Tuesday, April 18, 2006

not everybody digs

Fascinating, in-depth Bill Evans discussion over at Bagatellen. Is the I-don't-like-Bill camp taking over? Make sure to also read the essay Larry Kart has posted in the comments section, it's taken from his book "Jazz In Search Of Itself." My own experience of Evans is limited: after years of "Waltz For Debby" consistently failing to grab me (texture, as dissected by Djll, is the probable culprit), I was very agreeably surprised by "Everybody Digs Bill Evans."

Some passages of Tom Djll's text are of relevance to an ongoing dicussion of young musicians and Charlie Parker. Djll relates his feeling in regards to his brief stay at Berklee in 1974:

"The irony is that Berklee’s blinkered approach to the jazz tradition – concentrating on the years 1955 to 1965 – was soon taken up with a vengeance by the neocon revolutionaries of the Eighties. But at least Marsalis and his allies looked farther back in time, and now it’s expected that any real piano player be able to pull some Walleresque stride out of the pocket – just for fun, mind you"

Berklee remains incredibly central to jazz education, but perhaps the overall viewpoint has changed in the 30 years since?