• I developed my own style at the piano -never had a lesson. I was an auto-didact (that always sounded dirty to me). So it’s amazed me that I’ve been able to play with  a couple of serious jazz musicians. I posted about Wynton Marsalis earlier. Here’s another one: 
  • Treva SilvermanTreva and I were in line to pay for groceries at the Ralph’s supermarket on   Fairfax. It was six-thirty on a typical Los Angeles evening, with the big orange ball of sunset dipping into the Pacific. Suddenly Treva clutched my arm -“Sandy!” she cried. “Oh, hi, Treva,” said the woman in back of us. I looked and, behind her large, dark Hollywood sunglasses, I recognized Sandy Dennis, the actress. Behind her stood a tall, red-headed guy. Sandy peered inquisitively into our shopping cart: “What’re you having for dinner?” she inquired. “Well,” Treva responded, Johnny’s going to cook chicken breasts in a cream sauce with shallots.” Sandy DennisSandy gave a short, smug smile: “That wouldn’t be for me,” she said, “I don’t do cream.” With only the faintest hint of irony in my tone (I mean who the hell asked her?) I said, “Well, I could make it with yogurt…” Sandy nodded judiciously. “That’d work,” she finished -and that’s how we all went back to Treva’s -in two cars- and I put dinner together for the four of us. Sandy was immediately entranced/concerned with Treva’s cat, who was in the beginning stages of labor, about to deliver a litter. After paying merely cursory attention to the conversation at dinner, Sandy ran to the bedroom to be with the cat, leaving Treva and me alone with…Gerry Mulligan.