Source: Japanese Piggy Bank via themetapicture.com
Eric Lewis, 41, who is better known by his stage name ELEW, is an American jazz pianist who has found crossover success playing rock and pop music. He was born in Camden, NJ. He is known for his unconventional and physical playing style, which eschews a piano bench and includes reaching inside the piano lid to pull at the strings directly, as well as the creation that he calls Rockjazz, a genre that “takes the improvisational aspect of jazz and ‘threads it through the eye of the needle of rock.'”
Lewis began his career as a jazz purist, playing as a sideman for jazz luminaries like Wynton Marsalis, Cassandra Wilson, Elvin Jones, Jon Hendricks, and Roy Hargrove as well as performing as a member of the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra. However, he eventually became interested in rock music and embarked on a solo career as a crossover musician, quickly gaining recognition for his instrumental “Rockjazz” piano covers of mainstream rock hits like The Rolling Stones’ “Paint It, Black” and The Killers’ “Mr. Brightside”.
He released his albums of instrumental covers which can be found on iTunes here: ELEW Rockjazz Vol. 1 (2010, including “Sweet Home Alabama”) and ELEW Rockjazz Vol. 2 (2012, including this tune “Thanksgiving“)
The email message arrived a few days ago. The sender and the location were all unidentifiable. Yet, the message was deeply personal. I read it in the silence of the early morning hours, both hands resting on top of the desk, my breath slowing as my eyes worked down the page.
“I’ve been following your blog since early 2013. After a series of your “life is a miracle” shares, I felt I needed to reach out. While our core beings are quite similar in that our hearts’ beat, our body temperatures hover in comparable ranges, and our bodies crave food and water, many of us depart from here in our day-to-day existences…
If I’m sitting and looking out from your perch, I would enjoy the view. Married, family, job. Fridge full of food. A warm house for shelter. Good health. A community of Followers and bloggers to banter with and share inspirations…
Kierkegaard would say that the yardstick for a human being is how long and to what degree he can bear to be alone. I continue to be tested by this yardstick. I’m quite alone. My effectiveness in bearing it? Let’s say it’s day-to-day, and I’m doing so without the benefit of your accoutrements. Yet, I find my peace, and I accept my position in this Life…swallowing hard on my down days.
Look around. I mean really look around and take stock of your life. All of this can change. It can change at any moment. And it can turn very badly. It did for me… Be grateful Now for your blessings as you have many.
[NO CLOSING SIGNATURE OR SALUATION]
Friend, if I can take the liberty of calling you that, you’ve left me Still and without many words, and I’m thankful for your message. Where ever you are and who ever you may be, on this Thanksgiving Day in the U.S., may you find nourishment, may you have shelter and warmth, and may you be surrounded by the love of family and friends.
Photograph Source: Murrskeez
It’s Departure Day.
Eric is scheduled on the 7:40 am flight.
Rachel is returning later in the day.
There’s the awkward milling around the kitchen.
When everyone knows what’s coming next,
yet no one is a hurry to get on with it.
He’s scurrying around with his last minute packing.
I hover at a distance.
It is Dark.
And Cold. Temperature locked on 32° F.
We’re in the car.
The Kanigan Men are short (very) on small talk.
We ride in silence. [Read more…]
BBQ Turkey Sandwich.
DK & RK Certified as deliciousness.
Made to instructions without deviation.
“I’m just going to be really clear about this, I’m not leaving my house today. Nope. Not happening, I’ll end up accidentally losing my sh*t and that just can’t happen.”
Adapted from I’m going to raise hell
Here are my selections for the inspiring posts of the week, this Thanksgiving week:
Greg @ Sippican Cottage with his post Thanksgiving 2013: “…I think the worst condition of man is loneliness. It is a terrible thing to be lonely, or worse, truly alone. No one goes crazy in general population. It’s solitary that eats at your mind. Even the craziest of men, immured in stone, unable to get even a glimpse of the bright, blue tent of the sky, scratch at the walls to leave a message; to tell another that they were there… I am not alone in this world, which is good, because I have a melancholy nature. I am married, and I have children to throw rolls over the table at one another. They are my name, scratched on the unyielding wall of the world, telling anyone that will bother to notice that I was here. My family makes me calm about many things…People don’t often appreciate things that come readily to hand. I’m a person… We will have enough to eat, and sit in a warm room, laugh and wonder at the dogeared cards we have been dealt, and I’ll try mightily to shed the light that is my true function, to make me more fit for my work. We will all pray over our plate like children. Thanksgiving is the only kind of prayer that you can be sure will work, because it faces backwards. I tap on the wall of the Intertunnel, too. I often feel disconnected from my fellow passengers on this spinning rock, moreso each day. I wonder if some other inmate, some fellow traveler, might hear my tapping, and be braced by the thought of a fellow internee. I often hear tapping in return, and it refreshes me to carry on.” Amazing post. More here. [Read more…]
Kick off pre-game with Stuffed Cheesy Bread:
“Eating Season (Nov 5th to Jan 1): My Holiday Preemptive Diet Plan vs. Probable Reality” [Read more…]
Snoopy at Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City…three million are expected to watch the parade live with another 50 million on television. Snoopy, of course, is the star attraction. Start time: 9am EST.
Source: URBAN AGENDA New York City, Holiday 2012. Thank you my Susan for sharing.
One of my followers had asked why there haven’t been any running posts for weeks. Simple question. Simple answer. Because I haven’t been running. Hurt? No. Ill? No. Bad Weather? Of course not. Pathetically lazy? Yes. So, we’re off this morning to break this 30-day streak of nothing. For those of you that are new to my running regime, it is 10% physical and 90% mental. So, I play word association games to keep it going.
So, what was rolling through my mind during my run…
Summer vacation. How long ago it was. (Caribbean vs. Paris and they take Caribbean. WHERE IS THE COMMON SENSE HERE? The King Loses (Again) – and again and again. Mimi has gone more than 25x. Me. Zero.)
Thanksgiving is coming. Turkey. Mashed potatoes. Gravy. Pumpkin pie. (I can feel my energy draining. Tryptophan made a leap from my mind into my body. I yawn.)
Stuffing. Glazed carrots. Whipped cream. Apple Pie. (I’m practically walking now.)
Leftovers. Turkey sandwiches. More pie. Heaping scoops of ice cream. (I stop. I need to re-group. What sort of mind discipline plan are you working on here pal? I take a few deep breaths. And, I start running again. Let’s try a different mental path)
Paris. The Louvre. The Eiffel Tower. The Grand Palais. Palais Garnier. Cobblestones. History. (OK, now that’s better. Keep it rollin’)
Quiche. Baguettes. French Onion Soup. Cheese. (OMG. This is going down hill fast. 911. 911. 911.)
Croque Monsieur, Crepes, thin crust butter pastries, Chocolate Croissants, (Free fall now. I have to stop again. I walk for 1/4 mile. My trusty GPS says that I’ve run 2.1 miles. No, that’s a stretch to call it a run. Let’s call is a walk-run. Yes, that’s better. I need a different mind-word game to get me back in gear. What comes to mind? Where in the world have you run and what comes to mind when you think of the city? Here we go…) [Read more…]