Bill Evans: Come Rain Or Come Shine


Come Rain Or Come Shine


Bill Evans (piano)


Portrait In Jazz (Riverside 30678)

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Bill Evans (piano), Scott LaFaro (bass), Paul Motian (drums).

Composed by Harold Arlen and Johnny Mercer.


Recorded: New York, December 28, 1959


Rating: 95/100 (learn more)

In many ways, Bill Evans’ version of “Come Rain Or Come Shine” is about abstraction and dissonance. The dissonances show up in the very first chords Evans plays, a set of tightly-voiced chords with minor seconds (the smallest interval on the keyboard) fighting each other all the way. The abstraction starts there too, as Evans plays a very fragmented and sometimes unrecognizable interpretation of the Arlen melody. Indeed, the first chorus is as much improvised as written, with Evans stretching the harmony further and further out, and only implying the melody as the chorus continues. In the second chorus, Evans starts out with single lines and then a minor second shows up at the end of a line. Whether or not it was a fingering mistake, it seems to have a life of its own, and Evans stabs away at it as if he were trying to exorcise a demon. He returns to the abstract single lines until the middle of the second chorus, when he returns to the melody. This time, the melody is clearer and a minor second that turns up is let to pass without incident. However, on the final chord, Evans fills with a tag comprised of minor seconds, effectively giving them the last word.

Reviewer: Thomas Cunniffe

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  • 1 Gary // May 18, 2009 at 01:08 PM
    I think it would be productive to look at the scales he was altering the chords with and the other version in print he created several years later in understanding his intent.
  • 2 Winson Hinkle // May 19, 2009 at 06:28 PM
    With Bill Evans, sometimes it's not as simple as chord scale relationships. He would often color the chord or specific "sound" he wanted at a certain time without using the note later when improvising a solo line. And of course, often there is no fine line between a solo line and the constant soloing format when playing with Scotty. Thomas, it's good to see individual track performances reviewed than entire CDs which often includes material from different sessions.