David Hazeltine: “Copying Models by Ear Is the Biggest Thing I Can Recommend For People Trying to Learn How to Improvise”
Accompanying pianist. Copywriter.
This interview with esteemed jazz pianist David Hazeltine provides a comprehensive exploration of his musical journey, from early exposure to the world of music through his mother’s performances to his evolution as a skilled jazz musician. Hazeltine delves into the significance of his influential jazz teacher, the development of his unique practice routines, and the emphasis on creating personalized exercises for aspiring jazz musicians.
The interview highlights Hazeltine’s affinity for Steinway pianos and the inspiration drawn from a diverse range of musicians, including jazz icons like Art Tatum and Charlie Parker, classical maestros like Bach and Chopin, and contemporary figures such as Donald Fagan. Hazeltine shares insights into his ongoing projects, including a recording with a stellar ensemble and a solo piano venture reimagining popular tunes from his childhood in a jazz context.
The discussion extends to Hazeltine’s experiences with One For All, a long-standing jazz sextet, and his thoughts on arranging. The interview concludes with valuable advice for aspiring jazz pianists, emphasizing the importance of dedicated practice, critical self-evaluation, and the pursuit of practical and productive musical goals. Overall, this interview offers a deep dive into the life and artistry of David Hazeltine, enriching our understanding of his musical philosophy and contributions to the jazz genre.