dowling voc
14 Ed Riches gtr
21 Duncan Eagles tenor
28 Tom Ridout tenor

More info on guests here

For London-wide jazz llistings see