When Eliane Elias was on Marian McPartland’s Piano Jazz not long ago, she mentioned a song Bill Evans had given her husband Marc Johnson on tape and that she had taken and provided lyrics for it and released it as a new song.
At the time of her visit with Marian, there was a link to
Holy shit, that reissue of the Vanguard sets looks amazing. I had no idea it existed. My favorites are his “Conversations with Myself” (especially his great blues feel and walking bass on “Blue Monk”), “Explorations” (my favorite with the LaFaro/Motian trio), “Moonbeams” and the “Turn Out the Stars” box set from the early 1980s (if I remember the name correctly – with Johnson and Joe La Barbera). “Everybody Digs…Bill Evans” is also great with Philly Joe on drums – Clark Coolidge has some good stuff on that album in his very rich paperback “Now It’s Jazz.”
I can’t do Youtube links now, but I’m sure they’re all up there somewhere or on Rhapsody.
That was great hearing “Minority” again – nothing like it with PHILLY EFFING JOE hitting it and with Bill’s wild sense of pushing against the time. Gigi Gryce, who wrote the tune, has some great records as well, under his own name, with some of the best players around then with him. Great writer, no slouch as a performer as well, terrific combo leader.
This is one of my favorites from the 1961 Vanguard sessions: Detour Ahead. I can still remember when, after having owned the album for quite a while, “getting it” while listening with cans on a crummy bus in a crummy little town. Here’sBillie Holliday singing it.
Excellent tune, great renditions. I went ahead and listened to the Eliane Elias version, too, and something about that one made me remember that the sound I kept hearing in the tune that I knew I had heard before was from Kurt Elling! That’s been years, on the radio, but the thing was stuck in my memory.
Much like the way Minority was back there somewhere! What you say about Gigi Gryce is a lot like so many of the guys who were active when I first became aware of jazz as the music I prefer. They never made it to the same level of “big time” that guys like Miles and Brubeck and Stan Getz did, but their stamp on the sounds, by way of tunes they either wrote or had superior versions of, has stuck with me in the background. I’ll hear a tune and think of one of those old versions, or one that sounds like it and be taken back to those old times. There have to be dozens if not hundreds of guys like that.
Not to veer to far away from the Bill Evans thing, but just to give an example of what I mean along the Minority lines, this oldie from Brownie is a perfect example: CLIFFORD BROWN & MAX ROACH / Gertrude’s Bounce which I can’t hear without thinking of There Will Never Be Another You – and vice versa. It took me years to identify the tune after having heard it on the radio. That happens often enough to be a big thrill to me. That’s how Minority felt yesterday.
I think “Split Kick” (written by Clifford?) off one of Clifford Brown’s earlier Blue Notes with Lou Donaldson and Horace Silver is off the same changes as “There Will Never Be Another You.” My personal favorite is Jimmy McGriff’s TWNBAY from “Live at the Apollo,” but I like that stuff.
“My Man’s Gone Now” – I don’t have any words for how deep that one has always hit me played by Bill.
I got myself into a real head-scratching ordeal yesterday trying to remember the name of, and thus the spelling of, one of those tunes like Minority that’s so familiar as a tune and yet not quite as familiar as a name. I remembered having heard words to it (a la Jon Hendricks or somebody like him) and it kept coming back to me as “last time I/he saw _____” and something along the lines of “janine” or a similar sounding name.
I think it may have been gambling on Manhattan Transfer that finally lead to all this: