Manuel Rocheman: The Touch of Your Lips: Tribute to Bill Evans (2011)
Rocheman, in his tribute, adds a quickening support to Evans' art like scaffolding buttressing an ancient sculpture that better allows for the ethereal to gain substance, to be seen and heard. Few pianists could pull off the high-wire act that was Bill Evans, and Rocheman does not even attempt to. Instead, he provides definition, darkening the lines of Evans' thought, making a clearer picture. The Johnny Mandel melody of "Suicide is Painless," from the 1970 movie M*A*S*H, demonstrates Evans' visions in its Red Garland block chords and modern bass-drums support. Here, Rocheman solos confidently, with tart punctuation and comment on the higher harmony of the composition.
The Evans' composition "We Will Meet Again" from the pianist's last studio recording of the same title (Warner Brothers, 1979), offers the scent of Evans' 1961 Village Vanguard trio in Mathias Allamane's bass solo. Allamane surfaces from the impressionistic somnolence with a musing, flat in tone that takes off on the perpendicular to Rochemann's direction. This is the most potent presence of the spirit of Scott LaFaro on the disc, one that is gratefully not overplayed. "Daniel's Waltz" lilts with a swinging ferocity that does not draw attention abruptly; rather, revealing itself like an intellectual connection being made, when things become clearer.
Bill Evans is justly a hard musical target. His influence is like an apparition barely seen but registered nevertheless. Rocheman and his trio turn up the musical sensitivity on Evans so that he may been seen with greater clarity without losing any of the mystery that was that pianist's certain specialty.
Track Listing: M.A.S.H; Send in the Clowns; We Will Meet Again; Daniel's Waltz; For Sandra; Only Child; Rhythm Changes; The Touch of Your Lips; La Valse Des Chipirons; Liebeslied.
Personnel: Manuel rocheman: piano; Mathias Allamane: bass; Matthieu Chasarenc: drums.
Record Label: Naive