I was sitting in my music room the morning after the biggest snowstorm of the winter, alternately practicing my guitar and looking out at the snow piled heavy on the trees. My wife walked in with a late morning cup of coffee.
“I hate winter,” she said.
Not wanting to disappoint her, I gave my standard answer. “I love it. It’s pretty. Besides, we get to spend the morning drinking coffee and looking at the snow.”
“Some of us have to go out and run errands,” she said, sipping her coffee. “What are you working on?”
She looked it over. She’d had early training on the piano and could read music easily. Sometimes, I felt envious.
“I’ve heard you practicing this,” she said. “You sound pretty good to me.”
“Thanks,” I said. “I can play the notes OK, but I just can’t get the feeling right.”
“What do you mean?”
“It’s a love song, but I can’t seem to make it sound like one.”
“A love song?” she said looking over the music, her eyes narrowed in concentration. “It looks strange for a love song.”
“That’s Monk’s genius. He could make all those odd chord changes and dissonances sound beautiful. You see,” I went on, “it’s a song he wrote for a woman who literally saved his life. I just can’t seem to give it the feeling it deserves.”
My wife took another sip of coffee and sat down. She knew I wanted to talk. Continue reading