1) An anecdotal report from a recent EHSSQ concert. These kinds of isolated pieces of testimony are interpretatively meaningless, of course. I offer it mostly as a way of paying my respects to the old adage that judges a performance by how well it plays in Peoria.
Update: In the interest of fairness, it’s probably worth noting this.
2) Unless I get a revelation or something, I don’t have a lot to say about EHSSQ opting not to replace Roy Webb as pianist that hasn’t already been said. As other’s have noted, Webb’s role in the group’s rise was mostly his comic relief on stage, not his centrality as a player (though he is quite good). All the Ernie haters out there will of course probably continue to believe that when EH says he’s focusing on “the four faces of the singers,” it’s really just another way of saying “I can’t be sure a new guy will drink the EH kool-aid in one quick gulp,” but as long as he’s with the Gaither tour, Haase is making the smartest bidness decision by just keeping Gaither’s keyboardist, Gordon Mote, at the piano.
But it’s still a painful portent for the pianist in me. Pianists have been more or less as expendable as the rest of live accompanists in sg since the digital band track’s hostile-takeover of the sg stage. Only a deference to tradition, a lingering affection for the aesthetics of a live pianist on stage, and a feeling among some owners that “real” artists use “real” pianists has kept keyboard players in bidness the last 10 years or so. To see such a high-profile group ditch the keyboardist and sell it as part of a bid to make the group better … well, that can’t be a good thing for the piano purists among us or the music as a whole.Email this Post