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Bill Evans: You Must Believe In Spring

by Debra C. Argen
Bill Evans: You Must Believe In Spring
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American jazz pianist Bill Evans was a legend who created a plethora of iconic, award-winning music. Remastered and released in June 2022, Bill Evans: You Must Believe In Spring, is a genius of a release of exceptional jazz piano and will be a welcome addition to any jazz collection. Joining Bill Evans on piano are Eddie Gomez on bass, and Eliot Zigmund on drums. Recorded at Capitol Studios in 1977, this compilation is on Craft Recordings and manufactured and distributed by Concord.


Bill Evans: You Must Believe In Spring

Bill Evans: You Must Believe In Spring: B Minor Waltz (For Elaine), You Must Believe In Spring, Gary’s Theme, We Will Meet Again (for Harry), The Peacocks, Sometime Ago, Theme from M*A*S*H (Suicide Is Painless), Bonus Tracks: Without A Song, Freddie Freeloader, All Of You

Personnel: Bill Evans, piano, Eddie Gomez: bass, Eliot Zigmund: drums

Bill Evans: You Must Believe In Spring was produced by Helen Keane and Tommy Lipuma. Recorded at Capitol Studios, Hollywood, California on August 23, 24, and 25, 1977. This compilation is on Craft Recordings. Manufactured for and distributed by Concord. It was reissued on June 3, 2022, on 180-gram vinyl, SACD, CD, and Hi-Res Digital.

Bill Evans Background

I had the pleasure of reviewing Bill Evans – Morning Glory and Bill Evans – Inner Spirit when they both debuted as remastered releases in April 2022. Morning Glory was recorded live on June 24, 1973, in Argentina, and Inner Spirit was recorded live on September 27, 1979, also in Argentina. While I knew Bill Evans’ music through other jazz musicians playing his iconic standards, I did not know much about the man himself, and decided to remedy that with a little background research.

Bill Evans, born William John Evans, (August 1, 1929 – September 15, 1980) was a legendary American Jazz composer, pianist, and trio band leader. He started piano lessons at age 6, along with violin and flute, and by the time he was 12 years old he was playing in the high school band. He continued to hone his craft at Southeastern Louisiana University, and then later while serving his country in the Army. He moved to New York in 1955 and his career took off eventually taking him around the world. The music he made, and the talent he played with over the years, was astonishing.

Known as "the quiet revolutionary" his life was one of many musical achievements including recording over 50 albums and earning 31 Grammy nominations and 7 Grammy awards. Many of his compositions have become jazz standards, including Waltz for Debby, Turn Out the Stars, Very Early, Funkallero, and more. He was, and continues to be even posthumously, a jazz influencer with his musical style.

About the Music – Bill Evans: You Must Believe In Spring

Bill Evans: You Must Believe In Spring features 7 songs plus 3 bonus tracks of exceptional music. The release opens with the Bill Evans’ composition B Minor Waltz (For Elaine), which he wrote for his common-law wife, Elaine Schultz, who committed suicide in 1973. This opening work is stunning and breathtakingly beautiful with the sensational crystalline piano notes for which Bill Evans was known.

Next up is the title track, You Must Believe in Spring, written by Michel Legrand, which was off the Bill Evans album of the same name released in 1981. The composition is lively, hopeful, as spring always is, especially after a long cold winter. The release continues with Gary’s Theme, written by Gary McFarland, then segues into another Bill Evans’ composition, We Will Meet Again (For Harry), which he wrote for his brother Harry L. Evans (1927-1979), who had committed suicide. Eddie Gomez’s plucked bass on this composition is poignantly brilliant.

The release continues with a Jimmy Rawles’ composition entitled The Peacocks, followed by Sometime Ago written by Sergio Mihanovich. Fans of the 1970 Robert Altman and Ring Lardner, Jr. film, M*A*S*H, which later debuted as a television show from 1972-1983, will recognize Johnny Mandel’s famous composition, Theme from M*A*S*H (Suicide Is Painless).

Also included, like a lagniappe, a little something extra, are the Bonus Tracks: Without A Song, composed in 1929 by Edward Eliscu, Billy Rose, and Vincent Youmans; Miles Davis’ Freddie Freeloader, an up-tempo, iconic Miles’ standard from 1959. The release closes with a classic Cole Porter composition from 1954, entitled All Of You. Bill Evans may be gone, but his musical genius lives on through his impressive legacy of music, and for that I am very grateful.

Until next time, keep enjoying the music!

Websites where you can purchaseBill Evans: You Must Believe In Spring:Craft Recordings,andAmazon.

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