Music: Modesty's Rewards

No cult follows Tommy Flanagan. In almost perfect secret, he has played with all the jazz giants for a half-dozen years, cheerfully accepting their styles, ingeniously enriching them with his own. But with his name still an italic footnote to somebody else's accomplishment, he has developed into one of the best jazz pianists now playing.

The secret to Flanagan's successful obscurity is an immense modesty that makes him the most retiring man since Li'l Abner. "I play the way I do," he says quietly, "by listening to other pianists. I suppose I'm playing differently...

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