Most of the 13 jazz pieces for piano I composed during my studies at the Utrecht school of the Arts in the Netherlands.
I started out practising a certain matter, be it a scale or pattern, a chord progression for the left hand or polyrythmic melodic ideas.
In the process I started making notes of some of my preferences and moulded them into pieces for performance.
I had found earlier that the problem with a lot of the teaching material in jazz books was, that it was either too theoretical, sounding like dry exercises rather than real alive jazz, or on the other hand, in the case of actual transcriptions of performances, that they were too difficult for beginners or even intermediate students.
These transcriptions are so personal to the preferences of the player in question that it is difficult to incorporate them into one’s own playing.
While copying a real Bill Evans or Keith Jarrett solo can give important insights into the way these musicians think, it can be (at least in the beginning) very discouraging to try and emulate another musician’s style.
Anyhow, my attempt with these 13 jazz pieces is to provide pianists that have already aquired some basic technique with relatively easily playable material that nonetheless sounds like real jazz, right away, as played from the paper, and at the same time encourages the player’s own imagination to continue exploring.
Every piece has an introduction with practice advice or jazz historic references.
At the same time the texts give an insight into basic questions and techniques of composing one’s own material.
Here is an example of a song I composed when working on the topic of counterpoint. The idea was to create a dialogue between right and left hand in the fashion of Bach’s Inventions.