I know that the sound is coming from outside my ears, from the little speakers in the headphones that cup around my head. I know that the piano isn’t really inside of my skull; I know that this is illusion. But still: it doesn’t seem wrong to imagine that Thelonious is beating on dissonant keys with splayed fingers, somewhere inside, rocking my head to and fro, syncopated and sympathetic. And when the piece finishes, I imagine that he stands up and walks around his upright grand before he sits down and starts the next track.


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