The Klingon plays piano?
I want you to think about Star Trek and jazz. For Trekkers, if I say music and Klingon, the only thing that comes to mind is Opera. Really bad opera. But Star Trek has many musical references, many of which are smooth jazz. Maynard Ferguson did a jazz version of the Star Trek Theme song on his album Conquistador in 1981, six years before the Next Generation series came into being.
In the original Star Trek, Mr. Spock played a Vulcan lute while Lt. Uhura sang. There are lutes galore, from the Bajorians to the Vulcans, alien species all have their own version of the instrument.
In Star Trek Next Generation, Lt. Commander Riker was a very frustrated jazz musician, his instrument of choice, the slide trombone. Data, the overachieving android, is seen playing a violin, an oboe and keyboards. Even Captain Picard has Ressikian Flute and was shown playing a duet with a crew member on keyboards. Q, the omniscient alien, plays a trumpet. Geordie LaForge dressed as Alan Adale plays a mandolin. But, to find a saxophone, you have jump series to Voyager, where Harry Kim is the only sax player in the Trek pantheon.
That brings up to the original question. You see, John Tesh, the well-known keyboardist, appeared in the role of a holographic Klingon on a pain-stick gauntlet in the season two episode called ‘Icarus Factor’ of Next Generation. Sadly, he did not play the piano. As a matter of fact, Klingons have played only drums, concertinas, accordions or guitars. I guess that’s why Klingon Opera sounds so strange.
Don’t believe me, check it out here. Now, Beam me up Scotty, and don’t spare the bagpipes!
~Lydia Barnes (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Our Smooth Video of the Day: Maynard Ferguson performs the famous Alexander Courage theme from the TV series.