Monday, March 17, 2014

The Bright Side

Ronnell Bright once got my weekends started. 

The pianist, perhaps best known as Sarah Vaughan's longtime pianist, had an early 1990s residency at the hotel near the Plaza that's currently branded as Best Western's Seville Plaza Hotel.

Surrounded by tourists and businesspeople, I'd relax in the lounge as Bright played sterling renditions of jazz standards and original material like "Sweet Pumpkin".

It was a tough gig, but Bright handled the challenges associated with performing for largely indifferent audiences with grace.  Bright left Kansas City long ago, but many of Kansas City's best jazz pianists continue to toil in similar environments.

(Original image by Plastic Sax.)

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