The following is the text of an email of mine to family members (plus, note downloadable audio file above):
I have been sort of in the dumps today.
Wanted to listen to some light music.
I am listening to Dad’s private mini concert for Marge, from 1981.
I haven’t listened to it in years.
I am surprised by how much I am enjoying it.
He starts out the first piece pounding away, and it doesn’t seem like a good quality recording, but the recording quality gets better for the remainder.
I just listened to Dad’s rendition of “Lida Rose.” Not bad.
Now, he’s playing “New York, New York.” He should have gotten a job at Yankee Stadium!
Now he’s playing “Someone to Watch Over Me.”
He has a predilection (too much) for boogie-woogie.
I can see why people liked to hear him play, how much enjoyment they got from it, and how it must have relaxed them after a day’s toil.
I think a factor would be how much he enjoyed playing — playing for other people, that is — and, though he could be a bit of a showoff, I guess (what musician isn’t?), his playing is anything but ponderous. He just wants you to enjoy the music as much as he does.
At least, that’s the way it seems.
— Roger W. Smith
November 13, 2016