This article was originally published by FYIMusicNews.

The recent passing of jazz piano titan Chick Corea at 79 has tapped a nerve within me and millions of others.

I’ve long had a complicated relationship with those 88 notes which at times instigate, repudiate, complicate and, at best, bring me enormous pleasure and respite from the monotony and tension of that daily grind. The piano is my in-house orchestra, one I can position my hands above then instantly will a change of mood.

I’ve thought about those final months of Corea’s generous life when he seemed to be ever-present on Facebook, offering piano instruction with an insatiable appetite and willingness to share his most intimate practices and endearing fascination with those 88 keys with a universe absent of monetary demands. Short of notice, Corea was gone, dying of a rare form of cancer in a year of incalculable human tragedy. I’m reminded that the piano comes lacking any formula for eternal life, gender-free, and dwells in silence as if a mute visitor until pressed to comment.