In the early sixties, jazz pianist Bill Evans (previously) got his hands on a European EP that featured a cover of his signature piece Waltz for Debby, with Swedish lyrics, and vocals by young jazz vocalist Monica Zetterlund. Evans was floored. “I don't usually throw superlatives around, but let me tell you I am really exited about Monica's Waltz for Debby” he wrote in a letter to her record company. “I used to think that my waltz wasn't suited for vocal but look how wrong I was! Suddenly I feel like going to Sweden.” So he did: Monica Zetterlund with Bill Evans Trio: Waltz for Debby/Monicas vals (live rehearsal from 1966). [more inside]
The Concord Music Group (the Group's labels) is due to release on vinyl The Complete Tony Bennett/Bill Evans Recordings in January 2015. This past November 2014, the Concord Music Group released the vinyl reissue, on the Riverside label, of The Complete Village Vanguard Recordings, 1961/The Bill Evans Trio. Also due up, is the vinyl reissue of The Complete Riverside Recordings/Bill Evans sometime in early 2015. (The pertinent info about the future releases is at the bottom of the page just linked.) [more inside]
From the rather common "skate punk into alternative music" origins to a bedroom producer who signed with Ninja Tune, Bonobo, the stage name for Simon Green, has continued to change musically. From the lone musician who made sample-based music, he has expanded into working with field recordings, studio musicians, and live shows where the band took a four bar drum break transformed it into a seven minute epic drum-sax solo battle, to which the crowd tried to clap along. You can see him live tomorrow at the Alexandra Palace in London in a special Boiler Room session, but until then, there's plenty more to see, hear and read. [more inside]
Paul Motian (wiki) (myspace) (allaboutjazz), one of the great jazz drummers of our time, is dead at 80. [more inside]
Exactly 50 years ago today, composer, arranger and multi-instrumentalist Oliver Nelson recorded his seminal album The Blues and the Abstract Truth. Featuring Eric Dolphy, Bill Evans, Paul Chambers, Roy Haynes, and Freddie Hubbard, the Impulse album is often cited as among the great recordings in early 1960s jazz, and the tune Stolen Moments in particular has become a standard.
Legendary jazz producer and writer Orrin Keepnews was recently interviewed for a series of podcasts for the Concord Group (formerly Riverside, and Fantasy-Prestige-Milestone Records) . They usually deal with specific recordings and run about 6-9 minutes each, many now on YouTube. Fascinating accounts of his early work for Riverside with Thelonious Monk , (and the "Town Hall" album), to Sonny Rollins, Cannonball Adderley, McCoy Tyner, and the latest one on the classic Bill Evans "Portrait in Jazz" album. Great stuff for jazz fans of the late 50s- early 60s era.
Sad, head-down legendary jazz piano. (Single-link YouTube) More Bill and the Wiki. [Previously] Hopefully more of a reminder than a double.
John Coltrane. Thelonious Monk. Hank Mobley. Lennie Tristano. Blue Note. Impulse. Riverside... In other words: jazz. Now three fans in Japan -- a country that has always appreciated America's gift to music even more than the US itself -- have created The Jazz Discography Project, a bare-bones, open-source, astonishingly exhaustive database of the hippest sounds on the planet. For aficionados, just reading an ASCII entry for long out-of-print stuff like A Message from Garcia, featuring a young and then-unknown musician named Bill Evans who would later reinvent his instrument, is thrilling.