I don’t often manage to hear a live musical performance — for both good and bad reasons. But the pianist Jason Rabello, with bassist Yuri Golubev and local rhythm guy Keith Michael performed last Saturday (26th) at the Poly in Falmouth and I was in fact there. I loved the clear assertion that the piano is a lyrical instrument, that it can sing, that it can also engage in a
close, quiet dialogue with another instrument, in this case the bass. The drummer was on another planet, but at least remained largely unobtrusive. In an interview with Rabello on the BBC, I learned that he was once the pianist for the rock star Sting, in the world of jets and limousine, then left to become a Buddhist monk. I can believe all these things. He seemed a man of conviction and consistency.
Something that sticks in memory was his introduction to a piece he “co-wrote” with Franz Schubert (audience liked that.), which I think must go by the title of Schubert’s Lied, An den Mond. The poem is Goethe’s — involving a tragic death of a young woman. More anon — in what needs to be a reflection on song. But for now, a tribute to the man’s capacity to write a song of human experience in partnership with someone who lives on only in his written music, and to his generosity in sharing it with us, strangers.