A Guide To Help You Play Better Jazz Piano

Ron Drotos

History and overview:
“Can’t Help Lovin’ Dat Man” is one of the all-time great show tunes. Written in 1927 by Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein for the Broadway musical Showboat, it brings elements of the blues into a standard 32-bar song form. (Incidentally, Kern and Hammerstein also composed the tune “All The Things You Are.”)

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.)

From the movie “Showboat”

Oscar Peterson

Stephane Grappelli

Musical ideas and jazz piano practice tips:
“Can’t Help Lovin’ Dat Man” is a good example of how we can sometimes get good ideas from a song’s original sheet music. I like to play the ‘A’ Sections with a relaxed, slow stride accompaniment in my left hand. Then during the bridge, I take a cue from the sheet music and get a little bluesy, playing repeated quarter-note chords in my left hand. Try this for yourself and see how well it fits the tune.

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

Further links and resources:
Can’t Help Lovin’ Dat Man: Wikipedia

Can’t Help Lovin’ Dat Man: Journey Through The Real Book #54

The Best Way To Use The Real Book

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