Conversations with Myself

Conversations with Myself

by Bill Evans
     
 
Often stirring controversy for no key or good reason, Conversations with Myself has Bill Evans utilizing the sound-on-sound technique of reel-to-reel tape recording available in the 1960s to play simultaneous twin pianos. It's an interesting combination of counterpointed lines and chords that Evans employs, with differing tempos and shadings that complement

Overview

Often stirring controversy for no key or good reason, Conversations with Myself has Bill Evans utilizing the sound-on-sound technique of reel-to-reel tape recording available in the 1960s to play simultaneous twin pianos. It's an interesting combination of counterpointed lines and chords that Evans employs, with differing tempos and shadings that complement rather than contrast. Additionally, the usage of angular dialect à la Thelonious Monk and the witty discourse he can conjure with his own styles thicken and broaden the horizons of the usually spare harmonic inventions the pianist expresses on his own. With the overdubbing, Evans achieves true interplay and counterpoint on his own, starting with the rich harmonies of Monk's "'Round Midnight," where he adds alternate lines in a slightly ramped-up midtempo take. "Blue Monk" has Evans sounding like a guitarist in his single-note and chordal discourse, perhaps influenced by Wes Montgomery, while the CD bonus track "Bemsha Swing" sports the ineffable and unexpected twists and turns that identify the author. Away from Monk, the spacious "Spartacus Love Theme" is rendered beautifully in spite of the extra tracking, "Stella by Starlight" uses a more unified approach between the two piano tracks, and is a chamber type reading, while "Hey There" employs off-minor options that are not standardized by any means. The stealth and deliberate shadings of the lone Evans original, "N.Y.C.'s No Lark," do contrast with the energetic high-octave chords on "How About You?" in a music that is certainly busy for Evans. His bonus take of Truman Capote's "A Sleepin' Bee" is also more active than fans of Evans are used to, but within a slower pace, as combined techniques are simmered with an Asian flavoring. Conversations with Myself is certainly one of the more unusual items in the discography of an artist whose consistency is as evident as any in modern jazz, and nothing should dissuade you from purchasing this one of a kind album that in some ways set a technological standard for popular music -- and jazz -- to come.

Product Details

Release Date:
05/20/1997
Label:
Polygram Records
UPC:
0731452140920
catalogNumber:
521409

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