“Give me the last four digits of your phone number,” Terry J. Lower said to a visitor.
One by one, he played the piano key that corresponded with each phone digit, then added chords and a melody â€šÃ„Ã® all based on four numbers he had just heard spoken seconds before.
The Battle Creek native’s musical talents are obvious while watching him play the baby grand piano he affectionately calls “Barry the Baldwin.” He practices on “Barry” in the basement of his Ceresco area home, which also has an upright piano near the living room entrance.
Lower, 51, has made a 28-year career of playing the piano. He’s an accomplished professional jazz pianist who has performed with Dave Brubeck, Lou Rawls, Rosemary Clooney, Nelson Riddle, Sarah Vaughn and the Mills Brothers, among others. He has performed on about 20 CDs, but he hadn’t recorded his own CD until now. The Ceresco resident is preparing to release “Step By Step,” his first CD as a band leader, between June 7 and 15. It features three of his original compositions including the title track.