Cary Kilner's Picks: Volume 27
Bill Evans/Jim Hall – I’ve Got You Under My Skin
Last week I gave you Diane’s and my interpretation of this wonderful standard. This duo version is what I consider THE pinnacle of the tune! Note how they begin; with Jim’s gorgeous improvising over Bill’s exquisite accompaniment as if they had already played the head, which they had not. Then Bill plays a right-hand solo – no left hand, leaving it to Jim to provide the chords – the harmonic basis. Finally at 2:14 Bill goes into the melody with Jim playing beautiful chords on guitar, followed by a short tag that kills.
Tal Farlow – You Stepped Out of a Dream
You can hear from where Pat Martino and Jim Hall came in this interpretation of another of my favorite standard tunes. I generally do not like tunes played at this tempo, but it is such an illustrative performance of mainstream jazz at work that I have to include it here. Having no drummer makes it easier to hear with clarity how the trio negotiates the fast tempo. Note the piano solo with both hands in octaves characteristic of Oscar Peterson and Phineas Newborn, Jr. Then the bass solo, really just showcasing his ongoing walking line. This was common before we had bass technicians like Miroslav Vitous, John Patitucci, and Stanley Clarke who could construct virtuoso solo lines at this speed.
Here is a random solo example of bass virtuosity. You need not watch all four minutes of it; I merely wanted you to see him perform.
Miroslav with Chick Corea – How Deep is the Ocean
In this example you can see him play and how he consumes the friggin’ bass with perfect intonation!
Be sure to check out Miroslav on Chick Corea’s exquisitely-recorded album with this trio on the Solid State album: Now He Sings, Now He Sobs. I might add that I love Ron Carter’s bass work. And although he is a great soloist, he tends less to pyrotechnics and more to providing a superb pulsing bottom structure to any group with whom he plays. You can hear his best work with the pivotal late-60s/early 70s Miles quintet. And with Paul Desmond and Ed Bickert as I gave you (Week #11) on Just Squeeze Me where you can hear him with great clarity.
Paul Desmond – Wave
My focus on guitar and bass this week warrants the inclusion of this classic Jobim bossa-nova featuring the aforementioned group. Paul plays such beautiful alto sax, but the Canadian guitar player, Ed Bickert, simply astounds me with his gorgeous open chords and clean sound.
Wes Montgomery – Here’s That Rainy Day
Here’s another fine standard in a performance I never heard before, done untypically as a bossa-nova rather than swing or ballad. It has an interesting intro that they then use as a tag before the out-chorus, it features a very mellow Wes. In addition we can watch him play with that thumb for which he is so famous.
Ferenc Nemeth – Sounds of my Heart
To end for the week, here is a wonderful find I just heard on my MC Choice. I know nothing about them but it sure is lovely! Note the nice sound of this acoustic piano with electric guitar and electric bass, despite my usual preference for acoustic bass with acoustic piano. And the drummer never moves to sticks, remaining on brushes for a softer overall sound.