I had a listen to a few Duke Ellington pieces, on youtube. I wouldn't know where to start with that. The double-bass (or whatever it is) seemed quite dominant in all the pieces. It certainly sounded like the one thing that was keeping the pleasantness moving along and the piano was creating chords all over the place. It sounded like a lot of out-of-place chords, but using small, single-note flurries to join them together. They sounded nice enough, but not quite a song I'd be comfortable with listening to repeatedly. Very different to what I'd listen to normally.
The stuff I listened to by Duke is pretty extreme, construction-wise, to my ears. Not quite the era, nor the style I can relate to, it just sounded a bit messy, but I understand that all those sounds were planned. I can't understand the reasoning behind them. :-)
People like Elton John, Billy Joel, Stevie Wonder sound great and more recently perhaps Newton Faulkner, David Gray and Ed Sheeran? Maybe, I'm trying to find something that isn't really there? Maybe, they all just play simple chords and I'm not experienced enough to hear what they're doing? I just assumed that good songs are littered with fancy and obscure chords and progressions when they're not... and they're just put together in a way that sounds interesting.
I've not got past simple triads and the thought of doing huge power ballads like Meat Loaf (whom I also like) is just a long, long way off. I guess should try and find the chords for some songs I like and just see if they are a lot simpler than I'm led to believe. sticking to Major and minor chords makes me feel like I should be doing more.
Thanks very much for your input, guys. It's most appreciated.