A Guide To Help You Play Better Jazz Piano

Ron Drotos

History and overview:
Cole Porter wrote “(You’d Be So) Easy To Love” in 1934 and it’s been a favorite of jazz musicians ever since. It has a melody that’s basic enough to learn quickly and lends itself well to melodic embellishment and syncopation. The chord changes are a jazz musician’s dream as well, containing numerous “circle of 4th” progressions revolving around the tonic key.

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.)

Ella Fitzgerald: The Complete Ella Fitzgerald Song Books

Charlie Parker: Charlie Parker With Strings: The Master Takes

Patricia Barber: Ladies’ Jazz Vol. 5

A bossa nova version of the song

Musical ideas and jazz piano practice tips:
Structurally, “Easy To Love” is one of the shorter and simpler Cole Porter songs. Many of his compositions were either much longer musically (“Begin The Beguine” and “So In Love”) or contained many verses of lyrics (“Friendship” and “Let’s Do It”). Even within this 32-bar structure, however, Porter manages to work his compositional magic, bringing each successive phrase just a little bit higher than the previous ones, until the melody peaks on a high ‘A’ at the beginning of the 2nd ending.

Be sure to check out the Bill Evans transcription I’ve linked to below. There’s a wealth of music information in there and you’ll find many chord voicings which you can use on other tunes as well.

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

Further links and resources:
Easy To Love: Wikipedia

A transcription of Bill Evans’ solo on “Easy To Love”

Easy To Love: Journey Through The Real Book #105

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