I just recently delivered some old jazz cassettes to my kid in California to enjoy in his retro Variety Rover. However I kept back one tape, significant “Blues for Ripp,” dated April 1986. Although I ‘d long forgotten the cassette, as quickly as I chose it up I acknowledged it as a homemade recording of my good friend John playing the piano.
While awaiting an Amazon-ordered cassette gamer– something I had not owned in years– I reviewed my relationship with John, returning to 1972 when we were college freshman bonding over a love of jazz. The halls of our dormitory echoed with Feline Stevens, James Taylor and Joni Mitchell. However John and I gathered in his space listening to pianists Oscar Peterson, Barry Harris and Red Garland, whom John revered for his abundant block chords balancing a tune’s tune. He schooled me on Phineas Baby, a prodigious keyboard skill who was likewise hospitalized for psychological breakdowns.