domingo, 4 de enero de 2009

Bill Evans - We will meet again - (1979)

Tom Harrell (tp -1/3,5,6,8) Larry Schneider (ts, ss -1/3,5,6,8) Bill Evans (p, el-p) Marc Johnson (b -1/3,5,6,8) Joe LaBarbera (d -1/3,5,6,8)

NYC, August 6-9, 1979

1.Comrade ConradWarner Bros. HS 3411-Y
3.Bill's Hit Tune-
4.For All We Know (We May Never Meet Again)-
5.Only Child-
6.Peri's Scope-
7.We Will Meet Again-
8.Five (theme)-
* Bill Evans - We Will Meet Again (Warner Bros. HS 3411-Y)


"sometime between late 1978 and early 1979, on the strength of another recommendation (this time from guitarist Joe Puma with whom Bill shared a long-time friendship as well as a passion for trotter-racing), Evans decided to hire drummer Joe LaBarbera for his trio, despite worries that he might not have been completely available due to his heavy studio commitments. LaBarbera’s capacity to “do the right thing at the right time” made him a drummer of considerable musical intelligence. Gifted with a strong and relaxed sense of swing a la Elvin Jones he, like Johnson, had a highly developed ability to listen to his partners. The chemistry between these two and Evans gave him reason to expect peaks like those that he had known with LaFaro and Motian and, in fact, that is what happened.

Nevertheless, the first recording featuring LaBarbera and Johnson together - We Will Meet Again [Warner Bros. HS 3411] was a quintet album, the two horns being Tom Harrell's expressive trumpet and again the brilliant tenor sax of Larry Schneider. This album is comprised exclusively of original Bill Evans compositions, among which the inspired Laurie - dedicated to the woman who would be at his side in this last brief leg of his journey - and We Will Meet Again (which Evans had recorded two years earlier, surely never imagining the sad circumstances under which he was to find himself re-recording it). That session of August 1979, in fact, took place shortly after the tragic suicide of Bill's brother Harry, and the solo piano version of We Will Meet Again included here was clearly a despairing musical farewell directed towards this brother whom he had always worshiped.
“It's there for that reason. Also a solo version of For All We Know because that's linked with the title. So, there are those two solo tracks - For All We Know- We May Never Meet Again- and then the song We Will Meet Again.” These words from an interview with Evans' in August of 1980, give us an illuminating glimpse, flashing momentarily on the secret code that often encrypted the connection between his music and his life. With the benefit of hindsight it is not difficult to see that this was precisely the period in which Evans had unconsciously decided to let loose all his self-destructive urges, and in which he began to chant his swan song."
(Bill Evans: Ritratto d’artista con pianoforte/Bill Evans: The Pianist as an Artist.Enrico Pieranunzi, Rome 1999, Stampa Alternativa)(thanks !!!)

Bill Evans - You Must Believe In Spring - 1977

Bill Evans Trio

Bill Evans (p -1/8,10, p, el-p -9) Eddie Gomez (b) Eliot Zigmund (d)
Capitol Studios, Vine Street, Hollywood, CA, August 23-25, 1977
1.B Minor Waltz (For Ellaine)Warner Bros. HS 3504-Y
2.You Must Believe In Spring-
3.Gary's Theme-
4.We Will Meet Again (For Harry)-
5.The Peacocks-
6.Sometime Ago-
7.Theme From M*A*S*H (Suicide Is Painless)-
8.Without A SongRhino/Warner Bros. 73719
9.Freddie Freeloader-
10.All Of You-
* Bill Evans - You Must Believe In Spring (Warner Bros. HS 3504-Y; Rhino/Warner Bros. 73719)


"In August of 1977 Warner Bros made Evans a very generous recording offer, and it was Helen Keane who made the switch to that label possible. You Must Believe In Spring (again with Gomez and Zigmund) continues along the lines of I Will Say Goodbye, but there is much more in it. This album, however, also begins to reveal the traces of a destiny marked by some unsettling clues: the opening piece, B Minor Waltz, is dedicated to Bill's former long-term, unfortunate girlfriend Ellaine (was it just a coincidence that the key of B minor was the same as Tchaikovsky’s tragic, desperate "Pathetic" Symphony?”); the closing piece, Johnny Mandel's theme from Bill's favorite TV series M*A*S*H*, is sub-titled Suicide is Painless. What was happening to Bill?

Why dwell on self-destruction? Maybe because “suicide ... brings on many changes, and I can take or leave it as I please?” Perhaps a successful hit like M*A*S*H*was enough to set off that subconscious image/sound mechanism which always seemed to stimulate him. The story of M*A *S*H* (set, as everyone knows, in the Korean War) denouncing the madness and psychologically devastating violence of war, probably sparked Bill's memory of his psychically wounding experiences at Fort Sheridan in the early 50s, where he had come into contact with the harsh and senseless reality of army life. His slow slide into a self-destructive depression, probably traceable to those distant days, led him some years later into the drug habit (“the longest suicide in history,” as writer and great friend Gene Lees would say of him) which he shared with fragile, vulnerable Ellaine, who could not bear the idea of being separated from him.
Not even the birth of his son Evan the previous year had been able to fulfill that promise of regeneration that he had begun to glimpse, not to mention the fact that his marriage with Nenette was on the rocks. Perhaps all this would be enough to explain the album's mournful tone. Alongside the images of that movie which recalled his own suffering and the pain of another failure, that of his marriage, Bill was “speaking" through his music to Ellaine.

But another element must be factored in to give You Must Believe In Spring [Warner Bros. 3504] a special place in the final stages of Evans' artistic activity. The entire record, in fact, and not only the piece We Will Meet Again, was dedicated to his beloved big brother Harry - although Harry was never to know this. Bill loved movies, as we have already pointed out, but a script that not even the most imaginative screenwriter could ever have conceived had cast him in the leading role. His past (Ellaine) and his present (Harry) were soon to be linked precisely by the suicide. Two years after the recording of You Must Believe In Spring, Harry Evans Jr., he as well suffering from a long depression, took his own life. Since the album had not yet been published Harry never heard it nor did he ever know about that act of affectionate brotherly devotion - a shocking premonition. Starting with the recording of that ill-fated album in August '77, a dark destiny seemed to be rushing towards the artist; but he still had a little more time - time enough to say many more things in music and to "close the circle" of his musical journey."

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