sábado, 29 de noviembre de 2008

Bill Evans - A Simple Matter Of Conviction (1966)

Músicos / Personnel:
Bill Evans, piano
Eddie Gomez, bass
Shelly Manne, drums

Temas / Tracks:
1. Simple Matter Of Conviction (B.Evans) 3:17
2. Stella By Starlight (Young-Washington) 4:09
3. Unless It's You (B.Evans) 3:41
4. Laura (Mercer-Raksin) 4:17
5. My Melancholy Baby (Burnett-Norton) 5:14
6. I'm Getting Sentimental Over You (Washington-Bassman) 4:11
7. Star Eyes (Raye-DePaul) 4:56
8. Only Child (B.Evans) 4:02
9. These Things Called Changes (B.Evans) 3:34


"Within a few months Israels' place was taken by 21-year-old Puerto Rican bass player Eddie Gomez. He was playing with the Gerry Mulligan group opposite Evans' trio at the Village Vanguard when he caught Bill's eye. Enormously gifted technically - an authentic virtuoso on his instrument - Gomez would stay with Evans for eleven years proving himself, in many ways, an ideal partner and the first real heir to Scott LaFaro. Gomez, in fact, continued and extended LaFaro's insights and contributed to making the bass an instrument "equal" to other melodic instruments in its expressive potential.

In October of 1966 they made their first studio recording, A Simple Matter of Conviction. The drummer on that occasion was the great Shelly Manne who, four years earlier, had recorded Empathy alongside Evans [both LPs have been combined on one disc as Verve 837 757 2]. This encounter would not be repeated, as witnessed by Evans' difficulty filling in the deep void left by Motian. So for yet another couple of years a variety of musicians were to take the drummer's seat - Philly Joe Jones, Arnold Wise and Jack DeJohnette - until at the end of 1968 Marry Morell would become the third permanent member of the trio.
In reality, the problem of a drummer that was not easy to resolve for a pianist like him. He was perfectly aware of the volume problems that a drummer, discreet as he may be, could pose to his music. His ideal "group" was a duet with the bass, but he knew that to achieve a certain effect a drummer was necessary. As would come out in an interview he did in 1972 for the French magazine Jazz Hot, his biggest problem with drummers was their difficulty in lowering the tension and volume of their drumming once they had intensified it - a defect which, as Evans pointed out, robbed the performance of its "breath" and weighed it down unnecessarily.

A Simple Matter Of Conviction introduced two new and exciting original compositions: Only Child and Unless It’s You (Orbit). The latter is built on an extraordinary harmonic progression that seems truly to have no end, to "go into orbit", every once in a while returning hesitantly to itself, to then spin off again. A piece that perfectly incarnates Evans' idea of harmony as an expansion from and return to the tonic. At the end of October '66 Evans made his second tour in Scandinavia, bringing only Eddie Gomez with him. He resolved his doubts concerning a drummer in the person of the young and promising Dane Alex Riel, performing alongside the Swedish singer Monica Zetterlund, with whom he had already recorded a very prestigious album a couple of years earlier."

(Bill Evans: Ritratto d’artista con pianoforte/Bill Evans: The Pianist as an Artist.Enrico Pieranunzi, Rome 1999, Stampa Alternativa)

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