Sunday, January 6, 2008

Symbiotic aural vagabonds sauntering magnetic, melodic soundscapes in rhythm to Time (or) Jazz is Good

MOG Post: 1/6/2008
Artist: Bill Evans Trio
Album: Waltz For Debby
Track: Milestones
1961 Riverside Records

MOG wakes up in 2008 to many posts about good hangover music. I happen to mention Bill Evans on Bartleby's post, then I go listen to dermahrk's good tune, and suddenly my email invites me to a most beautiful Bill Evans post just then upped by mogger DLuebbert*. Karmic - perhaps. I hearkened to a mood that hit me during the Christmas week. I was enjoying a (rare) post by my good friend MasonJar just the week prior when MOG informed us with moovyphreak's post about Oscar Peterson's passing on December 23rd. With the festivities downstairs wrapping up (so to speak), I went into a depressed and very introspective state up in my stereo confines and quiet speakers. With lack of proper Oscar Peterson cuts I then steeped myself in Bill Evans the rest of the night - getting stupid drunk and loving every key I heard. It raped my soul in a warmth so, so forgiving of the pain of these feelings of "loss." We all suffer - it seems especially true during the holidays. Either a loved one inevitably passes during the season or we become overwhelmed from the lost presence of someone during the celebrations. I suppose the sense is karmic. The solstice of winter is a death toll. We have once again hit the coldest, darkest part of the year and all is frigid and still. To a coming equinox and a return to the other side of this circle game we spin - so it goes and so the music soothes the emotions through every turn.

I will expurgate (and relieve you) my junk writing and my thoughts about this cut vis-à-vis Miles Davis' 1958 staccato renditions. Besides, Mr. Luebbert writes much finer jazz reviews. I want you to really listen to that Evans' performance. Try and sense what is going through his head as he plays that song in 1979 - watch his brow. He is feeling the loss of someone. That someone is the man playing the bass in this tune. Scott LaFaro died untimely and Bill really never recovered. The song, "RE : Person I Knew" is the first track from Evans' first release after LaFaro's death (this track here recorded only three weeks before the car accident). When you hear the interplay in this track you'll catch a glimpse of the symbiosis that jazz is all about. Scott LaFaro was a virtuoso (think of him like a Django Reinhardt of the upright bass) - matching Bill at such levels of communication that we can only imagine. We listen from afar and bask in the beauty of the musical interplay. We share in the joy of interacting with life in moving harmony and live dynamics. It is, truly sad when it is no longer. We miss all of them. Oh such keys...

On a local sad note, this tune is similar to what we regularly hear here every Sunday at a club called Shakespeare's. Like family, we gathered around beautiful piano jazz and clinking glasses for some 12 years. Jerry had to close the doors to the establishment last Sunday night (economy) - it was a bittersweet evening. To an uncharacteristically packed house he kidded us "I should'a put up a closing sign every week!" Our local legend Neil Bridge and his hot trios often had Neil's former students sitting in - it was always something live and new for the ears. I feel bad for Neil (and our grateful ears) .. where's he gonna score a cool regular weekly gig like that again .. we're losing cool stages and hangouts like this to choose from anymore - depressingly shameful for arts and culture not to converge and imbibe somewhere.
Here's to good jazz clubs everywhere - may you thrive, prosper, and live long. Cheers! I sure wish I could have been at the Village Vanguard, New York, June 25, 1961.

Paul Motion


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