“Who do you like the most? Is there any particular album, musician or jazz standard that you prefer?” are questions about jazz that makes me feel uneasy. I don’t know how to answer these questions. Who should I list? The amount of happiness listening to musicians and their interpretations gives me is so overwhelming that I feel like I would betray someone if I were to give a reply.
However; I remember how effected I was when I listened to Denny Zeitlin’s composition Quiet Now for the first time on Bill Evans’s Paris Concert album. This interpretation was almost like a religious experience for me, with Bill Evans’s unique style, the freedom he gives to his double bass player by playing his piano at the upper mids, the endless finesse in the rhythm, and the way melody merges with the big romantic idea. the beauty of this led me to make some research, and I observed that Bill Evans has played this piece and many others for many years until he could perform the most beautiful version of them. The notes were like crystals falling onto the piano’s keyboard. I don’t know why Quiet Now, but I have internalized this piece by listening to it for more than 30 years and I can sing Bill Evans’s interpretation by heart.
Then I discovered Jobim’s composition Minha on the same album. It was incredibly beautiful as well.
My dear pianist friend, the director of the Bill Evans Academy who passed away several years ago, Barnard Maury once told me in Paris “He is such an incredible talent that sometimes he only plays once during recording sessions and doesn’t see it necessary to do another take.” about his close friend Bill Evans.
I personally believe that Bill Evans is the most important poet-pianist in jazz history because of the influence of the French classical impressionist musicians on his harmonies, the notes he chose for his chords, his romanticism and ultimately the combination of all these elements…