sábado, 29 de noviembre de 2008

I will Say Goodbye - (1977)

Temas / Tracks:
1. I Will Say Goodbye
2. Dolphin Dance
3. Seascape
4. Peau Douce
5. Nobody Else But Me
6. I Will Say Goodbye (Take 2)
7. The Opener
8. Quiet Light
9. A House Is Not A Home
10. Orson's Theme

Bill Evans (piano); Eddie Gomez (bass); Eliot Zigmund (drums).


"I Will Say Goodbye
Evans believed in "simple" music; but simplicity, of course, not necessarily at the expense of beauty, and it was precisely that which he demonstrated a couple of years later. Beauty has to do with a deeper and somehow mysterious dimension - a something that Bill possessed, and thanks to which he had captured, especially in the 1950s and 60s, the hearts and minds of musicians and jazz lovers all over the world. In May of 1977 Evans recorded his last album for the Fantasy label, I Will Say Goodbye, with Gomez and the sensitive Zigmund on the drums. The album's title track, written by Michel Legrand, as well as Johnny Mandel's tender Seascape, are both film score tunes which, in Evans' hands, become compelling, intimate Mendelssohn-like "songs without words.”
Here Evans revives the classical piano modules of Brahms and Chopin, Debussy and Scriabin, whom he had known and loved in his childhood and later in his college years in Louisiana. He treats these melodic lines, evoking images of separations ("goodbye") and seascapes, with a touch that unearths a rich range of color and nuance that had been lost in his years with Gomez and Morell. Here he greatly refines the classical technique of playing three or four notes with the right hand, making their upper voice "sing".

All this is made possible also by Zigmund's sensibility and capacity to listen to and play with Evans, avoiding the error of other drummer's of playing "with the bass", thus leaving the piano isolated. Zigmund follows the emotional and sound "curve" of the pianist and, in this way, restores to the trio the breath that has long been missing.
Another big film hit tune People, written by Jules Styne and made popular by Barbara Streisand, had been used by Evans a couple of years earlier for his solo album Alone Again. That performance had marked a moment in which Evans seems to have declared his belief more in interpretation than in improvisation as the primary vehicle for his musical communication. The melody of People is played for more than thirteen minutes in various keys and becomes a sort of "theme and variations" in which Evans shows the many possibilities for dealing with a simple song on piano. His use of the left hand playing arpeggio-lines as a kind of "contrapuntal" accompaniment to the right is characteristic here. This device goes beyond just simply confirming or tracing the harmonic path of the piece, and is able to create a second "voice" dialoguing with the right hand and, at times, functioning as protagonist.

Throughout the entire length of the performance, the original melody is never abandoned. John Wasserman, who wrote the liner notes for this album, rightly observes, “one would have to be a fool or a genius to pick such songs, songs that have been played with a repetition past counting. The fool would choose them because they are familiar and one with nothing to say must be satisfied with quoting others. The genius chooses them for the challenge; for the untapped potential lying underneath the facade. It requires supreme confidence and fundamental humility in addition to an innate sense of beauty. His music, complex and simple at the same time, is like stop-action photography - the learning, the understanding, the feelings of a lifetime compressed into three minutes, or five, or seven.”
The material that Evans chose for both Alone Again and I Will Say Goodbye, was almost always very easy on the ear, mostly evoking melancholy, nostalgia for something lost, something which had perhaps never existed, or else had always been unattainable. Very often, as has already been said, these were songs from films which spoke of lost, impossible or troubled love, or of the travails of couples and the unending search for happiness. Russian tradition is full of story-telling and fables, and we must not forget that Evans origins were half Russian. It is no surprise, therefore, that he was orienting himself more and more towards musical stories written to accompany picture stories. Improvisation as such seemed no longer to interest him very much. Far from the extreme harmonic quest of a Coltrane, extraneous also to the contemporary jazz/rock revolution with its new rhythms and sound, Evans was heading in a musical direction that no one but he was attracted to in those years."
(Bill Evans: Ritratto d’artista con pianoforte/Bill Evans: The Pianist as an Artist.Enrico Pieranunzi, Rome 1999, Stampa Alternativa)(thanks http://jazzprofiles.blogspot.com !!!)

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Anónimo dijo...