Where would jazz music be without the influence of the piano? It is the equivalent of the elder statesman of jazz which demands the upmost respect. It can play melody, harmony and bass, making it capable of functioning as both an accompanying, as well as a lead instrument. Apart from that, it is a magnificent solo instrument. If that's not enough we can also see that as jazz piano music developed, the rhythm possibilities improved enormously, making this instrument sound like a full orchestra. Throughout the history of jazz there have been many pianists who have produced fine examples of piano jazz and we could spend many hours debating who the best is.