Bill Evans

Discussion in 'Entertainment, Culture, and Sports' started by Connemara, Apr 12, 2008.

  1. Connemara

    Connemara [URL='http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6jST2Sv63WQ']

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    As some of you know, I've always been a devoted Oscar Peterson superfan. Obsessed may be the word for it. He's always sat at the top of the heap for me when it comes to jazz pianists and, in terms of technique, he is still there. But Bill Evans is right next to him.

    I've had the standard Evans discs for a while (Sunday at the Vanguard, Explorations, etc.) and certainly realized his prodigious playing. But recently I got my hands on copies of the performances that were recorded (respectively) 3 months before his death and about 7 days before his death. Never in my life have I heard so much emotion poured into music. These sets combined are I believe 24 discs and I've obviously only listened to a portion...but my, what a ride it's been. Evans' touch on the piano is like nothing I have ever heard before. It is so clean, so perfect, that you have to wonder if a human being is really doing this. His "soft" technique is the best I have ever heard, bar none. AFAIC there is simpl no comparison. The emotion in these final recordings is absolutely electric. You cannot listen to this music without crying, smiling or staring into space slack-jawed. The man is a god.

    There's something kind of morbid about these discs...as the dates grow closer to his death (culminating with the second 8-disc set recorded about a week before he succumbed to his drug-ravaged body) the music becomes more and more evocative, more magical. It's really hard to put into words.

    Oscar, I still love you more, but Bill has captured quite a big piece of my heart.
     


  2. Parker

    Parker Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    I've just recently heard one of these last concert recordings and was blown away as well. To me, Evans has a very impressionistic style whereas Oscar is more technical and rhythmic. Both are amazingly gifted musicians whom I equally enjoy. What I love about Evans is that his ideas and style are really about the musical moment and sensitive interaction between players. It really shines in his early trio recordings, and I think he got it back for these final ones.
     


  3. Connemara

    Connemara [URL='http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6jST2Sv63WQ']

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    I've just recently heard one of these last concert recordings and was blown away as well. To me, Evans has a very impressionistic style whereas Oscar is more technical and rhythmic. Both are amazingly gifted musicians whom I equally enjoy. What I love about Evans is that his ideas and style are really about the musical moment and sensitive interaction between players. It really shines in his early trio recordings, and I think he got it back for these final ones.
    Yeah, "impressionistic" really describes Evans. If he could swing during a solo like Oscar did, he would be the greatest jazz pianist ever. But a flawed diamond is better than a perfect penny, eh?
     


  4. Thracozaag

    Thracozaag Senior member

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  5. Parker

    Parker Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Conne... do you have Portrait in Jazz? While not at the same level as OP, there's definitely some swingin'. It might be my favorite Evans album.

    The biography looks great.
     


  6. Connemara

    Connemara [URL='http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6jST2Sv63WQ']

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    I need that book. Yeah, I have Portrait. I'll listen to it again tonight.
     


  7. Connemara

    Connemara [URL='http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6jST2Sv63WQ']

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    I cannot emphasize enough the perfection of the fina l Village Vanguard recordings. Absoltueyl mind boggling.
     


  8. borderline

    borderline Senior member

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    The "original" Village Vanguard sessions were from 1961. I recently came across the "Complete Bill Evans on Verve" box set and they have 2 nights from the 1967 Village Vanguard shows. You should check these out too:
    * The Complete Bill Evans On Verve (Verve 314 527 953-2)


    Bill Evans Trio
    Bill Evans (p) Eddie Gomez (b) Philly Joe Jones (d)
    "Village Vanguard", NYC, August 17, 1967
    \tHappiness Is A Thing Called Joe\t
    \tIn A Sentimental Mood\t-
    \tRe: Person I Knew\t-
    \tAlfie\t-
    \tIn Your Own Sweet Way\t-
    \tYou're Gonna Hear From Me\t-
    \tEmily\t-
    \tI'm Getting Sentimental Over You\t-
    \tYou're Gonna Hear From Me\t-
    \tG Waltz\t-
    \tCalifornia Here I Come\t-
    \tSpartacus Love Theme\t-
    \tAlfie\t-
    \tWrap Your Troubles In Dreams\t-

    "Village Vanguard", NYC, August 18, 1967
    \tIn A Sentimental Mood\t
    \tCalifornia Here I Come\t-
    \tG Waltz\t-
    \tWrap Your Troubles In Dreams\t-
    \tIn A Sentimental Mood\t-
    \tCalifornia Here I Come\t-
    \tYou're Gonna Hear From Me\t-
    \tAlfie\t-
    \tGone With The Wind\t-
    \tEmily\t-
    \tG Waltz\t-
    \tWrap Your Troubles In Dreams\t-
    \tOn Green Dolphin Street\t-
    \tYou're Gonna Hear From Me\t-
    \tWrap Your Troubles In Dreams\t-
    \tGone With The Wind\t-
    \tEmily\t-
    \tG Waltz\t-
     


  9. tlmusic

    tlmusic Senior member

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    You may want to check out the website of Chuck Israels, who played bass for Bill Evans at various times in the 60's.

    He writes,
    "Another remarkable aspect of Evans' playing was his command of tone color. With fingers like pistons, poised a scant millimeter over the keys, he dropped into the depths of the action as if propelled by steel springs, or he would caress the keys with the stroke of a loving mother touching her baby's cheek."

    http://www.chuckisraels.com/articleevans.htm
     


  10. Artisan Fan

    Artisan Fan Suitsupply-sider

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    I just got the Bill Evans Explorations SACD on Fantasy.

    If you don't do SACD then look for the excellent K2 masterings.
     


  11. rnoldh

    rnoldh Senior member

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    May Bill Evans RIP.

    But Conne are you the SF undertaker. It seems every time that I blink you have posted another thread about someone dying (sometimes famous and sometimes obscure).

    You will have much time to scan the obits when you are my age[​IMG]
     


  12. tlmusic

    tlmusic Senior member

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    May Bill Evans RIP.

    But Conne are you the SF undertaker. It seems every time that I blink you have posted another thread about someone dying (sometimes famous and sometimes obscure).

    You will have much time to scan the obits when you are my age[​IMG]


    Bill Evans passed away in 1980.
     


  13. Connemara

    Connemara [URL='http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6jST2Sv63WQ']

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    Bill Evans passed away in 1980.
    Hey, when you are rnold's age everything seems like it was yesterday [​IMG] [​IMG]
     


  14. c3cubed

    c3cubed Senior member

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    As some of you know, I've always been a devoted Oscar Peterson superfan. Obsessed may be the word for it. He's always sat at the top of the heap for me when it comes to jazz pianists and, in terms of technique, he is still there. But Bill Evans is right next to him.

    I've had the standard Evans discs for a while (Sunday at the Vanguard, Explorations, etc.) and certainly realized his prodigious playing. But recently I got my hands on copies of the performances that were recorded (respectively) 3 months before his death and about 7 days before his death. Never in my life have I heard so much emotion poured into music. These sets combined are I believe 24 discs and I've obviously only listened to a portion...but my, what a ride it's been. Evans' touch on the piano is like nothing I have ever heard before. It is so clean, so perfect, that you have to wonder if a human being is really doing this. His "soft" technique is the best I have ever heard, bar none. AFAIC there is simpl no comparison. The emotion in these final recordings is absolutely electric. You cannot listen to this music without crying, smiling or staring into space slack-jawed. The man is a god.

    There's something kind of morbid about these discs...as the dates grow closer to his death (culminating with the second 8-disc set recorded about a week before he succumbed to his drug-ravaged body) the music becomes more and more evocative, more magical. It's really hard to put into words.

    Oscar, I still love you more, but Bill has captured quite a big piece of my heart.


    It's a pleasure seeing you folks react to this post, and I must say, you all have superb taste if you enjoy Mr. Evans lush notes. He tragically left the scene far too soon. I agree with Connemara - some of his pieces are impossible to listen to without a handkerchief within arm's reach. Take his interpretation of Bacharach's "A House is not a Home". Devastating.
     


  15. Connemara

    Connemara [URL='http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6jST2Sv63WQ']

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    It's a pleasure seeing you folks react to this post, and I must say, you all have superb taste if you enjoy Mr. Evans lush notes. He tragically left the scene far too soon. I agree with Connemara - some of his pieces are impossible to listen to without a handkerchief within arm's reach. Take his interpretation of Bacharach's "A House is not a Home". Devastating.
    I'll give it a listen. The "Theme from MASH (Suicide is Painless" cut on his The Final Village Vanguard performance is equally heartbreaking.
     


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