some more snippets from the downbeat archive
Like a woman at Birdland once asked me why I played so low, so much in the middle register, and not on the top keys. Well, I play where I want to. I can’t help it if nobody digs it. I’m going to play the way I feel. Certainly a musician should have training and should be able to play the whole piano, but once he has that ability, there may be something else he’s trying to prove.
For years I thought only in terms of wishing I could get a job for scale. And if I had it all to do over again, that’s all I’d want. I can truthfully say that.
When I can reach an audience, I feel as if I’ve persuaded them to come into my camp and accept what I am. You have to be careful not to let that tempt you either to phone in a performance or to become solicitous of the crowd. That’s why I stopped playing at one time. The pressure I felt from the audience made me want to do something for them I wasn’t able to do.
Nostalgia brings on anticipation because you know what’s going to happen next. When people start to anticipate, they become intense, waiting for what they know is going to happen. And this tension feeds their neuroses.
There’s no key! You just go ahead, and I’ll follow.