I leaned that my friend Jerry Scott passed away early this morning.
One Saturday night when I first moved to NYC, I wandered into Danny’s Grand Seafood Palace, drawn by the great piano playing I heard inside. Jerry Scott was playing in the piano bar (it was very smoky then-before the ban)his whole body weaving slightly as he lost himself in the music. Even through the (loud) voices talking over him I was amazed by the beauty of his playing.
He eventually invited me to sing, and encouraged my efforts to learn what cabaret singing entails. Even though I already had a degree in singing, I learned as much over the course of many weeks, of watching, singing, and listening to what Jerry and the other performers did to draw in the audiences at Dannys at I had in my years in college. He encouraged me to branch out and try different styles of music, and would laugh with me when I managed to surprise him and the audience…
You know I think that’s one of the things I loved most about Jerry. Even though he was playing his heart out while people sang, you could always feel–and hear–his enjoyment of what you were doing. Making him laugh out loud was pure gold.
That’s how I want to remember him. Playing the piano he loved, and laughing his head off.
I’ll miss you Jerry! I’d say rest in peace, but knowing you, you’re probably already on the piano in the next world, with all your lost friends around you, having a great time.