jueves, 4 de diciembre de 2008

Interplay - The Bill Evans Quintet - (1962)

Freddie Hubbard (tp) Bill Evans (p) Jim Hall (g) Percy Heath (b) Philly Joe Jones (d)

July, 1962

1. You and the Night and the Music
2. When You Wish Upon a Star
3. I'll Never Smile Again - (take 7)
4. I'll Never Smile Again - (take 6)
5. Interplay
6. You Go to My Head
7. Wrap Your Troubles in Dreams


“[In 1962] Circumstances were forcing Bill to widen his sphere of musical activity. The trio was no longer the only group requiring his attention. In addition to his increased compositional activity, in July/August of 1962 Evans recorded two splendid quintet albums which were originally issued as a single LP called Interplay [Riverside LP 9445] and subsequently as a double LP entitled The Interplay Sessions, [Milestone 47055] and that later became the CDs Interplay [OJCCD-308-2] and Loose Bloose [Milestone 9200].

Bill chose which instruments there would be in each band using trumpet, guitar, and piano-bass-drums on Interplay and saxophone, guitar and the same rhythm section on Loose Bloose.
‘Who’ was playing on these dates is something that Bill kept closely in his focus as he was developing the music for these dates. The musicians common to both recordings, drummer Philly Joe Jones and guitarist Jim Hall, were Evans’ preferred performers on their instruments. The trumpet player on the first recording was the then emerging Freddie Hubbard, while on the second LP it was Zoot Sims who had risen to prominence as one of Woody Herman’s ‘Four Brothers’ at the end of the 1940’s.
The most relevant factor of these two albums lay precisely in Evans’ ability to match the material to the color and tone of the instruments that he had chosen for these sessions. Both albums highlight his talent as an arranger, one who is able to treat a small group like a big band. In some selections, the theme is presented by the trumpet and guitar using the latter as a sort of second horn; in others, the guitar is phrased with the other string instrument, the bass.

The order of the solos is sensitively conceived to avoid monotony. And, with this in mind, the instrument that states the theme at the beginning does not play it again at the end of the piece, thus maintaining a lively variety in tone color within each number.

From the point of view of Evans’ piano language, these albums marked a successful attempt at regaining that vitality and performing energy that seemed to be missing with his second trio [based on the preceding chapter, Pieranunzi seems to be referring to the trio in which Chuck Israels replaced Scott LaFaro with Paul Motian remaining as the trio’s drummer until her left Bill in Hollywood in 1963]. Working out of Philly Joe Jones’ generous rhythmic pulse, he recaptures in some solos that hard bopper verve demonstrated in New Jazz Conceptions and Everybody Digs Bill Evans. In particular, Wrap Your Troubles in Dreams – a title which is perfectly appropriate to the difficult period in which Evans perhaps yearned to shed his problems and dreamed of a better life – there is an almost joyful simplicity in the phrasing. It is as if Evans was searching back in time for his personal ‘golden age’ when, as a teenager, he had discovered and learned to love Jazz.

The melodies of the album on which Hubbard plays are all from the late 1930s, and perhaps this is no accident. Evans up-dates them, inventing delightful, unpredictable and unconventional codas for each one – to the point that the ending of You Go To My Head sounds harmonically unresolved and erratic.

All things considered, Interplay is a very hopeful album. Furthermore, this being an occasion to lead a group larger than a trio, Evans does something really intriguing which is reflected in the two title-tracks, Interplay and Loose Bloose. In both numbers, the minor blues form is combined with an approach the pianist owed to his exposure to the music of Bach.
These two tunes are, in fact, very close in their construction to some of the great composer’s works: a sequence of tenths as played by the guitar and bass forms a calm and almost solemn harmonic framework while the melody unfolds in counterpoint to it.

Loose Bloose, written in the unusual key of E-Flat minor, also offers a demonstration of melodic daring uncommon to Evans. Here he makes use of often dissonant intervals which trace a flickering, zigzagging line by frequently zooming-out in wide leaps.

Less successful was his attempt at fusing classical procedures with an exclusively jazz context. Fudgesicle Built for Four [another of Evans’ pun titles obviously playing off the title of the song Bicycle Built for Two] is a real “fugato” where each of the four voices enters one after the other, according to the most rigorous imitative style.

The result is a very Dave Brubeck-like jazz, with a slightly pompous, tuxedoed “Modern Jazz Quartet” flavor, but unfortunately, the harmonic structure laid out by Evans for improvisation on the tune seems to inhibit the soloists.

Essentially, the Interplay album with Freddie Hubbard can be considered a hard bop release with Evans even dusting off a few Horace Silver type passages."

(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 !!!)

5 comentarios:

Anónimo dijo...


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micaus dijo...

Zoot Sims played sax, not trumpet

micaus dijo...

Zoot Sims played sax, not trumpet