Make a difference: Support jazz online

Support All About Jazz Your friends at All About Jazz are looking for readers to help back our website upgrade project. Of critical importance, this project will result in a vastly improved design across all devices and will make future All About Jazz projects much easier to implement. Click here to learn more about this project including donation rewards.

176

Manuel Rocheman: The Touch of Your Lips: Tribute to Bill Evans

C. Michael Bailey By

Sign in to view read count
The French Naive record label, long known for its fine releases of classical music—particularly its ongoing Vivaldi Opera project—has initiated a jazz stream, highlighting French jazz talent, including pianist Manuel Rocheman's The Touch of Your Lips: Tribute to Bill Evans. It is somehow fitting that a tribute to America's last great pioneer in jazz piano (apologies to Cecil Taylor) comes from the land of the Impressionists. Bill Evans, more than any other pianist—not John Lewis, not Jacques Loussier, not even the great Art Tatum—elevated jazz piano to a chamber art. His music, particularly that performed close to his 1980 death, was characterized by a fragile intensity, a phenomenon so friable, that the pianist's performance threatened to dissolve at any moment, like a smoke ring in the wind.

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.

Title: The Touch of Your Lips: Tribute to Bill Evans | Year Released: 2011 | Record Label: Naive

Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Live at Pyatt Hall CD/LP/Track Review Live at Pyatt Hall
by Jack Bowers
Published: January 23, 2018
Read Flying Heart CD/LP/Track Review Flying Heart
by Troy Dostert
Published: January 23, 2018
Read The 3Dom Factor: Live in Krakow CD/LP/Track Review The 3Dom Factor: Live in Krakow
by John Sharpe
Published: January 23, 2018
Read Solano Canyon CD/LP/Track Review Solano Canyon
by Glenn Astarita
Published: January 23, 2018
Read Lucas CD/LP/Track Review Lucas
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: January 22, 2018
Read In Paris: The Definitive ORTF Recording CD/LP/Track Review In Paris: The Definitive ORTF Recording
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: January 22, 2018
Read "B3tles: A Soulful Tribute To The Fab Four" CD/LP/Track Review B3tles: A Soulful Tribute To The Fab Four
by C. Andrew Hovan
Published: May 8, 2017
Read "Roscanna" CD/LP/Track Review Roscanna
by Ian Patterson
Published: January 1, 2018
Read "Tomeka Reid Quartet" CD/LP/Track Review Tomeka Reid Quartet
by Patrick Burnette
Published: September 28, 2017
Read "Form" CD/LP/Track Review Form
by Anthony Shaw
Published: November 14, 2017
Read "Swiss Radio Days, Vol. 40 - Zurich 1959" CD/LP/Track Review Swiss Radio Days, Vol. 40 - Zurich 1959
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 9, 2017
Read "Nuit Blanche" CD/LP/Track Review Nuit Blanche
by John Kelman
Published: February 14, 2017