lunes, 1 de diciembre de 2008

The Tony Bennett & Bill Evans album - (1975)

1. Young and Foolish (Albert Hague, Arnold B. Horwitt) 3:55
2. The Touch of Your Lips (Ray Noble) 3:57

3. Some Other Time (Leonard Bernstein, Betty Comden, Adolph Green) 4:44

4. When in Rome (Cy Coleman, Carolyn Leigh) 2:56
5. We'll Be Together Again (Carl Fischer, Frankie Laine) 4:39
6. My Foolish Heart (Ned Washington, Victor Young) 4:50

7. Waltz for Debby (Bill Evans, Gene Lees) 4:06

8. But Beautiful (Johnny Burke, Jimmy Van Heusen) 3:37

9. Days of Wine and Roses (Henry Mancini, Johnny Mercer) 2:21


"On September 13th, however, an even more important event took place - Bill's son Evan was born of the union with Nenette, whom he had married in 1973. Evan's birth seemed to give Bill new motivation and determination to live. He had never been able to kick his drug habit, but that depression that had haunted him for years now seemed to begin to lift. His piano language remained in that simplifying phase that had begun more or less in the mid-1960s when he concluded the trio cycle with Chuck Israels and Larry Bunker. Narrative-style pieces, especially film themes, began to fill out his repertoire. Except when performing as an unaccompanied pianist or else when playing some solo pieces during his trio concerts, there was no longer any trace of that Tristano flavor so recognizable in his work during the 1950s. The influence of Powell and Silver had also vanished by now.
It could be said that by the mid-70s Evans' was personalizing his style more in the melodic direction, in terms of themes, while his improvisational vocabulary foregrounds more a harmonic variation process rather than one of recomposing. His signature sound was by now established, even though his occasional use of the electric piano tended to flatten it. In that same year, thanks to an idea of Helen Keane's, Evans was able to fulfill one of his dreams - to record with the singer Tony Bennett. That album confirmed Evans' desire to reconnect with the tradition of the American popular song and, from this point of view, he was carrying on the musical thinking and practice of Gershwin, convinced of the originality of this tradition incarnate in the musical comedy and in forms of high quality "light" music.

Nonetheless, it is hard for this writer to think of this Fantasy recording as a jazz album. Actually, at that point in his career Evans' artistic image was difficult, in any case, to pin down. Surely, of the two, the one who benefited the most from the other was Bennett, who could easily place himself in the hands of a knowing harmonic sensibility like that of Evans. Bennett's vocal style, pleasant but certainly not without a slightly theatrical emphasis, led the pianist into a Hollywood cocktail-party atmosphere, dangerously close to the concept of mere entertainment. The process of this musical shift towards disengagement was surely aided by the subtle commercial inclinations of Evans' managers (Creed Taylor in the 60s and now Keane). But it is also true that, even in a "pure" artist like Evans, there appeared from time to time the temptation to "reach the people" - a temptation the price of which he did not seem to be fully aware."

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

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