WE STILL MISS JOHN SHERIDAN (Jazz at Chautauqua, September 20, 2013)

Here are two savory solo piano performances by John Sheridan, almost a decade ago, having his own kind of intent fun at the piano in the parlor of the Hotel Athenaeum, the Friday afternoon before the proceedings officially began.

John had a vast repertoire, so these two performances — riotous yet exact, meditative yet focused — are simply two aspects of his multifarious self. I invite you to savor them, and also share my slight amusement at John’s crisp rapport with the listeners, never mean-spirited but always slightly brusque, at least on the surface.

COME BACK, SWEET PAPA, by Paul Barbarin and Luis Russell, made immortal by Louis Armstrong in Chicago, 1926. Verse and chorus, delightfully orchestral and vivid:

and the other end of the emotional spectrum, a ruminative impressionistic THE LEGEND OF LONESOME LAKE by Eastwood Lane, a composer and composition Bix Beiderbecke knew well:

It’s easy to say that artists are immortal as long as their art is within reach, and it’s true . . . but I wish the telephone would ring and John would be on the other end. Seeing and hearing him, however, is a delight, even if tinged with regret.

May your happiness increase!

One response to “WE STILL MISS JOHN SHERIDAN (Jazz at Chautauqua, September 20, 2013)

  1. Sam Mckinstry

    A pair of gems, Michael, carried in a full-toned recording of a mellow piano, with John at his wittiest, best and most missable. Rollicking chords on ‘Sweet Papa’, with a couple of deep, chromatic ones about 2.20 to stimulate ears and brains and a neat key change about 3.00 to keep his audience up, with the more discerning members hanging in for the ambiguities of Eastwood Lake, catching the inextinguishable Bix connection and ending up marvelling at our hero’s range and taste! A gift that keeps on giving!

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