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The Boston Globe


Boston’s piano bars are almost gone

The scene is fading into memory, clinging to one last glorious room

It’s a pretty good crowd for a Thursday night, to paraphrase the famous Billy Joel song, and pianist Jane Potter is warming to the motley audience in the Fairmont Copley Plaza’s resplendently paneled Oak Bar. An associate professor at Berklee College of Music by day, Potter, nearly 6 feet tall in high-heeled black leather boots and a knee-length black cocktail dress, is a piano vamp by night.

The tip jar - actually a crystal water glass - is filling up, and the drinkers and diners at the Oak Bar are half-attuned to her repertory of lounge standards - “You’ve Got a Friend,’’ “As Time Goes By’’ - and half engrossed in their own company, which is as it should be.

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