Played a lovely gig last night with the Isotope Stompers, shaking off some of the winter snow and cold, but something was missing…Larry Pearlstein. If you check out the Isotope Stompers page on this site, you’ll find this photo of the band taken a couple of years back at the dock in Bellport.
Until a few weeks ago, this was the standard lineup – Frank Hansen on bass, Jerry Cohen on trombone, Artie Miller on clarinet, Ron Hammond on drums and washboard, Larry Pearlstein (holding sign) on piano, Ken Butterfield on trumpet, and myself on banjo. Being the East End/North Fork members of the band, Larry and I regularly car-pooled together to gigs. He taught at Mahattan School of Music in the past and gigged throughout the NY metro area for years, notably including a long stint at Windows on the World atop the World Trade Center. He had an extraordinarily light touch at the keyboard, able to effortlessly transition from thoughtful accompaniment and punctuating rhythm patterns to technical and speedy solo passages. Sadly, Larry passed away suddenly in mid-January. The band and I greatly appreciated his musicality and sense of humor and we miss him terribly.