You are on page 1of 10
wen le ABi-Monthly VETTE se Publication FO Dedicated to Jazz Pianist, Bill Evans Win Hinkle, Editor Board of Advisors: Vol. |, Number 1, Price $4.00 Warren Bernharct Chuck Israels Peter. Larsen Ron Nethercutt Septomber/October, 1989 Purpose Why create a newsletter devoted to one specific jazz pianist? ‘And Why Bill Evans? in answer tothe fist question—I have beon incontact with many Bill Evansenthusiasts around this country and in Furope, We al share a common interest, collecing Bill Evans recordings, sic publications andthe pursuitof information. Why Bill Evans? The con:ributions o jazz. that Bill Evans has made are many and permanent, A {ew arc: the non-olvious but very gular pulse, piano voicingsthatare exuemely colorfl bu sil follow the given harmonic planof the tne, new definitions regarding te roles Of members of lie jazz. ro, communicative group improvisation and freedom of meiodic expression thatis stretched to new limits, without jumping the boundary into“ree jazz. These are but a few of the gifts that Bill Evans has made to the world of jazz music. This publication was bom in an effort to collect ll ihe bits and pieces of information and share it wih subseribers. The function of the neveslester will be multifaceted. Iwill serve an educational purpose in providing musicians stil in the educational mode (like me) a starting point in Icaring about tbe most influential jazz pianist in the lat 20 years Therehavebeen at leastthree dissertations and/or master stheses writen about Bill. “These publications will be examined in flute issucs. 1am looking for a volunteer, (preferably a pianist) to write a regular technical column, featuring analysis of compcsitions and solo wanscripions. LLFE will assume responsibility for securing the proper clearances to reprint portions of the compositions of Bll Evans and others. It will provide collectors with sources of information and recordings to add w their collections. As space permis, there will te feature anicles on major collectors such as the Bill Evans “Memorial Library in England, The Southeastem Louisiana Univer- sity collection in Hammond, LA. There will be aricles on those ‘who have done extensive wanscriptions and/or research such as Kon ‘Nethercut, Phil Bailey in Kentucky, Peter H. Larsen in Denmark, Beth Shankor in NY , Francis Poudras in Pars, Hans Peri in West Germany, Ann Beaty Gerber and Bill Dougias in Colorado. Twill focus on the continuing careersof those who worked with Bill Evans such as Eddie Gomez, Chuck Israels, Helen Keene, Orin Keepnews, Gene Lees, Paul Motian, Marc Johnson, Joe LaBarbera and Marty Morell There wil be articies on major pianists who were greatly influenced by Bill such as: Warren Bernhard, Andy Laverne, Mike Wofford, Michel Petrucciani, Richie Beirach, Gary Dial, Jim MeNeely, Bill Dobbins, Harold Danko, Jack Reilly, Hal Galper and Fred Hersch, to name a few. Planned also are articles andlor interviews of contemporary pianists who are very much aware of the contribution that Bill ‘Evans has made to the art of jazz. and who might be considered his ‘contemporaries such as George Shearing, JoAnne Brakecn, Keith Jarrett, Chick Corea and Denny Zeitlin, In the process I will probably make errors and names will be inadvertently left out. Also, [ am a musician, not 2 writer. My Photo by Christian Rose trom “Bill Evans - Live In Paris, 1972 Vol. 3" Letter From Evans, Sept/Oct writing style is very much on the novice level. I put bread on the table for my family by playing an instrument, ot by pounding this ‘word processor. Perhaps the fact that I'm'a jazz player and a scufiling writer will offer readers a deeper look at things from a ‘musical perspective. Chord progressions and the melodies to tunes, suchas “Turn Out The Stars,"**Very Early” and “Laurie” are very real entities tome. [think about them, dream about them, play them ‘hen T can find a piano player 20 inclined, and negotiate playing, Jazz on them at every opportunity. As subscriptions to the newslet- ‘erincrease | intend to have the real jazz writers of the world such 1s Gene Lees, Len Lyons, James Lincoln Collier, Leonard Feather and others make contributions toLLFE. Until that time, readers may ‘hayeto contend with some mediocre writing about some very great music, Reader participation is encouraged to help me clean up and {intensity my concepts and correct the errors that Iwill undoubtedly ‘make, Unsolicited manuscripts and monographs will be accepted. “There are many who were, and still are, being influenced by this ‘music and they each have a story to tell, 1 urge all readers to communicate with the publication, clearing up errors and offering any insight into specific items, Letters to the editor are encouraged ‘nd will be subject to being printed unless the waiter wishos otherwise, “The name, "LETTER FROM EVANS” isa variation on thetitle ‘of ono of his compositions, “Lettor to Evan,” recorded only four times, the firstbeing in November of 1979. At thattime Evan Evans, Bill's son, was eight orninc, The tite “LETTER FROM EVANS” ‘was chosen in attempt to provide a sort of legacy to Evan Evans. Bill Evans certainly had his problems and details about his personal life will always be somewhat confused and muddled. In spite of this, his gift to the musical world was immeasurable. Pianists, and all musicians thatare touched by his music, owe great deal io Bill ‘Evans. By spreading the word with this publication hope to inform ‘thers ofthe magic associated with his music and learn more in the process. ‘Win Hinke New Releases ‘The heading, “New Releases” might seem a little out of place in a newslener dedicated w a jazz pianist who died nine years ago. However, I'm optimistic that occaisionally there will be new releases of previously recorded Bill Evans performances. Warner Brothershas recorded enough material foratleasttworeleases from the Village Vanguard appearances in June of 1980 [fall BillEvans cathusiasts would coniact Warner Bros., showing their interest, perhaps it would move them to initiate a releasc. ‘In the meantime, some labels are releasing or re-releasing Bill Evansrecorings. BILL EVANS LIVE IN PARIS 1972 Vol. 1, Vol. 2 and Vol. 3 Esoklun CDs, FCD 107, FD 114, FCD 125 RecondedFeb. 6, and Dec. 17, 1972 at Maison de laRagio, Paris Broadcast on ORTF, Paris. Photographs and cover concept by Francis Paudras and Chris- tian Rose Distibued in France by Wortre Music, France, Page L - LETTER PROM EVANSis: saanirwcente | apannual Ant Titer Stccaotesto, Area ee oo. i Say Wh me Le a2 sie poo The cover | S ee e elt tore: Prootteader: ee oe in US by World Records. P.O. Box 2613 San Rafael, CA 94912 Vol. 1. 1. Re: Person I Know 2. Tum Out The Stars | 3. Gioria’s Step 4, Two Lonely People 5. Waltz For Debby(sic) 6. What Are You Doing The Rest Of Your Life 5 Vol. 2. 4, Twelve Toe Tune ‘ 2. Sugarplum 3. Quict Now 4. Vory Early 5. Autumn Leaves 6. Time Remembered Letter From Evans, Sept/Oct. 7. My Romance 8, Someday My Prince Will Come Vol. 3. LEka 2. Detour Ahead 3.34 Skidoo 4. Alfie 5.Peri’s Scope 6. Blue'N Green 7.Emily 8, Who Can I Turn To 9. Some Other Time 10Nardis 1, Waltz For Debby. ‘These CDs correspond to listings #134 and #148 in the Peier ‘Larsendiscography, “Tam On The Stars” and were originally taped and broadcast by ORTF, the French National Radio Broadcasting service in 1972, The bassist and drummer are Eddic Gomez and ‘Marty Morell. The recording was done live in a concert hall with ‘what sounds like very good acoustics and a polite, etentive audience. The piano tone is big and dark and the tone of Gomez's bass is among the best that I've heard from this period. The tanes are pretty much Evans standards, rendered in a fairly predictable fashion. In reviewing Evans recordings 1 am inclined to state “I never heard an Evans recording I didn’t like.” These recordings are no ‘exception. There is some vory fino music on these CDs. Evans and. ‘Gomez have evolved almost a formula treatment to this standard fare Inthe entre three releases I don’t believe I heard Evans comp ‘behind Gomer’s soloing once. Not that comping behind the bass solo is that imporant — it just gives the impression tha on these datss, both players are being tolerant of each other, king great pains not to get in each other’s way. There doesn’t seem to be as much communication between Gomez and Evans as in other recordings. Gomez plays some absolutely wonderful solos. Evans playing is the closest that he might ever come to eliciting the ajotive, perfunctory. However, when Bill Evans is not up to his ‘sual peeformance level, he is still making more masic than others The last CD intheset, Vol. is the fiestof the lot If you can't afford all three, buy this one. However, all three remain a great sampling of middle period Evans and cemonstate the working ‘arrangement that had evolved quite successfully between Gomez ‘and Evans. The recorded sound is state-of-the-art analog. probably recorded on ten inch reels at high speed. Only the drums show & Tile distorion when playing at high volame levels, and this ‘blemish is minor. The transfer to digital CD format is tansparent ‘and readily demonstrates the superiority of the medium over vinyl LP's or cassette tape. ‘The liner notes, translated from the French are interesting, in spite of some obvious lost meaning in the translation. Bill spoke of the date to F. Postif, writer for “Hot Jazz” magazine in April, 1972. about the February concert, “he piano was exceptional, excellent ‘acoustics, all of the conditions were combined to satisfy my ear, ‘That's how I let myself go and played on the sound more than I'm used to." Thore are some very good photographs of Bill. On is reproduced inthe newsleer. (Photo by Christian Rose from “Bill vans - Live Ia Pars, 1972 Vol. 3°) Win Hinkle The LFE Logo ‘The logo graphic for Letter From Evans was a major contribu- tion ftom Mize Ningof Kansas City and Photographer lim Marsal in San Francisco. Mike was possibly the first wo ever contact me when I circulated the idea of on Evane-devoted publication. He | called me on the phone immediately to express his joy. I wasn’t hhome so he talked to my wife, Ellen. She told me that a musician named Mike Ning had called and that he was possibly justas much, (or more of, Bill Bvans fanatic than I was! I called Mike back and teamed that, in addition to being a juzz pianist, be worked as a ‘graphic artist for Hallmark Greeting Card Company. I.seemed very logical 10 ask Mike if he was interested in designing a logo for the publication. Mike is very fond, as Tam, ofthe famous Jim Marshall ‘Photograph of Bill hunched over the piano in a recording studio, sitting on two straight-backed chairs with one inverted (toallow for 1a more appropriate playing height). Most of you are aware that Riverside Records also used this photo as the principal graphic in the release ofthe 18 record, 12.CD set, Bill Evans, The Complete Riverside Recordings. After contacting Terri Hinte at Fantasy Records (the pareatcompany of Riverside) I was able to each Jim ‘Marshall Jim gave uspermission to use this adaptation of his photo. —ED. Many thanks to Mike Ning and Jim Marshall for their invaluable contributions to LFE. The Last Concert in Europe ‘This article is by Hans Petrik, a Bill Evans enthusiast, jour ‘nalist/writer and former piano player living in West Germany. Hans ‘works in the news deparuneat of the Deutsche Welle in Cologne. ‘He has written a book, due to be published this past summer. He describes his work thus: “Ithas.athree part concept-a biographical section at first, thea a short analysis of Bill’s masic and finally a ‘presentation of most of his recorded work.” Hans is interested in finding 2 US publisher and releasing an English versiono‘his book. ‘The translation of the article is by Hans. There are at least two people who believe that they were the last ro interview Bill in the US. I will print them here as they become available, To my mowledge, this account is ofthe last time Bill appeared in Europe. 1 was a private concent given at a residence ncar Cologne on the evening of August 15, 1980. -Ed. ‘Those who were lucky enough to see the Bill Evans trio during the band’s last European tour must have noticed a dramatic dozerioration of tho pianist's health at that ime. In self destructive ‘way. he had weakened his body to a point that became more and ‘more evident, To many people he looked as though he was really suffering. ‘Although in November of 1979 two outstanding records were cut in Paris, he following concerts in Germany and Spain frequeni- ly showed Bill Evans was only able to fulfil hiscontracts with great difficalty, Twootheralbunsmate in December at Madrid's Balboa Ped