26 June 2008

BILL EVANS - SYMBIOSIS





















Bill Evans for MPS from 1974.
First posted at OIR July 06.
Symbiosis is a beautiful and vastly overlooked album in Evans’ prolific canon, yet one that needs to be seriously reckoned with. Ogerman, who had worked with Bill on two previous albums in 1963 and in 1965 (Bill Evans With Symphony Orchestra) , composed an adventurous and often hauntingly gorgeousl work in two parts. In the third section of the first movement, working over a slow and gentle jazzy swing, Bill plays long and fast- moving lines on electric piano that catch your ear with their shimmering beauty and complexity. Ogerman writes lush but never maudlin strings (and a few flutes) here in dense, often whole-tone and poly-chordal fashion underneath -- creating a perfect cushion for the pianist’s swirling right-hand lines. The Rhodes fits in well here, as it does sparingly in and out through Symbiosis’ framework. It is often used as punctuation at the end of a written ensemble phrase, or as an ensemble texture. Evans’ choices as to when to use the Rhodes or the Steinway are wise indeed, and not without great sensitivity, integrating seamlessly within the composition. Claus Ogerman as composer-arranger succeeds marvelously here with a work of great harmonic expression and rhythmic interest that showcases Evans’ lyrical expression and his obviously inherent classical strengths, yet within a composition that represents much of what jazz is about. (Ogerman would later do the same for tenor sax virtuoso Michael Brecker for his Cityscape album.) If we consider the aural comparisons to the other albums Bill did with orchestral accompaniment, it is far and away the most superior achievement, and may represent his best use of the electric keyboard in context. “Symbiosis” is far too important to be neglected as often as it has when jazz writers discuss Bill Evans albums. As biographer Keith Shadwick noted: “Evans brings to the work the consummate artistry and sensitivity that occurs when he is stretched and stimulated. His rubato playing in the opening and second movement sometimes alone, sometimes in unison with the strings, is both moving and immensely accomplished in a way that few jazz or classical pianists could have countenanced
Ripped @320 from the deleted 1994 Motor Music cd

20 comments:

bacoso said...

http://rapidshare.com/files/125213894/Bill_Evans.rar

avocado kid said...

sounds cool! Bill on rhodes!

Alexis said...

Thank you!

valdez said...

yeah thanks...was looking for this 1 !

johnv said...

Thanks for the re-post, missed this one too!

King Megatrip said...

bill evans! thanks for this...!

db said...

great music!
check out
calisoulbrother records
for rare soul, jazz, funk, brazil & latin records!

katonah said...

the man is a don ..
many thanks bacoso

winton tostello said...

so much thanks!!
i seem to have a great timing with the re-ups!!

Saint Jude said...

Well, well. I was round a friend's house yesterday. He was playing this LP - rather strange because he's not greatly into jazz. I thought to myself "This is nice. With all the Bill Evans going on round & about, why haven't I seen this ?". I decided to hunt it down, but realised I hadn't noted what the album was called (usually a minor detail).

Thanks, Bacoso, for your contribution to serendipity.

Simon666 said...

Great (re)post bacoso, many thanks for letting me replace the 128k version I had ...
Sometimes I think I should just hand the rhodes blog over to some of you guys :)
Your review nails it too - Ogerman and Evans understand that the rhodes is a different instrument than the acoustic piano, particularly with the way, for example, the warmer bass tones of the rhodes "answer" the woodwind and string sections in the 2nd and 3rd movements.
I get so sick of reading those AMG reviews where anything with a rhodes is dismissed like a bad smell, but I'm heartened to see some sort of generational change talking place away from the "jazz establishment" - seems extraordinary that it's taken 30 years for the 70s textures to be properly digested, and I feel that blogs like yours, Pharoahs', Reza's, Ish's and others are in someway the vanguard of ths re-assessment.
Anyway, thanks again for this great album, so good to finally hear it properly.

Miles said...

i remember seeing this years ago, but i don't recall ever hearing it. i look forward to giving it a spin. thanks for the opportunity

oui said...

a monument of perfection. his best electric album so far, HIGHLY recommended to anyone not having this yet!

Jur said...

It is great to hear Bill on rhodes.
Thanks.

makuma said...

Thank You :)

kizza said...

YES! A Bill Evans album I haven't got! Thanks for adding this one to my collection!

taro nombei said...

Hi Bacoso
I missed this first time round, so many thanks for the re-post.
I've seen a different cover for this (eg on Amazon). Do you know the story on that? Is it the same album or a remaster?
Anyway, much appreciated.
TN

zonoor said...

Wow, this sounds exciting!

Sun Ira said...

Thanks so much! This is a fabulous recording with great writing by Bill and great arrangements by Ogerman. It's almost Terry Riley-ish in places.

Simon666 said...

re-up

http://www.adrive.com/public/zPHmbH/BillEva-Symbio-mp3.zip