My inspiration was Erroll Garner.1 He was my greatest — not greatest, but the person who made the most profound impact on my career; Erroll Garner. When I was a kid, very, very young, when we used to peek in the windows, because he had all the best jobs in Pittsburgh, but we were too young to go in, and even if we were old enough, the ethnic differences didn’t allow you to go in, in any case. You couldn’t go in those clubs where he’s working.2

 

So, I used to peek at Erroll through the windows, when he was working in Mercur’s Music Bar and places. But he came to high school and played for us. He came to high school. That was quite a day when he came to high school. And it seems as though he’s playing on all the black keys, because he didn’t care about B natural, or F or G flat or any of the difficult keys or so-called difficult — he played in all of them, he was quite a genius, what a great gift that he was given. So, he inspired me more than anyone.

  1. Ohno Sensei
  2. Confinement Pt. 1, Lost Control
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