I met George by chance, or destiny, depending on your belief in such things, while attending a three-day conference at the Radison Hotel in Lynchburg, Virginia. Walking through the lobby on the way to the first evening session, I heard the sounds of a jazz piano trio coming from the lounge, and decided to investigate. I was surprized to find that the entire band was one man, sitting at a grand piano like an octopus with arms covering the full 180 degrees in front of him, playing three or four keyboards simultaneously. He was the bass player, the accompianist, and the soloist, all performed in exquisite balance by a hulk of a man, smoking a pipe, and with a glint of mischief in his eyes.
I sat on a stool to the right of piano and listened intently. 15-seconds later, “You a musician?” he said, not looking up from the keyboard. “Guitar,” I repied. “You got your axe?”—“Upstairs.”—“Go get it.” And that was that. I missed the entire conference and instead played in the lounge with G for the weekend. Instant bonding, like we had played together many times before, in many times before.
It wasn’t long after that George got the house gig at Zanece’s in Charlotesville, moved to town, and we were gigging everywhere. George was a profound friend and colleague, and we traveled together on a decade-long musical journey, remaining music brothers until his passing April 15, 2010. I take comfort in knowing that we will be making music again, and that he’s already got a stool waiting for me at the next gig.
Anyway, here are some videos of this amazing man for you to enjoy.