Wonderful Tunes Provided By Friends. Wild Tangents Provided By Me.

Jim Hall and Bill Evans

NOTE: The show I’m discussing in this post is “Cinematic Titanic.” It features much of the original cast of the TV show Mystery Science Theater 3000. They are still riffing on movies and they are quite hilarious even though they did break my car.

Jim Hall joins the short but impressive list of “still alive” artists on this thread. He is also only the second guitarist. Frank Zappa was the first. I’m pretty sure that’s true but I haven’t looked back to check.

Bill Evans and Jim Hall worked together on 4 albums. The most famous one is 1963’s “Undercurrent.” Music experts who know more than me call their style “chamber jazz” because of its similarities to classical chamber music.

I think it must be written somewhere that every jazz artist must record “My Funny Valentine” at least once. This duo did it not once but TWICE on this album. Both versions are really lovely but I refuse to post either of them on grounds of lyric dysfunctionality! No, there are no vocalists on this album. I’m just fractious that way. =) I chose another song which has much kinder words for lovers. Here is a beautiful and completely instrumental version of “I Hear A Rhapsody.”

Here’s what happened to my car. On the way to the Family Arena in St Louis my brakes suddenly went mushy. I wasn’t too alarmed at first but by the time we got to the theater it was actually getting pretty hard to stop. I was concerned enough to tell my two lovely passengers to find rides back to the hotel with the rest of the gang so I could go to a gas station. After the show I slowly drove it to the nearest BP and parked it under a strong light. Then I filled the little hopper thingy with fluid, put my hands on my hips, looked at things intently, knitted my brow and nodded knowingly. It’s my usual method of car repair and you’d be surprised at how often it works! This time it got the brakes from flat back to just mushy. I was able to drive home from St Louis and to work the next day without incident. By Tuesday they got too mushy again. After work I drove straight to the mechanic and as I was pulling into the parking lot they failed completely. I rolled into a parking space and slammed on the emergency brake to avoid crashing into the building! ‘Twas a most upsetting evening. Cookies were consumed. Maybe I should invest in a Bill Evans album for times like that!

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