Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Trust the music, not the hype

When Something for You: Eliane Elias Sings & Plays Bill Evans came out early in 2008 on Blue Note, considerable attention was paid to two tracks that Evans was working on before his death in 1980, but were not believed to have recorded by him.

One of them, to which pianist Elias added lyrics and titled “Here is Something for You,” became the source for the CD title.

Listening to Bill Evans’ The Complete Fantasy Recordings this fall, a friend with substantial musical ears concluded quite quickly that Evans indeed had recorded what was reborn as “Here is Something for You.”

However, Evans called the tune “The Opener.” It can be found on the Fantasy anthology set. The recording first appeared in 1977 as track 7 on Evans’ final Fantasy trio album I Will Say Goodbye.

Elias’s disc ends with a 2:13 segment of Evans playing the opening of the tune on a rehearsal cassette tape that Evans had given to bassist Marc Johnson, who is Elias’s husband. Johnson worked in Evans’ last trio from 1978-1980, after "The Opener" was recorded.

The other “new” Evans revelation is more likely to withstand the litmus test. That instrumental was completed and arranged by Elias and titled “Evansesque.”

If any of you discover otherwise, do let me know.

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