Joey Alexander: “‘Round Midnight” and “My Favorite Things”

Young musical savants make me uncomfortable. The reason is simply that I am worried about the kid: Is he or she being allowed to be a kid, or is it 24/7 practice? What happens to the kid’s psyche when, after years of being called special, the other kids catch up?

That said, Joey Alexander is an exception: For one thing, he seems to “get” the music. He isn’t hitting a bunch of notes he was browbeaten into memorizing. He is feeling and interpreting. More importantly, he clearly is having a very good time doing it. That’s the key.

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