Arranged by Chuck Israels
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Cat #: JLP-7458DL


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Audio Sample:

Edition: Jazz Little Big Band Arrangement

Description: Swing - Difficult

Publisher: Jazz Lines Publications

Bill Evans’s music is widely appreciated for its nuance and beauty, for its sophisticated harmonic language, and for the extraordinary gradations of touch in his piano playing. All of these are highly developed in his music, but each of them can be heard to some degree in music that precedes Bill’s. There are superb classical pianists whose touch rivals his, a rich history of piano music that includes other characteristics of his music, and wonderful examples of creative and expressive jazz piano playing. But there is one feature of Bill Evans’s music that is nearly unique and usually overlooked; its unparalleled rhythmic variety and invention.

Immersion in this music was the richest experience of my bass playing life. As a composer/arranger, I have taken what I understand from Bill’s aesthetic system, the balanced qualities that made it so rewarding to hear and to play, and included those elements in my writing in every way I could.

Playing an accompanying role while Bill played those extraordinary rhythms was relatively easy, since his execution was rock solid and independent of his surroundings. His consistently reliable control of those complex cross rhythms against a deeply felt pulse made it possible to participate in the music with an intuitive understanding of how they related to the more usual rhythms I could create without fully understanding how complex and sophisticated they were. Notating them so that others can experience how it feels to perform them has been at the same time a more daunting and an illuminating process.

These rhythms have informed all of my music, but they are especially prominent in these interpretations of pieces on which Bill has left his indelible stamp. They are difficult to read, but not impossible to play, and they are an unending source of inspiration and out and out fun.

This is a piece without dominant chords that maintains a sense of resolution and momentum in spite of the absence of tritones built into the harmony. The A sections are built on a succession of quickly moving Major 7th chords and the bridge has two static minor 7th chords over pedal tones. there is an open solo section, a piano solo and ww doubles (flute and bass clarinet). The trick for the soloists is resist the temptation to "run the changes" - playing a lot of notes during the quickly moving harmonies in the A sections and then to settle into static longer notes in the bridge. Exactly the opposite approach will produce better balanced results; longer note values and skipping some of the harmonic details in the A sections and faster, more virtuosic playing during the bridges. (It is possible to play a coherent solo while eliminating every other chord in the A sections.) This is an effective piece that is quite unusual.

-Chuck Israels

Full Score
Flute/Alto Saxophone
Tenor Saxophone
Bass Clarinet