After writing and sharing with family and friends one of the most lasting and odd results of my brain surgery—the loss of the compulsive list-making habit I've had since I was child—I finally, today, while driving in my car and listening to the local jazz station (and in the process of reading every night a few pages of the first just-prose book I've been able to read since the op, the new bio of Thelonious Monk) I started making an alphabet list in my head of piano players I dig and have always dug (mostly jazz, because that's what I played and know the best).
I started with Monk and immediately came up with several more names, unlike recent attempts to make lists where I could only think of the broadest categories (like favorite "creators" of any kind of art) and then gave up after one or two names came to mind.
I ended up having to work on this a bit, unlike pre-op, having to jar my memory in a few instances, etc. but it was still kind of fun to make a list again. Though I still have no compulsion or even big inclination to do any more of them as I used to all the time.
ALLISON, MOSE, ALBERT AMMONS
BASIE, COUNT, DAVE BRUBECK, CARLA BLEY
CHARLAP, BILL, NAT KING COLE, RAY CHARLES, SONNY CLARK, FLOYD CRAMER
EVANS, BILL, DUKE ELLINGTON
GARNER, ERROL, RED GARLAND, VINCE GAURALDI
I? [ETHAN IVERSON—see comments]
JAMAL, AHMAD, HANK JONES, JOHNNY JOHNSON, KIETH JARRET
KENTON, STAN, DIANA KRALL, WYNTON KELLY, KENNY KIRKLAND
LEWIS, JERRY LEE
MONK, THELONIOUS, MARION MCPARTLAND
NEWBORN JR., PHINEAS, LAURA NYRO
POWELL, BUD, OSCAR PETERSON, ANDRE PREVIN, ALAN PRICE
SIMONE, NINA, PINETOP SMITH, HORACE SILVER, GEORGE SHEARING
TATUM, ART, LENNIE TRISTANO, CECIL TAYLOR, BOOKER T.
WALLER, FATS, TEDDY WILSON, STEVIE WONDER, STEVE WINWOOD