Very late last night I heard

Billy Taylor play
most of the works of
Edward Kennedy
“Duke” Ellington
as a kind of tribute
on the Duke’s
one hundred birthday year.

Now I’ve known Billy Taylor
for at least half
of those well remembered years
and have heard him play many times
in many places
from the jazz joints
of Kansas City
to penthouse apartments
on Madison Avenue.

And last night
as I listened in Florida
I heard him play
on television
from a studio
in New York.
It seemed to me,
as he played,
his hands caressed the keys,
expressing a depth of feeling,
of joy in the expertise he displayed.
It was a rich interpretation of his
old friend’s creative work.

From my heart, Billy, keep on playing!