May 17, 2009

Pianist Conley rehabbing from accident

Pianist Terence Conley says he is working hard to recover from serious head injuries suffered in a traffic accident in New York.

The 51-year-old pianist, who was placed into a coma following his 2008 accident, said he longs for the day he can once again play his instrument of choice on stage, The New York Times reported Sunday.

Other than my wife and children, I missed my piano the most, the former Count Basie Orchestra member said. I look forward to the day when I can get back on stage again.

While doctors initially sought to have Conley put in a nursing home after the Sept. 29 accident, the pianist has recuperated faster than they expected.

He came in here at just about point zero, said Dr. Brian D. Greenwald, a psychiatrist at New York's Mount Sinai Hospital. It's incredible to see how much progress he has made.

The Times said Conley, whose recovery has been aided by donations from the Jazz Foundation of America, has begun playing the piano once again despite his injuries.