A group of Jazz musicians from Philadelphia and New York came through Winnipeg in the mid 70s. They gave workshops before giving a big concert. I signed up for the piano session. It was with one of the first musical monsters I ever met, Stanley Cowell. He spoke to us (7 young pianists) about what’s happening on the piano in New York, watching him play it was apparent this situation was overkill, hiring Evil Knievel to discuss how to balance on a tricycle. He didn’t make us feel awkward, he was a gentleman, he said where I come from people are trying to have an independent left hand. I got that message and even though it was a long time ago, that idea remains never too far from my piano mind.
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