Thursday, July 01, 2010

Bill Evans and The Village Vanguard - JAZZ TEMPLE !!

178 7th Avenue South - Greenwich Village
New York City/USA

By Leonardo Barroso
The Village Vanguard, é na minha opinião o Vaticano do Jazz. Todos artistas querem gravar ou/e tocar neste clube. Mas foi com Bill Evans que tornou-se o lugar mais visitado do Jazz mundial. Hoje temos gravções de Fred Hersch, Brad Mehldau, Wynton Marsalis, Joe Lovano, e muito mais.


The Complete Village Vanguard Recordings, 1961
Bill Evans

Cover (The Complete Village Vanguard Recordings, 1961:Bill Evans)

By C. Andrew Hovan
Certain quintessential works of art, like Van Gogh's "Starry Night or Munch's "The Scream, have been iconic and universal in their appeal to a worldwide audience. Much in the same manner, jazz has its own share of legendary recordings that have become widely appreciated, from Benny Goodman's famous appearance at Carnegie Hall in 1938 to Miles Davis' Kind Of Blue (1959) or John Coltrane's A Love Supreme (1965). To that choice list of essential releases, few would argue that the 1961 Village Vanguard recordings of the Bill Evans trio hold a special place in the collective hearts of many musicians and fans, the complete results of which have now been assembled in an attractive set that should be required listening for anyone even remotely interested in jazz.
This would be one of those few instances in musical history when everything would be just for right for the making of a masterpiece. Evans was at the peak of his pianistic powers with his most sympathetic colleagues to date: bassist Scott LaFaro and drummer Paul Motian. The trio had been developing its repertoire during their two-week stay at one of New York's most revered and intimate clubs, and engineer Dave Jones was on hand at the end of this stint to capture every subtle nuance. At the time, the music was diced and sliced and forced to fit the constraints of the LP era. Now it's all here as it went down and in glorious sound that puts you right in the middle of the action.
These three discs feature 22 performances from the five sets the trio performed back on June 25, 1961. Although in his commentary (included in the enclosed booklet) Orrin Keepnews calls the recording equipment "primitive," what has always been fascinating about these recordings have been the way that their crystaline quality illuminated the inner workings of this remarkable trio. Blow by blow descriptions are really unnecessary here. There's a freshness to this music that belies its age, and it never fails to energize, whether on the first or ninety-first listen.

Track listing:
CD1: Spoken Introduction; Gloria's Step (Take 1, interupted); Alice In Wonderland; My Foolish Heart; All Of You (Take 1); Announcement And Intermission; My Romance (Take 1); Some Other Time; Solar.
CD2: Gloria's Step (Take 2); My Man's Gone Now; All Of You (Take 2); Detour Ahead (Take 1); Discussing Repertoire; Waltz For Debby (Take 1); Alice In Wonderland (Take 2); Porgy (I Loves You, Porgy); My Romance (Take 2); Milestones.
CD3: Detour Ahead (Take 2); Gloria's Step (Take 3); Waltz For Debby (Take 2); All Of You (Take 3); Jade Visions (Take 1); Jade Visions (Take 2); ...A Few Final Bars.
Personnel: Bill Evans: piano; Scott LaFaro: bass; Paul Motian: drums.

Turn Out The Stars
The Final Village Vanguard Recordings, June 1980
Bill Evans

Cover (Turn Out the Stars: Final Village Vanguard Recordings:Bill Evans)

By Doug Collete
The extent to which Bill Evans' studio and live recordings have been recorded, archived and released is a testament to the deserved reverence the late pianist has elicited. Originally available only in a limited run, Turn Out the Stars-The Final Village Vanguard Recordings June 1980 is further evidence of that devout respect.
Far more lavish (and sturdy despite the individual digipaks inside)) than the accompanying box, the essays written by Bob Blumenthal and Harold Danko are extensive in their detail and focused passion, as good a means of describing The Evans trio's own playing as there is. On "Re: The Person I knew," there is no melodramatic lingering on the sweet melody, as if to telegraph its beauty rather a constant turn through its changes. If slowly rotating a fine jewel is the best way to appreciate its true beauty by viewing as many facets as possible—no one angle fully serves the purpose—so, too, is Evans and his trio's approach to a composition's melody and rhythm.
As with Evans' classic trio featuring drummer Paul Motian and bassist Scott LaFaro, the personnel at the time of these recordings—bassist Marc Johnson and drummer Joe LaBarbera—does its share to make descriptions about telepathic instrumental communication the cliché it is today. Hearing them interact on both renditions of "The Two Lonely People," there is a sense of learning the contours of the composition a little better each time, as much as an increase in familiarity between the musicians. The former lesson is a means to the latter knowledge.
Describing musicians' interplay as conversation or dialogue is a clich&233; of sorts too, but in the case of Evans' trio it is perfectly appropriate throughout Turn Out the Stars. Each player makes his instrument take on characteristics of the other two. Johnson, for example, has as elegant a touch as Evans on "Nardis," from the June 8 second set. Similarly the threesome shares the feel for each others' styles. LaBarbera moves with the same fleetness as Johnson, without any sense of hurry on "Time Remembered" from the June 6 second set
The breaks in the leader's playing on "Days of Wine and Roses," from the June 5 second set, allow comments from his band mates on the preceding interval, sometimes constituting reiteration but more often representing extensions of thoughts just expressed. Each musician is confident enough in his own playing and that of his peers that he can afford to pause and reflect, if only for a split second, on what's just been played, to effectively process what he's just heard.
Given the stellar and staunch presence of Helen Keane and the Village Vanguard venue itself, it stands to reason that the recording here is as immaculate as the playing. The music contained in the six CDs of Turn Out the Stars: The Final Village Vanguard Recordings June 1980 demands to be preserved for posterity in exactly this splendid fashion.

Track listing
CD1: Bill's Hit Tune; Nardis; If You Could See Me Now; The Two Lonely People: Laurie; My Romance; Tiffany; Like Someone In Love; Letter To Evan.
CD2: Days Of Wine And Roses; Emily; My Foolish Heart; Nardis; Yet Ne'er Broken; Quiet Now; But Not For Me; Spring Is Here; Autumn Leaves.
CD3: Your Story; Re: Person I Knew; Polka Dots And Moonbeams; Two Lonely People, The; Theme From M*A*S*H; Tiffany; Turn Out The Stars; Laurie; My Romance; Knit For Mary F.; Midnight Mood; Time Remembered. 
CD4: Days Of Wine And Roses; Up With The Lark; Nardis; Your Story; Yet Ne'er Broken; If You Could See Me Now; Bill's Hit Tune; Tiffany; In Your Own Sweet Way.
CD5: I Do It For Your Love; Five; Polka Dots And Moonbeams; Bill's Hit Tune; Turn Out The Stars; Days Of Wine And Roses; But Not For Me; Knit For Mary F.; Like Someone In Love; Quiet Now.
CD6: Emily; Nardis; Knit For Mary F.; Like Someone In Love; Letter To Evan; Minha; A Sleepin' Bee; My Romance/Five.
Personnel: Bill Evans: piano; Marc Johnson: bass; Joe LaBarbera: drums.

The Secret Sessions
Recorded at The Village Vanguard 1966-1975
Bill Evans

Cover (The Secret Sessions:Bill Evans)

by Scott Yanow
During an 18-year period, fan Mike Harris went to the Village Vanguard whenever pianist Bill Evans appeared and privately taped his performances. More than a decade after Evans' death, Harris made all the proper legal arrangements and producer Orrin Keepnews released music from 26 different occasions on this eight-CD box set, 104 selections in all. With the exception of the first date (and to a lesser extent the last one), the recording quality is surprisingly good, making this a real bonanza for Bill Evans' other fans. The pianist is joined by bassist Eddie Gomez on all of the numbers (except for the first eight, which have Teddy Kotick), along with drummers Arnie Wise, Joe Hunt, Philly Joe Jones, Jack DeJohnette (clearly the most modern of the drummers), John Dentz, Marty Morell and Eliot Zigmund. Since Evans' style did not evolve much during the period, Eddie Gomez's growth as a soloist and the way that the various drummers adapt their styles to Evans' are probably the two main reasons to acquire the set. But Bill Evans fanatics do not have to be told twice about this attractive package's existence.

Since We Met
Bill Evans

Cover (Since We Met:Bill Evans Trio)

by Scott Yanow
Thirteen years after his legendary Village Vanguard recordings, Bill Evans recorded Since We Met at the famous New York establishment again. Using his trio of the era (which includes bassist Eddie Gómez and drummer Marty Morell), Evans explores both familiar ("Time Remembered," "Turn Out the Stars" and "But Beautiful") and new (Joe Zawinul's "Midnight Mood," "See-Saw" and "Sareen Jurer") material. This CD reissue gives listeners a good example of Bill Evans' early-'70s trio as it typically sounded in clubs.

Re:Person I Knew
Bill Evans

Cover (Re: Person I Knew:Bill Evans)

by Scott Yanow
Recorded at the same Village Vanguard sessions that resulted in Since We Met, this posthumous collection (first put out in 1981 and later reissued on CD) features pianist Bill Evans, bassist Eddie Gómez, and drummer Marty Morell playing material that was passed over for release at the time — some of the songs were overly familiar, while others were works in progress. But even though the results fall short of classic, they should interest Bill Evans collectors; highlights include remakes of "Re: Person I Knew," "Alfie," "T.T.T. (Twelve Tone Tune)," and "34 Skidoo".

Getting Sentimental
Bill Evans

Cover (Getting Sentimental:Bill Evans)

by Alex Henderson
Native New Yorker Mike Harris is neither a professional musician nor a behind the scenes employee of the music industry; he has earned his living as an optical physicist. But he's someone who Bill Evans' hardcore fans should adore. Harris, himself a truly devoted fan, taped numerous Evans appearances at Manhattan's Village Vanguard in the '60s and '70s and asked owner Max Gordon for permission when he first started taping. Originally, Harris didn't mean for any of the recordings to be released commercially; they were strictly for his private collection. But Harris eventually realized that his gold mine needed to be shared with other Evans devotees, and in 1996 (after he went through the proper legal channels), many of those recordings found their way to Milestone/Fantasy's eight-CD, 104-track box set The Secret Sessions. As generous as that release was, Harris still had an abundance of unreleased Evans performances in his Vanguard collection — and in 2003, some more of them became commercially available on the single-CD Getting Sentimental. While The Secret Sessions spans 1966-1975, this 73-minute disc focuses on one night: January 15, 1978, when Evans was joined by bassist Michael Moore (not to be confused with the liberal filmmaker/political activist or the American reedman who has made waves on the Amsterdam-based creative music scene) and drummer Philly Joe Jones. The sound quality is decent — not fantastic, but decent — and Evans' acoustic pianism is consistently solid on familiar material that ranges from "Emily" and "But Beautiful" to his own "Turn Out the Stars." Jones is a definite asset, and even though Moore doesn't enjoy as strong a rapport with Evans as Eddie Gomez and Scott LaFaro had enjoyed, he plays reasonably well. Getting Sentimental isn't essential and isn't recommended to casual listeners; nonetheless, Evans' more obsessive fans will welcome this enjoyable, if imperfect, release with open arms.

1 comment:

Leonardo Barroso said...

Leo, caríssimo,

Realmente me comove o seu amor pelo jazz, especialmente pelo nosso bill joao. A tese mais insustentável do jazz seria aquela que algum maluco do mal resolvesse defender afirmando que o BE nao merece essa importancia hoje quase mitológica na musica contemporanea ( acredito mesmo que a importancia dele está bem alem do jazz...que o digam figuras como o J.I.Thibaudet, concertista erudito...).
Vc jamais precisará de nada mais que as eternas reaudicóes do seu-nosso ídolo maior para complementar a sua felicidade nessa passagem por essas plagas e situaçoes terrenas da vida. Claro que em complemento mesmo, pois tudo é bem mais complexo e vc tem o papel maior ainda de todos de ser pai nesses nossos tempos...mas o prazer e a sempre renovada felicidade de ouvir o toque e as belíssimas idéias do bill joao seráo sempre confortantes e healing até pra saúde!
É isso. E me sinto muito feliz por meus ouvidos terem ainda nos anos 60 pros setenta encontrado essa força criativa maravilhosa, além do ser humano interessante que ele foi - apesar daqueles problemas todos.
Tenho certeza que aos 81, hoje, ele estaria igualmente criativo e principalmente honestíssimo com sua propria arte.
Agora mesmo, por conta de sua(leo) provocaçao, estou ouvindo BE e com um estado de espírito bem melhor do que estava até sua ligaçao...
So, thanks a lot.