By Tom Quiner
I still remember where I was when I heard that electrifying theme.
I was 24 years old. I was visiting a friend on the East side of town. He was listening to 104 FM when they ran an ad for a new record coming out. It was an interesting album.
The guy on the piano pounding out that riveting theme was long dead, but he was actually playing piano on this NEW recording! How could that be?
Here’s how: the pianist, the late George Gershwin, had played the piece in 1925 and had it recorded as a piano roll. Conductor Michael Tilson Thomas took the piano roll with the great Gershwin himself playing, played it back on a cool player piano, and added in a live orchestra.
That is the first time I heard “Rhapsody in Blue.” In an instant, I was a George Gershwin fan.
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