Producing legendary American jazz pianist and composer Erroll Garner for London Records taught me as much about creativity and defining success in life and career as it did about his musical genius.
Born in Pittsburgh on June 15, 1921, Erroll began playing piano at the age of three. Like most kids, he didn’t write his goals down on paper or construct a rudimentary business plan; he simply played. He was self-taught and “played by ear,” never learning to read music. He appeared on KDKA radio at the age of seven and by the ripe old age of 11 was performing on Allegheny riverboats. In 1947 played with Charlie Parker on the “Cool Blues” session. Tall on talent but short in stature (5’2″), Erroll performed while sitting on a stack of phone books. An instrumentalist, his grunting and groaning vocalizations can be heard on his recordings and are his signature while his musical style is a combination of using his right hand to play behind the beat while his left strummed a steady rhythm. His musical sense of humor came from his improvised introductions to pieces that had nothing to do with the songs they set up. His composition “Misty” is a jazz standard.
Erroll Garner’s s life and legacy taught me:
Follow your passion without compromise.
Life is about improvisation.
Don’t wait to learn it to live it. Live your passion every moment and keep learning along the way.
Don’t play to convention. Do what comes naturally and feels “right” to you.
Don’t take yourself too seriously. Keep your sense of humor and share it with others.
Bass, Electric Bass – Bob Cranshaw
Congas – Jose Mangual
Organ – Norman Gold
Percussion – Grady Tate
Piano – Erroll Garner
Producer – Garrison Leykam, Martha Glaser
Tambourine – Jackie Williams (2)
Dynamic entrepreneur and intrepreneur Jay Samit has been described by Wired magazine as “having the coolest job in the industry.” He has raised hundreds of millions of dollars for startups, sold companies to Fortune 500 firms, transforms entire industries, revamps government institutions, and for three decades continues to be at the forefront of global trends. And, in his new book, Disrupt You! Jay tells you how to master personal transformation, seize opportunity and thrive in the era of endless innovation.
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Brent Robertson and the team at Fathom do one thing and they do it better than anyone else: they work with business leaders to design futures worth fighting for. Period.
While business journals make the claim that culture somehow arrives at the corporate doorstep only after structures and decisions are put in place, West Hartford, CT-based Focus is re-hitching the horse to the front of the performance wagon and showing leaders how to drive powerful, culturally-driven outcomes.
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Given my passion for motorized two- and four-wheel nostalgia, it’s great to see a company like Marmon Holdings’ heritage of innovation and quality exemplified by Ray Harroun and his Marmon Wasp. Ray is best known for the 6 hours, 42 minutes, and 8 seconds it took him to win the first Indianapolis 500 automobile race, at an average speed of 74.6 mph.
A part-time racer, Ray Harroun was foremost an engineer for the Marmon Motor Car Company, an early 20th century producer of passenger cars that are frequently cited as exemplars of the golden age of the American automobile. He designed the six-cylinder Marmon Wasp, so named for its yellow and black color scheme, from stock Marmon engine components. Unlike most racecars of the period, the Wasp was built with a smoothly-cowled cockpit and a long, pointed tail to reduce air drag. That little item in your car called the rear-view mirror? That was Ray’s idea!
Not long after Mr. Harroun’s return to Indy, Marmon-Herrington Company, a successor to the old Marmon Motor Car Company joined a growing group of businesses that had been acquired by brothers Jay and Robert Pritzker. At the time, the group included a dozen businesses, but lacked a name. In 1964, Marmon was chosen to connote excellence in engineering and performance.
Kudos to Sharon Fisher on her wonderful article in Laserfiche, Will Computers Make Pens and Pencils Obsolete? I readily admit to my passionate affair with my fountain pens, Crayolas and pencils to the point at which I will have a graphite duel (“choose your No.2”) with Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella to defend the pencil’s existence against threats by computers, smartphones, tablets and the removal of cursive writing from “Common Core” instruction in our schools. The single reason that the printing industry was profitable in 2015 was the demand for adult coloring books. Follow-the-dots books are about to further insure print publishing’s bottom line.
My relationship with the No.2 pencil goes from loyalty to sublime aesthetic passion anytime that Russian artist Salavat Fidai’s miniature carvings into the tips of graphite pencils are on exhibit. They are unique art forms and never fail to elicit “ooh’s” and “ah’s” from observers.
So, as far as No.2 pencils becoming obsolete, it will take more than technology to move me away from my graphitic creative wanderings.
"You've had such a varied and impressive career. It's awesome to read about your adventures and reinventions and how you're now helping others do the same," branding expert Dorie Clark, author of Reinventing You and Stand Out