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Steinway B Piano

Every piano is different. They’re not like synthesizers, where each instrument is made exactly the same in a factory by machinery with the exact same parts. Each piano has a personal sound and feel and character, and while pianos from the same company are made more or less alike, they each come out with their own voice and identity. A professional traveling pianist like myself has a lot of one-night stands with a huge range of quality in pianos, and my philosophy is, if you can’t be with the one you love, love the one you’re with. Every now and then, however, you wish that one-night stand could turn into a serious relationship.

I was ready for a committed relationship in the late ’70s so I went to the imposing Steinway Hall in New York City to get hitched. I had always dreamed of owning a Steinway, and since I was playing with Sonny Rollins at the time decided I could now afford to rent an upright. I walked into Steinway Hall, and told the salesman I was a professional jazz pianist and wanted to rent an upright. He replied, “I’m sorry, but we don’t rent pianos to musicians.”

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Originally Published