FB: If our listeners, our video audience, some idea of the breath and depth of your artists and residentaries at Harvard. Lets just name the pianists.
FB: I'll start and you pick me up. Mary Mcpartland, ladies first. John Lewis, Bill Evans, Randy Westin...
TE: Boy, you've done your homework.
FB: No I'm just trying to rember the ones that I can visualize cause they were so great. Hank Jones...help me out.
TE: Uhhh, early on Jaki Byard, Eddie Palmieri, Melroove Miller, ummm, They're the ones that I remember. A funny story about Jaki, ummm, Jaki was one of our earliest concerts, and I remeber having a rehearsal with Jaki in the afternoon going on stage at our concert hall at Harvard Sanders theatre. There's a piano on stage and they kept a lock on it so the keyboard couldn't open. I reserved the hall and reserved the piano and went up to the person that took care of the hall and I said, "oh, we got a rehearsal with Jaki and with our solist and the piano's locked, I've got it reserved, can you open it up please?" And he said, " I've been notified by the Dean that you cannot use that piano." I said, "wha....," and showed permit I had recieved for use of the piano. He said I sorry I can't open it. So I went running over to the Dean's office and said here's Jaki waiting to play with band and the band's all, the kids are all hanging out, fortunately they were talking with Jaki so it wasn't a waste of time by any means.
FB: Never a waste of time talking to Jaki.
TE: No, no way. No way, uhhh, spoke with the Dean and quote: he said, " I know you had the piano reserved, but we just got that piano, its a good piano. And we don't want Rock N' Roll playing on that piano. And the pounding, ya know it would...I said I'll take personal responsibility. Jaki Byard's piano playing would do less damage to a piano than someone playing heavy Rachmaninoff or Chopin. And finally when I said ya know, I'll take personal responsibility if anything goes wrong with the piano. He relented and let us use it.
FB: Your quete right, Jaki's touch was light and fluid and he'd go walk that extra octave that wasn't there and fall off the bandstand.
TE: Loved it man.
FB: I think he learned that from Hank Jones.
FB: It could be. Again, its the joy of playing ya know, all these guys have. Its so good for my students at Harvard that this is part of their life and how much uhhh, it means to them.
FB: How do you teach these classical guys that jazz is so much fun?
TE: Good question. Ummm, I think its help by the fact that the student I work with were not performance majors. They weren't getting a grade for this, they did it because they were curious and they wanted to.
FB: I remember Lee Jeskey's Phrase; future CEO's of American.
TE: Yeah I love that quote, I love that quote. I've got it figured they're gonna be even better CEO's and doctors and Lawyers. They're listening skills, they're compassion. Ya know, if I went into a dentist office and I heard Eric Doffey playing over the radio or over the music, that would be pretty hip and I would feel good about that guy.
FB: It would be relaxing.
TE: It sure would.
FB: Inspiring of confidence.
TE: Which you need when you go to the dentist now.
FB: Indeed. Right, right.