Aaron Diehl On 'Piano Jazz: Rising Stars'

Hear The Full Session

57 min 29 sec
 
 "It's a matter of understanding the vocabulary, in my opinion," pianist Aaron Diehl says of stride-piano music. "That stuff isn't meant to be played note for note." i i

"It's a matter of understanding the vocabulary, in my opinion," pianist Aaron Diehl says of stride-piano music. "That stuff isn't meant to be played note for note." Courtesy of the artist hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy of the artist
 "It's a matter of understanding the vocabulary, in my opinion," pianist Aaron Diehl says of stride-piano music. "That stuff isn't meant to be played note for note."

"It's a matter of understanding the vocabulary, in my opinion," pianist Aaron Diehl says of stride-piano music. "That stuff isn't meant to be played note for note."

Courtesy of the artist

Dubbed "the Real Diehl" by Wynton Marsalis, pianist Aaron Diehl is bringing the music of keyboard giants like Scott Joplin, Art Tatum and Duke Ellington to a whole new generation. He's particularly enamored with the sacred works of Mary Lou Williams, and has even performed her Lenten pieces, but in a session with Rising Stars host Job Weber, Diehl plays an old Williams stride-piano piece called "Nightlife."

"I was just in a class the other day with Ethan Iverson, a great pianist and one of my mentors — we were talking about playing in the Harlem stride style," Diehl says. "One of the things that I'm constantly obsessed with is trying to get just the feeling of the balance between the right hand and the left hand and make it feel good."

Diehl was named the 2011 Cole Porter Fellow in Jazz by the American Pianists Association, and in this session, you can hear Diehl's modern take on the music of the time-honored masters of stride and swing.

Set List

"Nightlife" (M.L. Williams)

"Back Home Again in Indiana" (Hanley & MacDonald)

"Begin the Beguine" (I. Berlin)

"Morning Coffee" (B. Harris)

"Moonlight on Maggiore" (A. Diehl)

"Milano" (J. Lewis)

"Allison's Uncle" (H. Jones)

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