RIP Lawrence Wheatley

RIP Lawrence Wheatley, Jazz Pianist

RIP Lawrence Wheatley, Jazz Pianist

Sometimes I feel like “going fishing,”

Like life is just a can of worms.

A lonely musician, sitting here wishin’

You’d listen, but on my own terms.

—Lawrence P. Wheatley

Looking in The Post this afternoon I was a little blown to hear about the passing Jazz Pianist, Lawrence Wheatley. I only recall having heard him play once and before i could a chance to rap to him he had gotten up from the piano and walked out the door.

According to this article he apparently was a poet and called himself the “Bard of Bebop.” I would really have loved to talk to him about the INTERSECTION of jazz and poetry and how he negotiated  that INTERSECTION in his work, if at all.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/11/19/AR2008111903942.html

http://www.washingtoncitypaper.com/display.php?id=12577

http://www.washingtoncitypaper.com/display.php?id=12577

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One thought on “RIP Lawrence Wheatley

  1. Lawrence Wheatley and I were together for 2 yrs. way back in the 60’s. He was my first love. Over the yrs., I would call him from time to time, think about him, and wait to hear his music on BGO. But, although I believed he was a genius, I recall thinking at the time that he would be acknowledged as a great composer and pianist only after his death. He was not much of a businessman and cared nothing about making money; his demons were too effective, his inner-world too empowering. In 1967 he didn’t look particulary odd, no sun glasses or clownish clothes, but as intimate as we were living together, there was so much I didn’t know about him. I was only 19 and fairly innocent. I would look up words he said when he was done talking. One word particularly comes to mind, “benevolent.” I remember sitting in a bar after an argument with him and scrawlilng on a piece of paper something I had read, “coming together, falling apart, you and I, no telling why.” and he immediately and spontaneously wrote back, “confidence entrusted, later disgusted.” I also remember a Saturday morning in April when I returned to our tiny apt. on Meridian Pl. after running some errands, and finding Lawrence, as usual, at the piano. He had just composed a song, “snowflakes in the spring.” It was beautiful and I hope it exists somewhere. Yesterday, quite by chance, I had the urge to look him up, and learned that he no longer exists. I do hope Lorenz has access to his father’s work. Jayne

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