The piano has enjoyed a place of prominence throughout jazz history. Pianists' intrepid shifts and innovations provide a road map of the genre's twists and turns, tracing the early swing of Fats Waller and Count Basie, the bebop of Bud Powell and Thelonious Monk, and the hard bop of Red Garland and Horace Silver. The piano thrives in a solo setting, where musicians can revel in its rhythmic, melodic, and harmonic qualities simultaneously. In big bands, it plays the essential role of directing the flow of traffic while adding mutable textures. And as a microcosm of jazz’s tireless trajectory, it simply can't be beat.