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Local jewel found in Pointes


The set was over and the band started to pack up their gear. Barely heard over the rising sounds of conversations was the sound of the Steinway. I looked and I didn’t see anyone. Crouched over and hidden from view was the diminutive figure of Charles Bolles. I hung around close to the piano and was treated to some music from one of Detroit’s most sensitive musicians. His subdued  playing didn’t disguise the skill and touch of a master.

Later I asked Charles what the heck he was doing at the piano after playing  a whole evening of jazz, . He explained that he was playing for himself on an exceptional instrument, A private pleasure. The Dirty Dog  Steinway is special, as is Charles.  Charles has a light touch and a purity of expression that comes from his years of experience. Time has  taught him to skip extraneous flourishes. Every note and chord is important, making the piano more important. They are well matched.

We sometimes take for granted those unique gifts that are in our lives, especially the quiet moments like the lake on a still night or Charles on the Steinway, They are  welcome departures from  the loud and annoying intrusions that more often get our attention.

Charles is playing on Tuesday nights at the Dirty Dog with no cover charge.

Charles is a treat to talk to. His music is derived from his life experiences, and he is willing to share. Beware- his smile and the twinkle in his eye are infectious.

John Osler



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