||This article needs additional citations for verification. (July 2008)|
Harlem Stride Piano, stride piano, commonly abbreviated to stride, is a jazz piano style that was developed in the large cities of the East Coast, mainly New York, during 1920s and 1930s. The left hand characteristically plays a four-beat pulse with a single bass note, octave, seventh or tenth interval on the first and third beats, and a chord on the second and fourth beats. Occasionally this pattern is reversed by placing the chord on the downbeat and bass note(s) on the upbeat. Unlike earlier "St. Louis"-style pianists, stride players' left hands often leapt greater distances on the keyboard, and they played in a wider range of tempos and with a greater emphasis on improvisation.
Like its forebear, ragtime piano, stride piano is highly rhythmic and somewhat percussive in nature because of the "oom-pah" (alternating bass note / chord) action of the left hand. In the left hand, the pianist usually plays a single bass note, or a bass octave or tenth, followed by a chord, while the right hand plays syncopated melody lines with characteristically blues-based embellishments and fill patterns. However, there are differences between stride and ragtime. Unlike ragtime pianists, stride players were not concerned with ragtime form and did not avoid playing pop songs of the day, albeit in the stride style. Also, while the original ragtime music was composed, many stride pianists possessed impressive improvisational skills, and were not therefore reliant upon a printed score. Some of the finest players, in fact, did not read music at all. Lastly, stride is in general a more intense style than ragtime, played at faster tempos and with more drive. 
James P. Johnson (1891–1955), known as the "Father of Stride", created this style of jazz piano along with fellow pianists Willie "The Lion" Smith (1893-1973), Thomas "Fats" Waller (1904–1943) and Luckey Roberts (1893-1968). Johnson's greatest contribution was to recast the "straight" feeling of ragtime with a more modern, swinging beat. He discovered and employed the tenth or "broken tenth" interval to introduce more swing in his left hand. This can be heard in his famous composition "Carolina Shout". The pianist could not only substitute tenths for single bass notes, but could also play broken (staggered) tenths up and down the keyboard in scale fashion—an innovation that subsequently inspired boogie-woogie and the eventual transition to modern, four-beat jazz.
Stride pianist Art Tatum (1909–1956) ( a fan of early jazz pianist Lee Sims, who was himself a fan of the European "Impressionist" pianists such as Debussy and Satie, and hosted a radio program Tatum enjoyed) introduced more complex harmonies into his playing, and the feature of starting songs with legato explorations of chordal intricacies, before launching into "Swing". (A touch, also, apparently inspired by Sims.) Tatum was awarded a posthumous Grammy for his contributions to jazz in 1974.
Stride pianists practiced a full jazz piano style that utilized highly creative, often flamboyant devices such as arpeggios, black note slide-offs, trills and flourishes. They often engaged in marathon cutting contests to show off their skills.
Notable practitioners 
Other notable stride and stride-inspired jazz pianists include Teddy Wilson, Thelonious Monk, Johnny Guarnieri, Don Ewell, Louis Mazetier, Donald Lambert, Cliff Jackson, Dick Wellstood, Butch Thompson, Pat Flowers, Joe Turner, Claude Hopkins, Ralph Sutton, Hank Duncan, Dick Hyman, Stephanie Trick and Jaki Byard. Other prominent jazz pianists, including Oscar Peterson, Dave McKenna and Marcus Roberts, show their appreciation of this historical jazz style by including it in their solo performances.
Notable works 
- By James Price Johnson
- Carolina Shout (1918/1921), Mule Walk (1939), Caprice Rag
- By Thomas "Fats" Waller
- Handful of Keys (1929), Vipers Drag (1934), Alligator Crawl (1934)
- By Willie "The Lion" Smith
- Finger Buster (1931), Echoes Of Spring (1939)
See also 
- Schuller, Gunther (1968). Early Jazz: Its Roots and Musical Development. New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 216 & 221. ISBN [[Special:BookSources/01495040300|01495040300[[Category:Articles with invalid ISBNs]]]] Check
- Scivales, Riccardo (1990). Harlem Stride Piano Solos. Ekay Music. pp. 06,34:About Harlem Stride Piano,Carolina Shout. ISBN 0-943748-43-7.
- Ken Burns (director) (2001). "The Gift" (part 2 of Jazz) (Documentary). PBS.
- Original recordings of James P. Johnson online at the Library of Congress National Jukebox
- Stride Piano on BlueBlackJazz
- Dick Hyman Explaining Stride (YouTube)
- Dick Hyman Illustrating Ragtime to Stride Piano (YouTube)
- Fats Waller A tribute to the King of Stride Piano