The least appreciated player of a generation, or more, as far as I can tell. I don’t find his organ playing, which seems to be his preferred metier, to be of any substantial note, though I suppose it’s fine, I don’t mean to criticize, the fact is I’m not an organ understander unless it’s Messiaen or Dupré or perhaps Jarrett on occasion, but as a piano player of Bach my goodness how original and marvelous he is.
I know, I know. You want to know if it’s possible to take seriously a guy who looks like this (on an album cover, no less):
Well I assure you it is. And here is proof.
I’m sorry for the appalling youtube video, but unless I direct you to Rdio this is the best I can do for the moment. It’s only a teaser anyway. His strangest and best performances are elsewhere, but for the moment I’ll leave you to source them out. Thank heavens not all players are cookie cutters!
The story of Chris Stroffolino, who describes his journey from academia—writing Cliffs Notes to Shakespeare, teaching Creative Writing at NYU—to the downtown poetry scene of the 90s, to playing in the Silver Jews on their great 1998 album American Water, to a bicycle accident and eventual self-enforced homelessness – where he currently lives in a 1983 Ford Econoline van retrofitted with a piano in the back, performing for pedestrians.
In addition to other activities, I am the piano player in the quintet, Bipolar, regularly playing at the Metropolitan Room in New York City, Bargemusic, and hopefully other international venues to come.