Saturday, 21 February 2015

Bill Evans "The Bill Evans Album" (1971)

For as long as I can remember I have always been fascinated by Jazz music, not for just its soul, but its fade into the shadows over time. Jazz evolved and developed over several decades at a time where information and ideas moved slower. Over this time many styles, ideas and "sub genres" formed before its eruption in popularity in the 50s. This era gave birth to a lot of classic records which have since been forgotten by current generations following its rapid decline through the 70s and 80s. The emergence of Rock music and TV changed society in a big way, so much so that you can barely feel its legacy in modern music. With this disconnect it can be hard to find the right records for you, considering the substantial back catalog of Jazz thats available it is a sea of forgotten wonder to wade through, and its always a pleasure to find something to digest. "The Bill Evans Album" was certainly something I can dig my teeth into, having never heard of this musician before I had no idea what to expect, but alas here was a record I could dive into.

I find it especially difficult to differentiate the deeper artistic expressions in this music, for it is wildly different from modern music. Jazz is classy, bright and sophisticated. That may sound cliche, but its true. This music doesn't revolve around melodic hooks, repetition, beats or sing along lyrics. Its an entirely different construct of sound thats artistically inclined towards free flowing expression and atmosphere. Despite my love of this music, its one I struggle to articulate. Jazz is mysterious and felt beyond words, its as if a higher sense of self is reached through sound that strives for so much more than what we are. What I'm trying to say is despite my enjoyment of this record it doesn't leave me with much to say.

"The Bill Evans Album" is another liquid record that gracefully jams through lush fields of indulging Jazz as Rhodes keys, bright pianos and a walking bass groove vibe back and forth from one another as the kit guides them with gentle timbering ride cymbals, gracious snare fills and sensitive tom rolls. The pianos dances fluently with intricate melodics that glide through scales with a effortless free flowing spirit, signs of a great pianist at work. The bass is often a quite mode of groove, hammering away behind the Rhodes and piano, it occasionally steps into the limelight as all instruments do at one point or another. Its a warm record to feel good with a touch of introspection, more so that acceptance. With no hooks or obvious "moments" to point at, its a fluctuation of feels that wash over at their own desire, occasionally the Rhodes and piano chemistry peaks as captivating melodics overlap in brief instances. Another record in my collection, but nothing on par with the classics.

Favorite Tracks: Funkallero, Re Person I Knew
Rating: 6/10