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Bebop Spoken There

John McDonough (reviewing Bright Red Dog’s In Vivo): “When you improvise on nothing, that’s what you get”. - DownBeat August 2021

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Postage

13,508 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 13 years ago. 926 of them this year alone and, so far, 90 this month (July 27).

Wednesday, July 14, 2021

Album review: Falkner Evans - Invisible Words

Falkner Evans (piano)

Some of the most emotional and heart-rending piano music  since Chopin's Nocturne in E flat major with some additional input from maybe Debussy, Dameron, Tristano and Bill Evans. Given the background to the recording it's hardly surprising.

Linda, Falkner Evans' wife of 22 years, took her own life in May, 2020. Despite having a happy marriage, Linda was prone to depression. This was something she'd struggled with throughout her life and the tragic ending, it's said, could have been exacerbated by the isolation induced by the pandemic.

Unable to live with the memories of their life together in the Greenwich Village apartment they'd shared for so many years, Evans spent a week staying with his brother in Massachusetts. One afternoon, left to his own devices, he wandered into the basement and found a battered old upright piano. He describes it as "a real piece of you know what but, it was still a piano".

Despite the instrument's inadequacies he, nevertheless, managed to come up with the first three tunes on the album and he liked what he heard whilst, at the same time, realising that he had to get into a studio and record them - and the other compositions that followed.

I too liked what I heard after playing it only once. Even without the background knowledge, it would be an album I'd have found enjoyable and compelling. However, once my awareness of the tragic circumstances and the love that brought about the music sunk in it became a masterpiece that transcended genres and, although it's personal to Evans and the couple's inner circle of friends, just by listening I feel as though I'm part of that circle. Maybe just on the periphery but, with each listening, I'm getting closer.

Linda must have been a very loving person to have inspired such a portrait - I'm running out of tissues... Lance.

Release date: August 13 - Consolidated Artists Productions (CAP 1070).

Invisible Words; You're Next, Ladybug; Brightest Light; Breathing Altered Air; Made Visible; Lucia's Happy Heart*; The Hope Card; Invisible Words For Linda.

*Lucia refers to Linda's Italian heritage.

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