I knew him only slightly -- although I met him once at IAJE, our interactions were mostly via email -- but I was deeply impressed and flattered that he took such intense interest in what "the kids" were writing these days.
UPDATE: Ingrid Jensen writes in from Alaska:
Bob and I met a few minutes before we were to play on a faculty presents concert at the Port Townsend Jazz workshop, five years ago this summer. Alan Jones (drummer- Portland) and I were both curious and admittedly skeptical as to how the hit would go as we were both A) embarrassingly unaware of Bob's depth and legacy and B) wanting to hit hard and go "places."
Alan and I started in duo, rather ripping tempo-wise, as Bob and the bass player (Chuck Deardorf) hung out while we spun our little ego-wank for a minute or five. I played the head to cue things and when Bob came in on the B with, what is now famously referred to as the "chord of doom," we all about fell off the stage! He basically played the entire bridge of "Alone Together" with one massive sound that just about brought the roof down.
The rest is history and both Bob and his incredible wife, Evie became part of the beautiful family circle that I am so fortunate to be involved in.
When Jon and I married, Bob and Evie accepted our invitation and came all the way to Nanaimo to party with us.
Bob wrote this very sweet song (click to listen, right/ctrl-click to download) that he played during the service, a piece he presented to us the next day at the gift opening, written by hand in very large and perfectly executed calligraphy.
What a darling man and musician! One of my all-time favorite pianists ever, and an absolute joy to share the stage with.
With sadness and gratitude,
- Ingrid Jensen
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