The Bill Evans Trio this weekend. Recorded at Casale Monferrato, Italy on November 30, 1979 and broadcast by RAI Radio 3.
No doubt about it, we are living in fractured, nervous times – and anything we can do to calm the situation and the stirrings in our racing out-of-control minds helps.
This weekend it’s Bill Evans and his trio, consisting of Marc Johnson on bass and Joe LaBarbera on drums. This is the first of two sets recorded, and it’s not sure which one was broadcast, but it’s vintage Bill Evans at every turn. This is also the last Trio Evans would work with before his death in 1980.
One of the innovators in Jazz, Evans used impressionist harmony, along with an inventive interpretation of Standards which continues to be influential among Jazz pianists today.
His compositions, including the memorable Waltz For Debby, have been frequently played by other musicians and have become standards in Jazz repertoire.
In addition to his solo and trio work, Evans worked with a veritable who’s who of Jazz musicians, including Miles Davis, Art Farmer, Cannonball Adderley and numerous others.
A chaotic life, marred by a longtime heroin addiction, which prompted Jazz critic Gene Lees to describe as “the longest suicide in history”. Evans was in a considerable amount of personal turmoil, especially around this time with a severe Cocaine addiction and the suicide of his brother in May of that year weighing on him, which prompted him to cancel several dates on a Spring tour of the Northwest, Evans was still able to focus and deliver thoughtful, introspective interpretations and to continue astounding audiences.
Bill Evans recorded a considerable amount during his career. Even more has been recorded in a live concert setting, and those have been issued, some officially and some clandestinely, over the years to an ever-present base of fans, admirers and students of Jazz piano. Even gone some 36 years, he still influences. And in this chaotic time, he still consoles.
Enjoy – play however loud or soft you want.