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As we all know there are no live gigs taking place in the immediate future. However, any links to jazz streaming that are deemed suitable - i.e. with a professional approach - will be considered for posting.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

The Music of Bill Evans: Paul Edis Trio at the Cherry Tree, November 12.


Paul Edis (piano), Mick Shoulder (bass) and Adam Sinclair (drums)
(Review by Jerry)
Musical ignorance is not actually bliss, but it does have one upside: I am always learning. On Friday it was Django and last night the life of Bill Evans and his music – which can be summarised thus: one bleak, t’ other beautiful!

Bleak? Drunk, abusive father, chronic lack of self-confidence, lifelong problems with drugs and money, accidental death of Scott le Faro and suicides of two of the closest people in his life – partner, Elaine and brother, Harry. “And was there a happy ending?” asked someone in the audience. “No – he died at 51,” came the reply!
But in a sense this sells them all short: we have heard much this year of the word “Legacy” – the legacy of Bill Evans is the joy his music still brings to so many people, years after these sad events. A happy ending, of sorts..
Beautiful? That there WAS joy in his life is evidenced by the fact that so many compositions are dedicated to people who meant much to him. The trio, last night, treated us to Waltz for Debbie (niece), Peri’s Scope (girlfiend),
B Minor Waltz for Elaine (long-term partner), Laurie (girlfriend till his death) and the ingeniously anagrammatic Re Person I Knew (his producer, Orris Keepnews)! Even tragedy inspired beautiful compositions such as the penultimate number at the Cherry Tree – We Will Meet Again.
The sizeable audience responded warmly to all of the above and even more enthusiastically to the most challenging pieces of the evening, Walking Up, 34 Skidoo and the closing number, Five. On TV later the virtuoso, Lang Lang, was praised for his constant exploration of new music as “musicians should not play too much inside their comfort-zone”. Evans clearly felt the need to push himself further both in composition and as a player and it was great to see these local musicians picking up the gauntlet and testing themselves with brilliant, driving, uplifting performances.
The rest of the set-list had something for all tastes- Bill’s Hit Tune, Very Early, Funkallero, My Romance, and Stella by Starlight. Solo piano treats too – I Loves Ya Porgy, the almost Christmassy Childrens’ Play Song, a refreshingly UNsentimental Londonderry Air and (my favourite on the night) the Chopin inspired Peace Piece – the perfect antidote to bleak and tortured!
And all this at another venue I love, where excellent food and friendly, accommodating service is the norm. Exceptionally last night I was not driving, so I even got to try a Black Sheep or two! Learning CAN be fun!
Jerry.

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