A Guide To Help You Play Better Jazz Piano

Ron Drotos

History and overview:
“Dedicated To You” was composed in 1937 by Sammy Cahn, with lyrics by Saul Chaplin and Hy Zaret. It’s not a “must know” tune, but if you’re looking for some great material that’s a little outside-the-usual, this could be it. The Coltrane/Hartman recording I’ve linked to below is one of the all-time great ballad recordings in jazz.

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.)

Andy Kirk And His Twelve Clouds Of Joy

This is the first recording of the song, from 1937 during the Swing Era

John Coltrane & Johnny Hartman

The John Coltrane/Johnny Hartman album is one of the greatest ballad albums ever made!

Freddie Hubbard

Musical ideas and jazz piano practice tips:
“Dedicated To You” is a chestnut from the Great American Songbook. It’s amazing how much variety the composers of that era found within the AABA song form! To really learn how to play these types of ballad melodies, listen to the great tenor sax players of the time, starting with Lester Young, Coleman Hawkins, Ben Webster, and Don Byas. There’s something about how they played these melodies that’s closely related to the human voice, and you’ll become a better player if you can learn to “sing” melodies through the piano like they did on their horns.

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

Further links and resources:
Sammy Cahn: Wikipedia

Dedicated To You: Journey Through The Real Book #86

The Best Way To Use The Real Book

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