Sunday, December 14, 2008

Times Remembered and Anticipated

Hello again,

I recently watched a DVD entitled Bill Evans Trio: The Oslo Concerts, which showcased two concerts from 1966 and 1980. Although I have long admired Evans, watching these performances really opened my eyes and set my imagination on fire. In particular, I was impressed with his bass players (Eddie Gomez in '66, I think, and Marc Johnson in '80).

I didn't recognize Gomez because, when I saw him perform at UArts in the late '90s with Joanne Brackeen, he scatted along with all of his lines. According to the research I did after watching the Evans DVD, Gomez began working with Evans in '66, so it's not a stretch to draw the conclusion that he is the bassist on that video. I didn't notice any musician credits on the video either, which I find frustrating.

Evans was supported by Marc Johnson (bass) and Joe LaBarbera (drums) for the 1980 performance, and the interplay between them was truly exquisite. Before I attempted to learn who the sidemen were in this concert, I thought I recognized Johnson's style. In fact, a few years ago now, I helped a colleague of mine transcribe part of Johnson's solo from a recording of "Nardis" made in 1980 for an article on form. (I don't know if it was ever published or not; the last thing I heard about this project was that the article was still under review.)

Anyway, I suppose the basic point I am making is that anyone who likes Evans at all should check out this DVD if they have not already done so.

On another note, a friend of mine has finally convinced me to meet with him in the new year to have a regular jam session. Because I tend to have a tough time remembering tunes, I just asked him what tunes he wanted to play. For starters, we'll be working on:

  • "'Round Midnight"
  • "Summertime"
  • "Blue in Green"
  • "Naima"
  • "Gee, Baby Ain't I Good to You"
  • "Inner Urge"
I'm relatively familiar with the first four, and am now working on memorizing "Gee, Baby." If we record any of these meetings, I'll try to post them here.

In the meantime, more practicing for me. Perhaps a selection or two from Mel Bay's Complete Method for Modern Guitar.

Until next time...Excelsior!

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