Music author Gene Lees wrote the lyrics to the classic Bill Evans melody "Turn out the Stars," which Jillette sings above a shuffle intro. She has an intriguing voice. It is breathy, yet has a deepness at the same time. She enunciates in a cool emphatic manner that compels you to listen to every word. The instrumental break is proof that the Kelsey Jillette Group is not simply a backing band for a talented vocalist. Drummer Adam Pache's beats support the very fine efforts of guitarist Hiro Honma, baritone saxophonist Tom Abbott and B-3 player Brad Whiteley. On "Turn out the Stars," Whiteley's role is especially impressive. (He and Jillette arranged the piece as well, which may be a clue to his performance.) The Kelsey Jillette Group is the real deal. You need to give them a listen.
March 17, 2009 · 3 commentsTags: bill evans covers
"Turn out the Stars" reveals the elements of Malone's description. Lund exhibits a wise-beyond-his-years ability to strip away all but the truest sense of a standard's melody and harmonic groundwork (à la Hall and Frisell), and there's no better way to sense this gift than on Lund's interpretation of one of Bill Evans's lyrical compositions. As Lund's improvisation develops, so does its complexity, as evidenced by the web of propulsive ideas he weaves between 2:30 and 3:30. But not to worry: his classic tone and relaxed style create a fluidity that makes this heavy thinking as comfortable to listen to as his unembellished melodic statements. Busy New York players Orlando LeFleming and Rodney Green are elegant throughout, especially LeFleming's Haden-esque harmonic predictions of Lund's every move. We'll be hearing a lot more from all of these players, with Lund gently leading the way.
March 11, 2009 · 0 commentsTags: bill evans covers
Evans lovingly plays his hypnotic theme with a rich and ringing tone, before Adderley contributes his own reading. Adderley sounds unusually prim, refined and proper, at least until he begins his solo, at which point he quickly reveals his more bluesy and soulful side, combined with technical polish, lucid lyricism and irresistible warmth. Evans follows only too briefly, as Adderley regrettably reprises the theme before the pianist can fully develop any ideas. As for Heath and Kay, they more than adequately complement Adderley and Evans, with Kay in particular supplying a very becoming and propulsive rhythmic framework. Adderley and Evans had come a long way since appearing together on Miles Davis's Kind of Blue two years before, and it could be that each was just hitting his stride at the time this track was recorded.
February 18, 2009 · 1 commentTags: bill evans covers
February 02, 2009 · 0 commentsTags: bill evans covers
January 20, 2009 · 0 commentsTags: bill evans covers
This rendition of the popular Evans staple allows the Norwegian songbird to stretch her wings a bit, demonstrating her musician's sensibility on an all-too-brief solo before handing it over to her veteran sidemen. The group demonstrates a confident, polished interplay that comes only from acute listening skills and mutual respect. Bjorn Alterhaug's tasty basslines provide the perfect launch pad for Hilde's intimate vocal head, while Egil Kapstad's interpretation stands up well to close scrutiny from Evans aficionados. Solos are compelling and substantive all around.
It may be the northern latitudes, the artistic climate or the sangfroid of the people; but whatever the reason, jazz is very cool in Norway. In my humble opinion, Hilde and company are the tip of that iceberg.
August 31, 2008 · 0 commentsTags: bill evans covers
"Turn Out The Stars" was one of Evans's most esoteric pieces. It was heard on the Bill Evans and Jim Hall record Intermodulation and even earlier at Evan's Town Hall concert. Evans and Hall formed a compelling bond over several recordings. so it makes all the sense in the world for the tune to be performed in duet by Hancock and McLaughlin – two musicians who formed their own bond in their formative years with Miles Davis. Hancock's style is slightly heavier-handed than Evans was. But this is just an indication of his power and not a detriment to his lovely presentation. McLaughlin's tone on this performance is warm and processed. In the group he was playing with at the time, The Free Spirits, this was bit of a problem because its sound would get lost beside Joey DeFrancesco's B-3 organ. Here, however, placed against a piano, the tone is quite pleasing. Each master musician plays lush chords as the other presents seamless and meaningful improvisations. The duo's interplay is telepathic. Evocative single-note runs eventually join to bring this moving tribute to Evans's legacy to an end.
July 03, 2008 · 0 commentsTags: bill evans covers
Forman takes Bill Evans's lovely waltz "Very Early" on an aggressive jaunt. His block chords develop a substantive theme that leads to a swing approach of a tune that Evans most often played as almost a fragile lullaby. Importantly, Forman is joined by bassist Eddie Gomez and drummer Jack DeJohnette, both pivotal players in Evans's trios. This trio attacks the piece with an energy that connotes their true respect for Evans. They are putting out. At one point, Forman and the band do tone things down a bit to play with some of that fragility I mentioned earlier. But they quickly return to the faster tempo. I suppose these three could have played "Very Early" much in Evans's style. But what would be the point of mimicry? A better tribute is to take the man's tune and create from it. This they have done.
April 24, 2008 · 0 commentsTags: bill evans covers
This is a tender, heartfelt and ultimately hopeful rendition of Bill Evans's classic. Broadbent's piano intro hints at a sad story to come. But Haden's bouncing bassline and Thielemans's resonant and upbeat harmonica quickly tell another. Erskine skillfully works the brushes to count off this waltz. Violinist Goodman joins in and plays the part of Stéphane Grappelli. (For more of this type of playing from Goodman, please check out the movie soundtrack to Dirty Rotten Scoundrels.) Thielemans's turn comes around again. He and Goodman trade tasty licks. Broadbent's piano returns to play the coda. Get me another glass of Chardonnay, please.
March 14, 2008 · 0 commentsTags: bill evans covers
January 26, 2008 · 0 commentsTags: bill evans covers
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