Sometimes I get buried in deadline work and through neglect or “a kind of monumental inefficiency” (to borrow a favorite Paul Desmondism), I let a day or two go by without putting something new on Rifftides. Then, it gets to be ‘round midnight and it occurs to me that I have committed what my blog guru long ago said was the ultimate weblog goof—dead air, white space, or whatever it’s called on the internet. So, not having the foresight to stockpile shelf pieces, I flail about looking for inspiration in hopes of finding something that will preserve the integrity of the operation or, at least, be entertaining.
“Whoa!” as Burma Jones (speaking of monumental inefficiency) often said, look who came to the rescue this time: Lester Perkins, the proprietor of Jazz on the Tube. His latest video borrowed from YouTube features Erroll Garner in the BBC studios in London in 1964. So, I’m borrowing from Lester’s borrowing.
Launching into a song and taking his sweet time about it, Erroll indulges in one of his favorite pastimes, keeping his sidemen guessing. Notice the bassist, Eddie Calhoun, as he and drummer Kelly Martin remain at the ready while the boss goes exploring. Eventually, Garner lets them in on the plan and, ultimately, finds his inner Fats Waller.