domingo, 4 de enero de 2009

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 !!!)

3 comentarios:

Anónimo dijo...

Password: By The Sacred Monster

thanks to:

Anónimo dijo...

Anónimo dijo...

excellent points and the details are more specific than somewhere else, thanks.

- Joe