Eric Lewis at Stephen Talkhouse

IMG00038-20090620-1923 Growing up, I took about 8 years of piano lessons.  I also took guitar lessons and taught guitar lessons to little kids in HS for some extra cash.  I can actually still play both and once a summer, I do grab a guitar and strum along on the beach, generally alcohol induced.  As a kid and an adult, I always find that I am drawn to the music and have a hard time remembering a lyric. 

I made (yes made) all the kids take some type of musical instrument growing up.  Jessica stuck with piano for many years (had a year of guitar in there somewhere) but made a decision herself that she really didn't care about it after 5 years.  Totally respect that.  Emily took everything from violin, guitar and piano and had little interest.  Josh took drums ( piano for a brief moment in time ) and has really stuck with the drums and enjoys it.  My Grandfather, on my father's side, who I never got the opportunity to meet as he died when my Dad was about 13, was a composer.  He actually hung out with Gershwin and wrote stuff.  His parents were not that into that career move and pushed him to become a lawyer.  At least that is the family lore.  I have seen some of his music that he wrote which is quite cool.  So, who knows where that gene pool might show up one day.  So far, I am not seeing it in Jessica and Emily and not convinced that Josh has it either.

-Media Card-BlackBerry-pictures-IMG00040-20090620-1939 Although I took lessons all those years, I lost my enthusiasm when I started meeting people where the   ability to play music just came naturally.  I do believe that playing an instrument is more difficult and more of an art than singing because you either have a great voice or you don't.  Yes, I still prefer going to concerts when there is a voice involved but this weekend we went to see Eric Lewis at Stephen Talkhouse ( the best venue in the Hamptons). 

Eric, basically plays popular music that he likes and creates his own interpretation with a jazz twist.  He had 3 other performers with him on Saturday night.  A violinist ( who was unbelievable ), a guitar player and a drummer who also played the trombone.  What is just incredible about all of these performers and particularly Eric is that the music lives inside them.   You can watch them just hear the music in their head and start to jam out.  My guess is that they rarely play anything the same way twice.  It is completely free form.  Lewis is a master of the piano.  It as if he is in a trance while he plays.

Total respect and appreciation for the music they perform.  It is people like Lewis and his group that made me stop playing.  Perhaps it is the competitive nature in my me when I realized that I could never just free form like this because the music isn't living inside me.  I wish it was but I really believe that is something, like a fantastic set of pipes, that you are just born with.