Posted by keithosaunders on February 28, 2010
This week I’ve been playing the after hours gig at Dizzy’s with the Richie Vitale Quintet. The gig consists of one set beginning at midnight during the week, and 1AM on the weekends. (last night we didn’t begin until 1:45) What a pleasure it is to play five nights in a row. You can spend the first night getting used to the sound of the room and not feel that you have to play everything you know in 60 minutes.
Since the headline act is the Christian McBride big band the piano is pushed all the way to the left edge of the stage, As a result the bench is closer to the keyboard than prefer. I feel like one of those Florida seniors driving his Cadillac with the seat pushed all the way up to the dashboard. It’s actually somewhat nerve-wracking since the chair is so close to the lip of the stage. If I were one of those pianist who bounced around I would be in grave danger of taking a tumble. Can you picture the opening of the new, modern Wide World of Sports? Instead of the skier careening down the mountain you would see me in slow motion falling head-over-chair off the stage.
I prefer to sit back from the piano so that my forward momentum carries me towards the instrument — this setup has me in the Bill Evans position. There’s nothing I can do about it so I’m making the best of it. At one point I decided to go with the flow and I moved even closer to the piano — so much that my upper body was over the piano lid almost into the strings. I was up in that piano’s kitchen, practically having sex with it. I know this because as I was playing I could hear embarrassed laughter coming from the audience. I didn’t care — I was in the moment, humping that Steinway 8 to the bar.