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

Posts tagged ‘Bill Evans’

I Believe…

“You Must Believe In Spring” is a pop song written by Alan Bergman, Marilyn Bergman, Jacques Demy and Michel Legrand. I wasn’t able to find out much more about it except that it’s been recorded by several other artists. It is a beautiful sentiment for the day.

It’s been 10 years since 9/11. People all over the country are commemorating the event in whatever way they feel is appropriate. Some are displaying flags and watching the footage while others find the rehashing of events hollow. I think all the ways people choose to process this tragedy are valid and right.

I started the morning discussing it with my daughter who wasn’t born at the time. She learned about it at school and she had some questions. I answered her as best I could because I believe that education is the best way to fight terrorism. I also tried to play this song of hope for her. But she thought the music was too sad plus it has the word “kiss” in it (Ew Mom!) She turned up her nose at the whole affair then skipped out to play in the sun (which, thankfully, continues to shine even 10 years later). Personally, I think that might be the most fitting commemoration of all!

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Ah The Bill Evans Of The Night. What Beautiful Music…!

Bill Evans’ take on this 1945 Jerome Kern tune is awesome. “Up With The Lark” is from the movie “Centennial Summer.” Kern’s score was nominated for an Oscar that year but “The Jolson Story” won.

Well alright one more but this is the last one and then… well I’ll probably listen to them both again. This was filmed near the end of Bill’s life. He looks older than his years but his hands seem oddly smooth and youthful to me. Law’ but he plays beautifully!

I go to bed late but I am almost always up with the larks. I tend to use motherhood to explain away my sleeplessness but really it’s just plain old insomnia. The girlie is slightly resistant to going to bed. For example tonight’s bed time dialog went something like this:

“Mommy, can I read you just one more book before I go upstairs?”

“Alright but it has to be a really short book.”

“Okay, just let me get a pencil and some paper and I’ll write one!”

Once we read a pre-written book, she went to bed without any drama and she’ll stay that way until well after sun up tomorrow.

I, on the other hand will still be up for hours and I’ll probably be awake again before rosy dawn touches the horizon. I don’t actually get out of bed though because waking up early makes you a perfectly acceptable insomniac but getting up early makes you a morning person and I shudder at the thought of becoming one of those!

Bill Evans, Missed Opportunities, And Me

Every time I listen to another Bill Evans song I think “Now this is his most beautiful song” and then I hear some more. “Some Other Time” is a perfect example. I think it’s his most beautiful song.

This particular version of “Some Other Time” comes from a 1961 live recording at the Village Vanguard.  Bill recorded it again in 1975 with Tony Bennett. For me the lyrics really change the mood of the song. The version I posted feels absolutely peaceful but Tony Bennet’s vocals about missed opportunities bring out the wistful qualities.

I guess missed opportunities happen to us all. I wonder if it’s even possible to always remain open and receptive to all the bounty the universe wishes to give us. Then again it’s sometimes hard to even recognize opportunities when they do crop up because the mysterious forces which guide the heavens and earth are, well… mysterious! But as long as opportunity pins me down and knocks sharply and repeatedly on my forehead with a blunt object, I’ll be sure to seize it immediately!

Bill Evans And Tony Bennett Diverging Fates

This is from the 1975 album “Tony Bennett and Bill Evans Album.”  The 70’s were not terribly kind to Tony Bennett. He divorced one wife and separated from another, he went bankrupt and developed a near fatal drug habit. Bill Evans, on the other hand, was relatively stable for at least part of the decade. He’d just kicked his decades long heroin habit and he entered a time of peak creativity. Of course by the end of the decade Tony Bennett was on the road recovery while Bill Evans turned to cocaine which killed him in 1980.

The 70’s was a decade of training for me; training of the potty variety, training of the wheel variety, and finally training of the bra variety. I’m still not sure what those bras were trying to train exactly but I exited puberty with the right equipment so I guess I passed.

Bill Evans And My Unexpected Level Of Sophistication

Here’s Bill Evans with the theme some for the movie “The Americanizaiton Of Emily”

“The Americanization of Emily” is a Julie Andrews movie that I’ve never seen! I’ve probably mentioned it like 8000 times but it bears repeating. I LOVE Julie Andrews! I found the movie streaming online so I’ll definitely be watching it this week.

I love the Bill Evans version of this song. Johnny Mercer, who I also love, wrote beautiful lyrics for it so I also really like the Tony Bennett version. Sinatra also sang the song but I think Bennett sounds more besotted and this is definitely a song that requires a bit of moony eyed passion.

I love the trivia I pick up writing in this blog. I thought it was interesting that this clip was from 1970 but it was in black and white. It turns out most of Europe didn’t get color TV until the mid-seventies.  The mid seventies was also when we traded our old black and white set for a new (to us) color set. I always thought we were just sorta broke because my mom was young and just starting out. But it turns out we were just “continental!”

Bill Evans’ Muse

Bill Evans is one groovy cat! “Waltz For Debby” was written for his 1956 album “New Jazz Conceptions” but the most famous version is on his 1961 album “Waltz For Debby.” The song was inspired by his young niece. Even though this is an instrumental version, it does have gorgeous lyrics by Gene Lees that make me want to hug and kiss my daughter for six or seven hours straight. There are probably laws against that. Rightly so.

I can say with 99.92% confidence that I have never inspired anyone’s creative endeavors. I don’t have a face or figure that makes anyone gasp and cry “I must paint you!” No one inclined to write poetry has ever been smitten with me, and I don’t lead the sort of life that novels or movies are based on (probably a good thing). I think my best chance at immortality might be a photo spread on the People Of Walmart website. Someone fetch me my lime green stretch pants and my halter top made of bandannas. Today I am a muse!

Death Defying Miles Davis

“So What” is a Bill Evans composition and it’s the first track off the 1959 Miles Davis album “Kind Of Blue.” According to Wikipedia it is one of the best known examples of modal jazz. It’s 16 bars of D Dorian followed by 8 bars of E flat Dorian. The song is so nifty it even has a chord named after it in music circles! My extensive knowledge of music theory has led me to the following conclusion: Dorian is a pretty word.

How did any of us survive the 60’s and 70’s? Absolutely everything we did was deadly back then. All of our toys were pointy, explosive, and covered in sweet delicious lead paint. All of our buildings were stuffed with asbestos. We ate nothing but lard fried pork products and EVERYTHING contained sugar. We never wore seat belts and my only car seat was my momma’s lap! My grandparents smoked like chimneys through all of 8 healthy pregnancies between them. While I was watching this video I noticed that all of these men, whose livelihoods  depended on their ability to breath, were either smoking or enjoying the rich satisfying flavor of second hand smoke and absolutely no one seems disturbed. Heck it never bothered me when I was a kid either. Now that we’re living in the germ free, bubble wrapped 21st century any prolonged exposure to cigarette smoke sends me into sinus purgatory!

PS Completely off the point but Miles Davis is the scariest looking man who ever lived. Period.

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