11-Year-Old Piano Prodigy Makes Playing A Notoriously Hard Jazz Piece Look Easy

May 19, 2015 By Archit Tripathi

"Giant Steps" is the title track from the iconic John Coltrane album released in 1960. It features a number of complex chord changes that follow a very unique style and traverse through three different keys. This was such a revolutionary approach to jazz that these progressions eventually became known as "Coltrane changes." While typical song structures feature intervals of minor or major seconds, Coltrane changes feature intervals of major thirds (thus creating "giant" steps). "Giant Steps" is widely considered by even the best jazz musicians as being one of the most difficult pieces to play, which is why seeing 11-year-old prodigy Joey Alexander play an absolutely flawless rendition of it is so special. Growing up in Indonesia, Joey first started playing piano by picking out a Thelonious Monk tune by ear. His father (an amateur pianist) instructed him in a few fundamentals, but beyond that, Joey is almost entirely self-taught. He now lives in New York and has just released an album, "My Favorite Things," through Motema Music.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Trending Today: