I have mentioned before in this space my obsession with the piano solo from the Allman Brothers Band’s “Jessica,” which is perhaps the most celebrated and classic piano solo in all Rock-and-related music. It has been a life-goal of mine since college to learn this solo by ear—correctly, with no faking and whinging (this really should be “whingeing,” by the same principle that gives us “singeing” from “singe,” but the dictionary tells me different). During a wonderful interview with Bob Edwards on NPR’s Morning Edition, Chuck Leavell, the man at the ivories, plays a shortened version for Edwards, who is jabbering like a college boy in the dorms in his exaltation of the solo. Edwards sounds just a bit like an idiot, and I’m with him totally; I know the feeling and I know those backgammon-driven dorm listening sessions.
As I said months ago, my ear isn’t quite this good…or so I thought. Today, a discovery: on iTunes, there is a “Unedited Master Version” from the Allman Brothers Band’s anthology Gold. The piano part is clear. You can hear every note. Even the stuff starting at 3:20 or so. Now it’s just a matter of time.
Pianists: I just thought you ought to know.