BILL EVANS TRIO: HOW MY HEART SINGS
Bill Evans (p) Chuck Israels (b) Paul Motian (drs) NYC; May, 1962
How My Heart Sings (4:56) (Earl Zindars)
I Should Care (4:53) (Cahn-Stordahl-Weston)
In Your Own Sweet Way (5:57) (Dave Brubeck)
Walking Up (4:55) (Bill Evans)
Summertime (5:58) (Gershwin-Heyward-Gershwin)
34 Skidoo (6:19) (Bill Evnas)
Ev’rything I Love (4:13) (Cole Porter)
Show Type Tune (4:23) (Bill Evans)
Notes by BILL EVANS
(plus four comments by Orrin Keepnews)
This record is the second to come from sessions done in May of 1962 on which I worked with Chuck Israels and Paul Motian. The previously released LP from these dates, titled “Moonbeams”, was comprised of material selected for its mood quality and was therefore the first trio album I had recorded which was entirely of a ballad nature. Conversely, the selections represented here are primarily of a more ‘moving’ kind, though there is in the trio’s approach to all material a desire to present a singing sound. Hence, the title of the album, despite its intended program of faster swinging vehicles.
(Comment #1: I might add that this project was the first time I had ever specifically set out to produce two albums by the same group at the same time. I felt that while both an all-ballads and an almost-all-swinging album were valid and unusual ideas for Evans Trio LPs, to record a string of similar tempos in a row might handicap the musicians, perhaps leading – even though not consciously – to diminishing effectiveness. So we proceeded with seeming haphazardness through the pre-planned repertoire, coming eventually to the almost-simultaneous completion of two separate albums. – O.K.)
The title song, How My Heart Sings, is another waltz by Earl Zindars, who composed Elsa (recorded by my trio n the album “Explorations”; and on the LP “Know What I Mean” by a Cannonball Adderley Quartet in which I played). There is a delightful 4/4 interlude in this tune framed by a most lyrical line in 3/4. Earl, a very fine symphonic percussionist as well as a jazz drummer, is also a composer of extended works for strings quartet, brass ensembles, symphony orchestra, etc., and, as is evidenced here, is a songwriter of outstanding merit.
About the rest of the material, I feel I need not elaborate: the standards are well known and the originals will pose no special listening problem.
(Comment #2: I will elaborate somewhat. The three standards illustrate once again Bill’s impeccable taste in selecting such numbers, as well as his uncanny ability to make the supposedly over-familiar, like Summertime, sound completely fresh and to make it seem incredible that the that the relatively unfamiliar, like Ev’rything I Love, could have been overlooked by others. The by now almost-a-standard Dave Brubeck composition, In Your Own Sweet Way, is usually treated as wispy and gentle; Bill uncovers in it a virile, swinging strength. The “no-problem” Evans originals, brighter and brisker than one usually expects from him, are no less lyrical than his norm-demonstrating that such and has nothing at al to do with tempo. Walking Up has a perfectly self-descriptive title; 34 Skidoo, in addition to being the fact that this line rather daringly mixes 3/4 and 4/4 time; Show Tune both captures and kids the flavor of musical comedy music – Bill intended this name as only a temporary working title, but I insisted that it was much too appropriate to throw away. – O.K.)
I should say that most of the material was almost entirely new to us at the date. Although I had composed three of the songs, I had not played them except very superficially and then not in trio context. The necessity of handling this sort of challenge is something of which many people are unaware. Yet this degree of musicianship is commonly expected of the jazz musician.
(Comment #3: The problem Bill refers t is not only little understood, but is also one of the cruelest dilemmas of jazz recording today. It is most often encountered on “pick-up” dates, where the need to juggle busy and unconnected working schedules makes a recording leader feel lucky to find the men he wants all in touch and available on the same days: even one rehearsal is a luxury; for the group to become rally familiar with the music in advance is quite impossible. Even a working band may be any too well-drilled: they may have to spend most of their bandstand time filling requests for tunes previously recorded. Or, as in the present case, the group may simply not have been able – for one reason or another – to work together long enough or often enough to build a large repertoire of brightly-polished, fully worked-out numbers. Thus, quite often, it is the innate skill of the musicians involved, plus, their understanding of and empathy towards each other, that must make the difference between a sloppy or routine recording and successful one. Bu for such reasons, Bill Evans sessions like these can overcome such practical, unfortunate hurdles. It also helps, I must add, for the A & R man to keep his eyes off the clock and not try to rush the musicians through the date. – O.K.)
These session s represent the first recording done by me following the Village Vanguard date which was a record of the final hours of the trio comprised of Motian, the late Scott LaFaro and myself. A little over a year had passed since then and five months of intermittent work with Chuck Israels on bass had renewed my interest in developing a group. Chuck’s playing always has a bright moving pulse and in retrospect I can see how much of a contribution this was to our sound. Perhaps you may hear this difference in the overall feeling of this trio if you are familiar with that of the former. Along with this quality, Chuck also rapidly, almost immediately, began the musical interplay which I had hoped he would want to develop, given the opportunity.
Paul Motian seems destined to play the role of the man who creates a tremendous vacuum when not present, but who, it seems, lacks the appreciation he deserves from the general public. If it is not too much for your imagination, try to listen for a while blanking out the drums and I think you’ll seem what I mean.
There seems little else to say other than my sincere wish that you find some measure of enjoyment in the music herein and to express my gratitude to Bill Schwartau for his superlative engineering and to Orrin Keepnews for his countless goodnesses.
(Comment #4: Bill Schwartau is a superlative recording engineer; undoubtedly one important reason for this is that he, like my usual co-worker Ray Fowler and a very few others, is able to listen with his soul as well as his ears – a very essential quality in the men whose dial settings have so much to do with how a musician’s efforts are transmitted to you. As for “goodnesses”, I’m not quite sure what that means; but I appreciate and enjoy the opportunity of working in the presence of authentic genius. – O.K.)
BILL EVANS albums on Riverside include –
Interplay – with Freddy Hubbard, Jim Hall (445; Stereo 9455)
Moobeams (428; Stereo 9428)
Waltz for Debby (399; Stereo 9399)
Sunday at The Village Vanguard (376; Stereo 9376)
Explorations (351; Stereo 9351)
Portrait in Jazz (315; Stereo 1162)
Everybody Digs Bill Evans (291; Stereo 1129)
New Jazz Conceptions (223)
Evans is also featured on the CANNONBALL ADDERLEY album –
Know What I Mean? (433; Stereo 9433)
Produced by ORRIN KEEPNEWS
Recording Engineer: BILL SCHWARTAU (Sound Makers, Inc. New York City)
Album Design: KEN DEARDOFF
Produced by RIVERSIDE RECORDS, Inc.
235 West 46th Street, New York 36, N.Y.