Bill Evans – You Must Believe In Spring

Bill Evans

I haven’t written any single post on Bill Evans yet (well with the exception of this not very serious one, and my 25 Essential Jazz albums).

Shame on me. Given how much I love this pianist, and the form of the Jazz Piano Trio that he essentially created (or at least brought it to a whole new level), this is a sin.

To be rectified right now.

Bill’s Three Trios

Bill Evans essentially had three trios over time. He started with the mythic combination of  Scott LaFaro and Paul Motian in the 1950s and early 60s, until Scott died tragically in a car accident. If you don’t have Live At The Village Vanguard or Waltz for Debbie, you have missed some outstanding recordings.

For many Bill Evans purists, there is no true Bill Evans after LaFaro’s death. Some may concede that his last trio with Marc Johnson and Joe LaBarbera did some outstanding recordings (and I’d agree, hence them being listed in my above mentioned 25 essential Jazz albums with Consecration.

However, the trio that Evans ended up playing the longest time, with Eddie Gomez and several different drummers, doesn’t get the same level of awareness.

Which is a pity as there are some true gems, and Gomez has a very particular sound to his bass, which suits Evans really well.

You Must Believe In Spring (Rhino/Warner 1977/1981)

Bill Evans You Must Believe In Spring Rhino Warner 1977

This is the last album that Evans played with Gomez before he left the trio. On drums we feature Eliot Zigmund.

Why do I love this album so much? Well, as mentioned above, Gomez has a really nice sound, and this being a decent studio recording it really comes across very well.

Furthermore there is the title song You Must Believe In Spring, written by the great Michel Legrand for the musical movie Les Demoiselles de Rochefort by the French Director Jacques Demy.

It is taken from one of the most cheesy scenes of the entire movie, the young sailor singing about his troubles trying to find his dream girl, also known as La Chanson de Maxence:

 

For comparison, here’s Bill Evans version:

 

For context, I usually hate musicals, and any kind of movie where people all over sudden start singing (sorry, Bollywood), but somehow this movie is different. Probably this is due to the fact that I saw it during my student days in an old Roman theatre in the middle of summer in an open air cinema with good friends.

The entire atmosphere was so nice that I cannot help myself but having positive memories with this movie, and therefore having a Jazz version of this song helps (Note that I had the album before I even saw the movie, and somehow my subconscious recognized the melody when I saw the film for the first time).

The rest of the album is nice mixture of late Bill Evans standards like the famous Theme From M.A.S.H but also some lesser know compositions. All are very enjoyable.

My rating: 4 stars

You can find it here (Qobuz)

3 thoughts on “Bill Evans – You Must Believe In Spring

  1. Pingback: Album of the Evening - Page 396

  2. frightwig

    I would put Bill Evans’ 1970s recordings with Gomez, and mostly Marty Morell on drums, up there with the music by his more celebrated trios. I think that trio really hit its stride with the 1972 concert recordings from the Netherlands (Momentum) and Paris (Complete February 1972 Paris ORTF Performance), and carried on at a high level until Gomez left in 1977. The Tokyo Concert and Half Moon Bay from 1973, the Village Vanguard recordings from 1974 (Since We Met, Re: Person I Knew), the Evans/Gomez duo recordings (Intuition and Montreux III), Live in Switzerland 1975, and Köln Concert 1976 are all essential highlights from the period, too.

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