We use cookies to track usage and preferences. See Cookie Policy
Pocketmags Digital Magazines
CA
Pocketmags Digital Magazines
   You are currently viewing the Canada version of the site.
Would you like to switch to your local site?
Digital Subscriptions >  Latest Articles > Lost and found

Lost and found
International Piano

Lost and found

Posted October 20, 2016   |   847 views   |   Music   |   Comments (0) A previously unissued studio recording made in 1968 has turned out to be a vivid and compelling account of the creative genius of Bill Evans at the height of his powers. Andy Hamilton is enthralled by this newly discovered snapshot from jazz history

First released on the non-profit specialist jazz label Resonance Records in 2012, Bill Evans’ album Live at Art D’Lugoff’s Top of the Gate has sold over 30,000 copies worldwide. For jazz in the download era, this remarkable figure shows the appeal of the music’s most enduringly influential pianist. I state this advisedly: Bud Powell and before him, Nat Cole, founded modern jazz piano; McCoy Tyner was for some time their most influential successor. But Evans’ personal appeal continues to grow, and now exceeds Tyner’s.

Through a language of harmonic sophistication unparalleled in jazz piano, involving a radical exploration of rootless voicings, Evans became a ‘poet of the keyboard’, re-composing the repertoire of Tin Pan Alley and jazz standards. He drew on the European heritage in jazz as much as – though not more than – the African-American one. The qualification is essential. Miles Davis rebutted with characteristic bluntness the criticisms of his new pianist’s European tendencies – just as Fletcher Henderson had defended Lester Young’s cool style, when he nonetheless had to fi re him because of rebellion among the hot players.

Now, Resonance is releasing a previously unissued studio recording under the title Some Other Time, and it deserves to repeat and exceed the success of Top of the Gate. It is the most important Evans studio discovery in more than a decade, featuring a trio that existed only for six months in 1968: bassist Eddie Gomez stayed with Evans for many years, but drummer Jack DeJohnette moved on. The trio made a few live recordings, notably Live at Montreux 1968_ and a_ Secret Sessions_ date at New York’s Village Vanguard; but this is their only known studio date – where tuning, miking and acoustics can be more closely controlled – made by legendary jazz producers Hans Georg Brunner-Schwer and Joachim-Ernst Berendt at the Black Forest studio of MPS (Musik Produktion Schwarzwald).

Evans was signed to Verve at the time, and so the recording was not released. By 2004, all the principals except Gomez and DeJohnette had died. On a visit to Germany in 2013, Zev Feldman of Resonance heard about it from Brunner-Schwer Jr. Now, after agreeing terms with Gomez and DeJohnette, the album has finally been released in its entire 94 minutes.

You won’t find the sustained exuberance of the wonderful Live at Montreux 1968. In the extensive sleeve notes, Gomez comments that the studio date had ‘a whole different vibe … maybe because there’s no audience’. Meanwhile, DeJohnette remarks that Evans’ playing is ‘a little stronger than normal’, and some tracks are high-energy. Apart from the aborted solo, ‘It’s Alright With Me’, all have that understated tensile strength and penetrating interpretation of Evans at his finest. The drummer also remarks on how the pianist’s arrangements – as opposed to improvisations – stayed fairly constant, with the rhythm team injecting variety.

Evans clearly loved the repertoire of standard songs that jazz drew from Tin Pan Alley – that incredible efflorescence of popular American musical art from the 1920s to 1950s. The interpretation of ‘You Go To My Head’ is incisive and hard-swinging, and Evans hurries a little into his solo. ‘It Could Happen To You’ – completely unhurried at mid/uptempo– is a gem, a characterful re-composition whose tinkling octaves at the start and finish suggest the ringing church bells in the lyrics. Evans was also brilliant at finding material from the pop music of his day: ‘You’re Gonna Hear From Me’ is a mid-60s hit by André and Dory Prev that he’d been performing since 1966.

Many standards are not common Evans choices; ‘These Foolish Things’ is his fi rst recording, ‘It Could Happen to You’ and ‘You Go To My Head’, his second. ‘What Kind Of A Fool Am I?’ with its percussive, even hyper, solo and corny ending, perhaps satir

For more great articles like this get the Nov - Dec 2016 issue of International Piano below or subscribe and save.

Single Issue - March - April 2018 Replica Edition included
$3.99
Or 399 points
Annual Digital Subscription
Only $ 2.00 per issue
SAVE
50%
$11.99
Or 1199 points

View Issues

About International Piano

International Piano is the world's leading independent magazine for the piano world, featuring articles and reviews by some of the world’s most respected contributors in the industry.

More great content like this...

For more great articles like this subscribe to International Piano today.

Most read articles this month


Christmas Gifts for Her

Christmas Gifts for Her

Stuck for gift ideas for the lovely lady in your life? The Pocketmags team have pooled all their best ideas for gifts for her this Christmas. Get ready to earn some serious brownie points! More...
Failsafe  fingering

Failsafe fingering

In answer to a reader’s question, Graham Fitch addresses the complex subject of how to find fingering that works for you More...
Christmas Gifts for Him

Christmas Gifts for Him

Why are men so hard to buy for?! If you're looking for gift ideas for the deserving gent in your life, look no further; the Pocketmags team have found some amazing gifts for him this Christmas. Boring socks begone! More...
Lift your  chances

Lift your chances

Be ready for your sixty-second chance to shine with Adrian Magson’s pitch correction More...
Great British Food's Pomegranate & Chocolate Cake

Great British Food's Pomegranate & Chocolate Cake

If you visit Morocco in autumn you will notice fresh pomegranates wherever you go. The beautiful seeds are eaten after a meal, squeezed for a refreshing drink, or scattered, jewel like, over sweet and savoury dishes. This fantastic cake uses tangy pomegranate molasses in the base and the vibrant ruby red seeds are scattered over the top to add a pop of colour and refreshing bite. More...
3 Free Reads for the New Year

3 Free Reads for the New Year

Spend all your money in December? Us too. We’ve pulled together our 3 favourite free reads available for you on Pocketmags. Everyone loves a free read! More...
Baking Heaven's Banoffee Loaf

Baking Heaven's Banoffee Loaf

Brought to you by Baking Heaven, this Banoffee Loaf is just the sweet treat you're looking for after a blustery Autumn walk. A sure-fire family hit, here’s how to make the most of this delicious Banoffee Loaf... More...
5 digital magazines for Autumn

5 digital magazines for Autumn

Ready to curl up with a new read? These autumn issues get our pick for Fall... More...
Glasgow Museums’ collection  of Anchor Line posters

Glasgow Museums’ collection of Anchor Line posters

Emily Malcolm, Curator of Transport & Technology, explores a colourful collection of historic travel posters, which convey the excitement of world travel in years gone by More...
Did your ancestor leave a will?

Did your ancestor leave a will?

For non-family historians, the appeal of a long-lost relative’s will is that they might find themselves a beneficiary. But for us, wills can provide an invaluable collection of names, relationships and clues to family members from times gone by. June Terrington examines this rich collection of records More...
Vouchers Gift Cards A magazine subscription is the perfect gift but you'll need something to show on the big day. View All
Ways to Pay Pocketmags Payment Types
At Pocketmags you get Secure Billing Great Offers HTML Reader Gifting options Loyalty Points