Sunday, April 1, 2012

Johnny Morris Plays The Great Standards Exactly Like the Composers Would Have Played Them Only Better!

Johnny Morris


Johnny Morris









Johnny Morris





























Johnny Morris & Earl Knauss
I wanted to hear Johnny Morris play piano for quite a while but never had the opportunity until Tuesday March 27.  Johnny has been playing and singing at The Sandbar Restaurant in La Quinta for many years. After hearing Johnny play a couple of great Hoagy Carmichael gems, "The Nearness of You" and "Stardust" it was very clear why The Sandbar keeps Johnny playing year after year.  He plays standards like he wrote them and for good reason.  In addition to being a talented pianist, Johnny is also an acclaimed published arranger sought after by both singers and pianists. He wrote major arrangements for "Steinway's Most Popular Piano Solo Series".  He recently performed as the musical director for the sold out, highly acclaimed Derrik Lewis' Musical Chairs' production of "Polka Dots & Moonbeams" presenting the songs of Jimmy Van Heusen at the Indian Wells Theater in Indian Wells. While Johnny feels very comfortable playing for the locals that call the Sandbar home, he also is very much at home playing in some of the most upscale restaurants in New York City like the Oak and Edwardian Rooms in the Plaza, the Hotel Carlyle and the Rainbow Room. La Quinta calls itself "The Gem of the Desert" but now I know there is a second gem in the desert, Johnny Morris!

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be at a party with Cole Porter, Jerome Kern, Oscar Hammerstein II, Ira Gershwin and George Gershwin playing the piano?  Well now you don't have to wonder, get over to The Sandbar Restaurant on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday or Sunday, sit back, close your eyes and listen to the wonderful sounds of Johnny Morris.

As is the custom in the desert, there is always someone who wants to sing and tonight was no exception.  Tonight's guest singer was Earl Knauss who sang a few songs along with Johnny's wonderful playing.  If I was a singer, and I am not, I would want Johnny Morris playing for me! It doesn't get any better.

5 comments:

  1. Great review! I am one of the piano players that has had the great fortune of getting piano arrangment tutoring from Johnny.

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    Replies
    1. You really did have good fortune getting instruction from Johnny. I just bought my wife a copy of the "Steinway's Most Popular Piano Solo Series" to get some of Johnny's arrangements. Thanks for the comment.

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  2. The Steinway series is terrific too! Johnny is also a nice guy! Don't miss hearing him if you get a chance.

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  3. Thanks for sending me the Info Johnny. You can check out our unit at www.youtube.com/dixielandramblers there are 18 uploads at that site, 3 were done in 1993 and the other 15 two years ago in Nevada. Sincerely,

    Chuck & Barbara Miller
    dixiemusic@hotmail.com

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Chuck & Barbara! I did check out the site and really enjoyed the music! Thanks for the comment.

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