which players and albums are exponents of the sparse style of playing  

- i am finding it hard to express myself, but i'm thinking of jazzy rhythms with few notes -  

scot and others mentioning playing that just suggests chords etc, without having to play them got me thinking about this.
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oops - sorry - i'm thinking mainly of solo piano here too.
mal waldron is sparse. his solo piano album titled "blues for lady day" has been a model of sparsness for me and my students for years. he played a lot of easy shells in his left hand. everybody else is so complicated. john lewis was a sparse one too. people will also suggest basie, but his solos  are pretty old fashioned.
jarrett's the melody at night, with you is also pretty sparse but far more difficult than mal waldron's approach.
"peace piece" (1958) by bill evans was very sparse, his left hand was platyed the  same two chords repeatedly for 7 minutes while the right hand improvised.
thanks very much jazz+ - i'll check those out.
i was actually just scanning some piano stuff on youtube and one of the comments mentioned succinctly what i was trying to express above, it said (to paraphrase) "implying rhythm while leaving much space"
could certainly be performed in a jazz setting.

i would posit that it is the very epitome of the sparse style of playing.

i find that the best time to perform this piece is at the end of a 45-minute set. i like it so much that i usually play it three times in a row before starting in on an entirely new set.

one of the beautiful things about this number is that you don't even have to be on stage while playing it.

you can be at the bar or even in the restroom and it practically plays itself!
it is easy to play in all twelve keys as well.
mal waldron playing "easy living" from blues for lady day is the best sparse example i know of:

i know your talking about solo style, but for trio style--ahmad jamal. i saw him in concert last year and it changed my idea of playing.
i have the transcription of easy living
after reading 7's suggestion, i transcribed 4'33". here's the link:
maybe just don't play anything...that would be pretty sparse

check out steve kuhn, at maybeck. especially "solar".
thanks for the youtube link jazz+ - i enjoyed that - especially the swinging bit from 2.30 onwards.
i'll look out for that steve kuhn cd
@7 - great idea - my audiences already often use that same style in their appreciation of my playing.
again, you asked about solo and this is trio but i've been listening to ellington's the pianist.  very interesting and not a lot of notes but, of course, it swings.
duh...count basie!
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