“I thought improv was impossible”

THE BLACK CAT, SAN FRANCISCO — What do you do when you’re only 11 years old, you think improvisation is impossible, and your teacher tells everyone in the class to stop playing until you do a solo. It was a make-or-break moment for young Irwin Hall, but it set him on the course to become…

Outrageous, explosive, pounding piano

THE ZINC BAR, NYC — Eric Lewis opens by obscenely dissing jazz great Keith Jarrett. Then he reaches INSIDE the piano to bang, scrape, and pluck the strings. Lewis opens with a shocker: “The thing about Keith Jarrett is that, like a lot of those other guys, they do a lot of creative stuff, but…

Misha Piatigorsky’s kinetic jazz piano

ZINC BAR, NYC —  When the pianist explodes off his bench, punctuating the air with his fist, rocks back and forth, tosses his head, rockets over the keyboard, and grins from ear to ear at his band members, it’s a safe bet you’re in for a visual and musical treat. And  all that happened during the…