“Like many of you, I will deeply miss Andre’ Previn. I’d like to share some memories that come to mind.
As a young teen—caught by the early sound of rock and roll—my ears became strangely attracted to the music of the show ‘My Fair Lady‘ as re-interpreted by André Previn (piano), Shelly Manne (drums) and Leroy Vinnegar (bass). I bought further LPs by this extraordinary jazz trio, including the music from Porgy & Bess, all well before I’d discovered jazz guitar.
Jazz piano in André’s hands transformed my understanding of fluency, rhythmic styles, harmonic interplay and the sheer excitement of improvisation. His playing used subtle patterns of light and shade so effortlessly, whilst his timing, phrasing, and melodic-ness became embedded in my ears, forever. The way he brought melodies to life, affirms life!
As the years passed he rose to many different musical challenges and his journey would, on top of his piano playing, include composition, arranging and the winning of numerous Oscars, Grammies, and an honorary knighthood. So, by the time he conducted his acclaimed recording of Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto No 2, André had established himself in his most enduring role, that of the conductor to the best orchestras in the world, like the LSO. Whilst being compared to Britten and Bernstein, he simply evolved as the ‘complete musician’.
I, though, will always remember how much he swung, so, ‘swing low, sweet chariot.’
Please share your memories in the comment section.
Our thoughts remain with his loved ones.”