Thursday, April 25, 2013

The Duke's flirtation

Speaking of the 10 Reasons to Play the Piano (actually more reasons, someone pointed out!) I got thinking about this thing I remembered reading that Duke Ellington had said. I actually got around to looking it up.

Here it is. I found it on Google Books. I found it in "Beyond Category: The Life and Genius of Duke Ellington," by John E. Hasse. I must have gotten this book out of the library back when I was 26 or 27 and in my Duke Ellington phase.

Whatever phase you are in the Duke knew what he was talking about!

"You know how it is," he said once. "You go home expecting to go right to bed. But then on the way, you go past the piano and there's a flirtation. It flirts with you. So you sit down and try a couple of chords and when you look up, it's 7 a.m."

I remembered that! The flirtation with the piano. That has stuck with me. When I pass my piano -- or try to walk past it -- I have often thought of what Duke Ellington said. This is funny, too: Just now, writing this up, I looked at Facebook and my friend Gary had written: "I could play the piano all night."

Another thing about the Duke, the book continues: "When he entered a room, he'd often head straight for the piano."

Wouldn't it be great to be in your living room and have Duke Ellington heading straight for your piano?

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