A Guide To Help You Play Better Jazz Piano

Ron Drotos

History and overview:
“Alright, Okay, You Win” is a swinging, bluesy number that’s strongly associated with vocalist Joe Williams, who recorded it with the Count Basie Orchestra (actually a jazz big band). I’ve never heard it played as an instrumental, so you’ll mainly play it while accompanying vocalists.

Here are some recommended videos/recordings:
(for international readers who may not have access to these YouTube links, I’ve indicated the original album names wherever possible so you can listen to them on music streaming services, etc.)

Count Basie Swings, Joe Williams Sings

Peggy Lee

Renee Olstead (Montreux, July 2014)

Musical ideas and jazz piano practice tips:
“Alright, Okay, You Win” is basically a “blues with a bridge.” Treat each A Section as self-contained 12-bar blues chorus and you’ll be fine. As with any blues-based tune, you can decide how “bluesy” you want to be. Bebop works fine on this too, as long as you’re still playing in a way that supports the vocalist you’re playing with.

Enjoy the journey, and “let the music flow!”

Further links and resources:
Alright, Okay, You Win: Journey Through The Real Book #14

This was the first time I’ve ever played the tune as an instrumental. In doing so, I challenged myself to play it more pianistically than I would if I were accompanying a vocalist, in which case I usually imitate the trumpets and saxes of a big band.

The Best Way To Use The Real Book

Alright, Okay, You Win playalong track

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