viernes, 28 de noviembre de 2008
Bill Evans Trio at Town Hall - (1966)
Personnel: Bill Evans (piano); Chuck Israels (bass); Arnold Wise (drums).
Recorded live at Town Hall, New York, New York on February 21, 1966.
1. I Should Care
2. Spring Is Here
3. Make Someone Happy
4. Prologue/Story Line/Turn Out the Stars/Epilogue
5. In Memory of His Father Harry L. Evans
6. Beautiful Love
7. My Foolish Heart
8. One for Helen
"The second half of the 1960s started out with very painful news: the death in early 1966 of Bill's father, Harry Evans Sr. The pianist was scheduled to give an important concert a few days later at Town Hall in New York City [Bill Evans at Town Hall, Verve 831-271-2]. It was to be his debut at this prestigious venue and he was undecided as to whether he should cancel the engagement or not. In the end he decided to perform, and composed a touching four section suite in memory of his father. A neo-Impressionistic Prologue, where echoes of Chopin's Berceuse mingle weightlessly with a Debussy-like pentatonic approach, was followed by Story Line, practically a remake of the modal Re: A Person I Knew, then came the very moving Turn Out The Stars (he owed the title to his friend and songwriter Gene Lees), and, finally, Epilogue which Evans had recorded seven years before on Everybody Digs.
The circumstances as well as the solemn setting of the concert hall surely combined to make this one of his most intense performances of that entire decade. The pain brought on by this sad event triggered memories that sent him plummeting back in time. He played pieces that he hadn't played since the days of the trio with LaFaro, like Spring Is Here and My Foolish Heart. He sang his pain with extreme reserve but with a depth of expression that he had seemed to have lost. The titles of the pieces he chose alluded, as always, to his state of mind; I Should Care and Who Can I Turn To? (When Nobody Needs Me?) subtly suggest his loneliness, his "loss" - that destiny to be faced all alone, with darkness the single inescapable destination.
The critics pointed out, and not incorrectly, that this medley of original selections represented Evans' highest achievement as a composer, especially in terms of his ability to transform Broadway show tunes and worn-out standards into real "compositions", rich in content. Evans, in fact, revealed the best of his infinite harmonic vocabulary in that concert and, perhaps influenced by the setting of the hall itself, exhibited a variety in touch and sound quality worthy of a true classical concert musician. The impressive way he was able to merge and become one with his instrument did the rest, and the resulting enthusiasm of the critics and the audience was justified.
That memorable concert was also the last occasion in which Evans availed himself of the collaboration of Chuck Israels. A series of personality conflicts had finally succeeded in breaking down their four-year-plus working relationship. This musician, who had stood by Bill through a difficult time, despite a not exactly flexible nature of his own and a not overwhelming artistic personality, had had the courage to shoulder the weighty legacy of Scott LaFaro."
(Bill Evans: Ritratto d’artista con pianoforte/Bill Evans: The Pianist as an Artist.Enrico Pieranunzi, Rome 1999, Stampa Alternativa)