Monday, May 4, 2015

Music For Monday — Bill Evans: Peace Piece

Even without America's endless War on Everything and Everyone, Monday is a shock to the system after a weekend (whether restful or raucous). This piece by one of America's greatest musicians ever, the late Bill Evans, may be just what you need:

Need more? Listen (offsite) to the works by Erik Satie that were surely Evans's inspiration for the Peace Peace... different meter, different degree of dissonance, but very much in the same spirit: the three Gymnopedie.

Blissed out yet?


  1. I've heard Bill Evans live a number of times. He was teaching at Indiana University when I attended the language school there, and then I caught him at Ronnie Scott's jazz club in London. One of the guys in my class married one of Evans's master class piano students, so he kept track of his gigs.

    1. Bryan, Bill Evans's tracks are, to me, as fresh and new as the day he laid them down; his originality and the keenness of his craft were truly for the ages. It always gives me pause when I remember that he passed away in 1980 (barely over 51 years old); if I didn't know better, I'd imagine him among today's top-ranked jazz pianists. One can't help wondering, with Evans as with Mozart, what his later years would have yielded if he had lived to perform in old age (as, e.g., Brubeck did). I've bought a ridiculous number of CDs of his work, and when I run across one unfamiliar to me, I'm still tempted to snap it up.

      In my own limited attempts to learn more about jazz piano, years ago, I bought a couple of transcriptions of his solos and dutifully put them on the music desk in front of me. At the time, beyond simply being technically incompetent to play them, I couldn't even understand how he did what he did. I've made some progress over the years on that last attempt... but I still can't play the damned things, not even badly. Technique is essential to any musician. I performed on the instrument on which I was gifted with craftsmanly though not outstanding technique (recorder); it's a better choice than embarrassing oneself onstage!



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