A Guide To Help You Play Better Jazz Piano

Ron Drotos

History and overview:
“Falling In Love With Love” is one of the great standard songs that’s been embraced by jazz musicians over the years. Originally a waltz by Rodgers and Hart, it’s usually played by jazz musicians in 4/4 time with a moderately fast swing feel.

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.)

Helen Merrill: Falling In Love With Love

With the Quincy Jones Septet

Keith Jarrett Trio: Standards Live

Musical ideas and jazz piano practice tips:
I like to go back to the original concept of tunes like “Falling In Love With Love,” even when I’m going to play them differently. In this case, it can help your playing to play the song like it was performed on Broadway, in the 1938 show The Boys From Syracuse. If you spent some time playing it as a “straight” waltz, you’ll get a sense of how the melody was composed to bring out the charm of the lyric, which works particularly well with the waltz beat. When you later play it again as a 4/4 swinger, some of that charm will remain in your interpretation. You can hear this in the way that many great jazz musicians phrase the melody and sometimes even in their solos.

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

Further links and resources:
Falling In Love With Love: Journey Through The Real Book #115

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