A Guide To Help You Play Better Jazz Piano

Ron Drotos

History and overview:
“Equinox” is a minor blues from tenor saxophonist John Coltrane’s great album “Coltrane’s Sound.” It’s one of the simpler Coltrane tunes to learn, although you may need a little while to become comfortable playing in the key of C# minor!

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.)

John Coltrane: Coltrane’s Sound

Kenny Garrett: Pursuance

Musical ideas and jazz piano practice tips:
There are a few possible approaches to a post-bop minor blues like “Equinox.” You can solo over the changes in a bebop way, by relating your improvisation to each chord as Charlie Parker or Bud Powell would. Alternatively, you can take a modal approach, where the scale becomes more important than the chord (in one sense). Try both approaches and see which you prefer. You can also combine both ways of improvising in the same solo if you like.

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

Further links and resources:
An interview with Lewis Porter, author of John Coltrane: His Life And Music
This brief interview covers a lot of ground about Coltrane and his music

Equinox: Journey Through The Real Book #110

How To Learn Jazz Piano
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