One musician I would like to pay my highest respects to is Don Shirley – a true living legend. For those not familiar with him (which unfortunately will be most people due to his lack of promotion in the media), he has managed to combine classical, jazz and gospel into his own unique style that plays naturally, without a hint of pretention. But its not just his harmonic and pianistic technique that is impressive, or the seamless union between jazz and classical he’s created (and in my opinion he is the only person who has managed to do this successfully). It’s the sheer beauty of what he’s trying to say through his piano.
Anyway, his most recent album “Home with Donald Shirley” released in 2001 is highly recommended – as well as everything else he’s ever recorded.