A Guide To Help You Play Better Jazz Piano

Ron Drotos

History and overview:
Originally composed in 1931 as a waltz (like Fly Me To The Moon and Falling In Love With Love), “Beautiful Love” is a true “pop tune” in that it wasn’t ever intended for the Broadway stage or a film. Rather, it was introduced by a group called the Wayne King Orchestra, which specialized in playing waltzes.

The Real Book version of “Beautiful Love” is in 4/4 time, which is how jazz musicians typically play it.

Here are some recommended recordings/videos:
(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.)

Anita O’Day

Bill Evans Trio: Explorations

Hank Jones

Musical ideas and jazz piano practice tips:
The key to soloing over “Beautiful Love” is to become comfortable improvising over 2 sets of ii/V/I chord progressions; one in D minor and one in F major. (In this sense it’s similar to “Autumn Leaves.”)

Once you can do this, work slowly through the chord progression as a whole, enjoying how the bVI7 (Bb7) chord is occasionally brought in to ead to the dominant (A7). This alternation of scale-based progressions and the bluesiness that’s implied by the bVI7 chord is part of what makes the tune so much fun to solo on.

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

Further links and resources:
Beautiful Love: Wikipedia

Beautiful Love playalong track

Beautiful Love: Journey Through The Real Book #26

Here's a way to play jazz standards in your own, unique way

The Best Way To Use The Real Book

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