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"
- "Blue in Green"
- "Gee, Baby Ain't I Good to You"
- "Inner Urge"
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!