A Guide To Help You Play Better Jazz Piano

Ron Drotos

History and overview:
“In Your Quiet Place” is an early Keith Jarrett composition that appeared on his album with vibraphonist Gary Burton in 1971. It’s an excellent tune, although it’s not widely played. The Berklee College of Music students who assembled the first Real Book included a lot of tunes like this, by Gary Burton and his circle. This music was very “new” and “fresh” at the time, and I’m glad these songs are still in The Real Book today, so we can experience them for ourselves.

Recommended videos/recordings:
(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.)

Gary Burton & Keith Jarrett

Keith Jarrett

Jarrett plays the song with a kind of gentle “folk” feel here.

The New Gary Burton Quartet: Common Ground

Musical ideas and jazz piano practice tips:
Even though the Gary Burton & Keith Jarrett recording of “In Your Quiet Place” had a definite “rock ballad” feel, the song also sounds great with a lighter, syncopated 16-note texture that can have more of a “folk” feel to it. Listen to the second recording above to hear how Jarrett played it like this in his solo piano version.

In the light of history, it’s fascinating to see how jazz composers in the late 60’s/early 70’s embraced rock and pop rhythms but kept some of their preferred jazz harmonies, like ii-Vs. Jarrett combines these with “pure” triads and inversions, which give the musical a sort of “classical” flavor in places. This blend of stylistic influences gives us a lot of leeway in how we approach our improvisations. We can use pop/rock licks, some blues and pentatonic scales, and mix them up with whatever jazz techniques we want to use as well. The only guide is your own preference and musical taste. Be sure to listen to the recordings I’ve posted above to hear how Jarrett, Burton, and their musical peers played it, and then use this as a springboard for your own interpretations.

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

Further links and resources:
Gary Burton and Keith Jarrett (album): Wikipedia

How To Learn Jazz Piano
A podcast to help you learn jazz piano more effectively

Jazz Piano Video Course
This extensive, well-sequenced video course will get you playing jazz standards with a sense of flow and fluency.

Jazz Piano Lessons via Skype
Personal guidance from an expert, caring teacher. Beginning through Advanced.

Take a Free Jazz Piano Lesson

Previous Song           Table of Contents           Next Song


Learn the 5 Essential Left Hand Techniques with my free ebook: Left Hand Techniques for Jazz Piano
You'll also get my weekly jazz newsletter with practice tips and inspiration