Thursday, August 22, 2013

Rest In Peace, Marian McPartland

I was very sad to hear of the passing of the great Marian McPartland yesterday. One of my favorite pianists, a few years ago I wrote her a letter and was shocked when she actually responded. Her long letter was so kind, thoughtful and encouraging, and also full of stories from her life. After telling me about Red Garland, George Shearing, Bill Evans, Frank Sinatra and Dizzy Gillespie, she wrote, "But that's just talking about myself, we don't need too much of that!" How wrong she was; I could've listened all day. A special lady and a huge inspiration to many - she'll be missed!

Friday, June 7, 2013

Meeting Dick Cavett

It was such a thrill to meet the legendary Dick Cavett last night. He was in attendance at the absolutely amazing performance of another legend, Mort Sahl, at the Cafe Carlyle, and was cracking up the whole show. I know of Cavett's close friendship with Groucho Marx and, having read a whole lot about Groucho this past year, I felt like my moment with Cavett was like a page out of one of those books; he was so quick witted and full of hilarious, dry humor. When I asked if we could take a picture together he responded with, "I thought you'd never ask." Then, just after we took the photo, he realized that he'd left his phone inside the cafe and would have to go back in to get it. Having just made a long, elaborate exit from the cafe, he looked at me and said, "You ruined my exit." Finally, after returning with his phone in hand, he looked behind us at the bar that had just closed for the night. "Darn it," he said, snapping his fingers. "I guess I won't get to spend $300 on a drink tonight." Classic!