Virtuosité des pianistes de jazz américains, de Jelly Roll Morton à Brad Mehldau : histoire parallèle et héritage du Romantisme européen

Abstract : The aim of this thesis is to question the possible impact of romantic paradigms for soloist improviser pianists coming from the jazz scene. From the soloist virtuosity to the style and more generally to the romantic spirit, is it possible to find in their work a certain heritage, whether it is overtly admitted or not? However, 19th century classical music virtuosi and jazz pianists from the following century are so different that it seems natural to wonder whether the word ‘heritage’ is the proper one to use. Yet, the contribution of written classical music to improvised music pieces shouldn’t be overlooked, especially when examining thepianistic domain. Every improviser pianists have been faced with pieces from the classical, romantic or contemporary repertoire to some extent, at the very least during their piano studies which, for some of them, were extremely advanced. Through the Latin virtus connecting dexterity and transcendence – the prerogative of the Promethean hero stealing fire as a present for humanity - could it be possible to find in the playing of certain virtuosi the influence of the two great romantic geniuses, Chopin the intimist and Liszt the extrovert, whose characters were so different? Improvised music is frequently a moment of sharing (soloists’ recitals being the exception) and it is the moment when a few chosen ones can reach the status of heroes, emphasizing energy, action and human knowledge. From Jelly Roll Morton, self-proclaimed “inventor” of jazz music, the stride pianists and Art Tatum,to the complete improvisation of the post-bop era, romanticism is represented through many different protean aspects such as the emancipation of functional aspects connected to dance or again the programmatic concerns of a certain Brad Mehldau, reminiscing about Schumann.
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André Cotton. Virtuosité des pianistes de jazz américains, de Jelly Roll Morton à Brad Mehldau : histoire parallèle et héritage du Romantisme européen. Musique, musicologie et arts de la scène. Université de Lyon, 2018. Français. ⟨NNT : 2018LYSE2071⟩. ⟨tel-01984838⟩

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