Archive: May, 2013

Two part Jack Reilly Interview 2003

Acclaimed for his solo jazz concerts and trio dates in the US and in Europe, Jack Reilly is a vibrant exhilarating pianist. His recordings and books—three volumes on jazz improvisation entitled Species Blues and the nationally acclaimed book The Harmony of Bill Evans—confirm the scope of Jack ‘s talents and versatility.

jackReillyThis interview was conducted by pianist (and BillEvansWebpages webmaster) Jan Stevens in the music room of Jack’s home in the New Jersey shore area. A long and complex discussion of Bill Evans music followed. From the interview:

J.S. So, tell us when you first met Bill Evans, and maybe you can give us a couple of details.

REILLY: Well, I should say I first heard him in ’52. I was in the U.S. Navy; he was in the Army. We both were stationed at the Washington D.C. School of Music. That’s where you go if you’re a musician, and in the service and they teach you music for military functions, dance band stuff, etc. And I just happened to be walking down a hall, and I heard this incredible piano playing coming from a practice room, and I looked through the peep hole in the door, and it’s this guy who looked like a librarian playing, sounding like Teddy Wilson, Bud Powell, George Shearing. But he had his own linear concept going already and it was cookin’ like mad. And it was only solo piano! He was practicing, and I stood there for about 10 minutes or so and wound up getting captain’s [unintelligible] for neglecting to go to my class. Of course it was a school, you know, we all had to take classes, except Bill, they just let him do whatever he wanted ’cause he was so advanced at the time.

Click here to read Two part Jack Reilly Interview 2003

—Peter Blasevick

The Hal Galper Interview 2002

halGalperPianist, composer, publisher, educator, and author Hal Galper has somewhere around 100 recordings to his credit, many as a leader. Best known for his work with Chet Baker, Cannonball Adderley, John Scofield and the Phil Woods Quintet, his recordings as a leader with Mike and Randy Brecker are considered among his best.

In continuing with a concentration on Bill Evans, here is an interview by Jan Stevens posted on the BillEvansWebpages which was conducted over a period of several weeks in April 2002 mostly in email, and after several phone conversations. In it, Galper shares his vast knowledge of and his love for the music of Bill Evans. From the interview:

What do you feel was Bill’s influence on your own playing personally, and how did that come about? And how did it change the way you approached voicings or perhaps rhythmic displacement ?

I was attracted to his harmonic conception but not his lines. I tried a few of his voicings but a truth I learned when I was copying Red Garland raised it’s ugly head again: what you play on any instrument will be dictated by the sound you get on it, i.e., one’s touch. When I played Red’s or Bill’s voicings, I had to either add or subtract notes to make them sound good with my hands.

Click here to read The Hal Galper Interview 2002

—Peter Blasevick

Bill Evans with Martin Perlich 1978

billEvansContinuing with the Bill Evans theme this week, here is a two part audio interview with the great pianist conducted by the legendary interviewer Martin Perlich in 1978. From the introduction:

The interview with jazz immortal Bill Evans was special in many ways. Commissioned by Warner Brothers Records who had just created a Jazz and Progressive Music division, they wanted me to get Bill to talk about how close his music was to rock; “…sell it to the kids!” This was, of course, impossible, but gamely I stuck out my jaw, fielded his words of one syllable answers in the negative and went on to his experiences in classical music as a kid, and in Jazz, especially stories about Miles Davis. The most important “special” aspect was that I place my Nakamichi 500 next to him on his bed and took up a suitable position on the floor.

Click here to listen to Bill Evans with Martin Perlich 1978 Part 1

Click here to listen to Bill Evans with Martin Perlich 1978 Part 2

—Peter Blasevick

Bill Evans in Molde, Norway, 1980

Bill Evans week at TNYDP!

In the summer of 1980, Evans’ last trio (with Marc Johnson, Joe LaBarbera) was in the midst of a European tour which had them for two weeks at the famed Ronnie Scott’s in London, as well as performances in Germany, Belgium, Norway and Italy. On August 9th, after a performance at the Molde Jazz Festival , the pianist granted a brief interview after the concert, filmed for Norweiegan television. (the interviewer’s name is not known). I’m linking to both the transcription (hosted at the video interview.

Click here to read Bill Evans in Molde, Norway, 1980

—Peter Blasevick

Bill Evans – Time Remembered: An Interview by Jean-Louis Ginibre

After posting a couple hundred interviews with many different subjects over TNYDP’s first year, I am going to start digging a little deeper and focus on individuals a bit now. As the first interview I every posted was one with Bill Evans, he seems like the logical place to start.

billEvansIn 1965, Bill Evans toured Europe with bassist Chuck Israels and drummer Larry Bunker. Jean-Louis Ginibre, then Editor-in-Chief of the French monthly Jazz Magazine, spoke to Evans more than an hour, an hour in which “Bill, soft-spoken and ensconced in a large arm-chair, answered my questions candidly and articulately, without seeming bored or preoccupied. Most probably understanding my feeling ill-at-ease during the first few minutes of my visit, he made a concerted effort to be extremely charming.” This is a typically honest and intelligent talk with the legend, and. from the interview, here is Evans on his critics:

Jean-Louis Ginibre: Have you ever read sensible magazine articles about you?

Bill Evans: Yes, as a matter of fact, a couple of times I read some critics that got to me. I thought they were justified, and I modified certain sides of my playing accordingly. As far as I’m concerned, everybody’s right. It’s only a matter of viewpoint. Almost everything that has been written about me has been bright and sensible. The press has been good to me. Except a couple of articles out of two hundred, all of them have been very favorable. I’ve been very lucky.

Click here to read Bill Evans – Time Remembered: An Interview by Jean-Louis Ginibre