Chuck Israels: Evans, Education and Philosophy
AAJ: In your long musical career, has there been a particularly defining experience that you continue to reflect on, and continue to carry with you?
CI: Too many to recount, but I can say that being part of making music with Bill remains a standard to which I aspire every day of my musical life.
AAJ: Let me talk about composition for a moment. In general, what would you say that you strive for in your own personal composition? That is to say, when you set out in a certain direction, when do you know that you've achieved your intentions when you are involved in a new work?
CI: It's be nice to think that I could turn out something half as good as Billy Strayhorn's work. If I have done what I intend, [then] at some point what I'm working on solidifies and seems to have completed itself, and I become satisfied with it. That doesn't happen with every project, so some get abandoned and some get reworked until they reach that point. Needless to say, some never get there.
Chuck Israels/Metropole Orkestra, Eindhoven Concert (Anzic, 1997)
Barry Harris, Barry Harris In Spain (Nuba, 1991)
Bill Evans, Trio '65 (Verve, 1965)
Herbie Hancock, My Point of View (Blue Note, 1963)
Bill Evans Trio, How My Heart Sings! (Riverside, 1962)
Eric Dolphy, Copenhagen Concert (Prestige, 1961)
George Russell Sextet, A the Five Spot (Verve, 1960)
Cecil Taylor, Hard Driving Jazz (Gambit, 1958)
John Coltrane, Coltrane Time (Blue Note, 1958)