Remembering, written in memory of Evan Scofield, is Mark-Anthony Turnage’s response to the young man’s premature death from cancer in 2013, at the age of 26. Turnage knew Evan as the son of family friends, the jazz guitarist John Scofield and his wife Susan, and the sister of Jeannie, the partner of Ursula. A boy whose quirky but deep rooted enthusiasms – for cinema, axes, hyacinths, friends – reflected a readiness to take on life in all its fullness, a young man whose ways of seeing seemed so good, so full of promise and possibility. Such early deaths strike us less like personal tragedies and more like cosmic catastrophes. What kind of a world is it that allows such things to happen?
Esoteric Recordings announce a new release on their recently launched Cocteau Discs imprint, a limited edition reissue of BILL NELSON’s classic 4 disc ambient boxed set "TRIAL BY INTIMACY (The Book of Splendours)”. The set was originally released on Bill’s Cocteau Records label in October 1984 and comprised recordings made by Bill at his Echo Observatory home studio. Comprising some eighty pieces of music, the set was a fine example of Bill Nelson’s grasp of Ambient music and has subsequently been hailed as a ground-breaking work. Long deleted, the set is made available once more with this newly re-mastered Cocteau Discs edition. The new release fully restores the original elements of the "TRIAL BY INTIMACY” box and is an exact facsimile, reproducing a 32 page book and eight art postcards that featured in the original set.
The two LP editions recorded at this Paris concert were the last examples of Bill Evans' playing to be released at the time. With bassist Marc Johnson and drummer Joe La Barbera, Evans had one of the strongest trios of his career, as can be heard on such pieces as Edition One's "My Romance," "I Loves You, Porgy," and "Beautiful Love." The close communication between the players is reminiscent of Evans' 1961 unit with Scott LaFaro and Paul Motian.
Taking as their inspiration the Greek myth of Orpheus, European improv king Evan Parker (tenor and soprano saxophone) and Invaders of the Heart alumni Clive Bell and Jean-Pierre Rasle invest in a series of stark, repetitive bass and drum structures on Passage to Hades. At the music's core is the rhythm axis of Jah Wobble and Mark Sanders. The duo maps out the territory, delivering all that's required and more through minimal means. It's a refreshing change of scenery for Parker, who's normally heard in avant-garde ensembles or blazing solo performances. Here, he's confined to a stark, muscular groove and he responds beautifully. Like the later recordings by John Coltrane (an early influence), the saxophonist unleashes an abundance of dialog on his instruments, though he never quite reaches the torrents of sound one might expect.
Tzadik is proud to present this historic meeting of four major figures in the new music pantheon, each a master improviser and groundbreaking instrumentalist in their own right. Their work together is symbiotic, telepathic—the music powerful and sensitive, sustaining a hypnotic mood with great attention to detail and subtle nuance. Mixed to perfection by Bill Laswell, this is a landmark recording of electro-acoustic improvisation featuring four pioneers of the genre. Mindblowing!
Recorded during pianist Bill Evans' last visit to England (less than two months before his death), Evans is heard with one of his finest trios on Letter to Evan, the unit with bassist Marc Johnson and drummer Joe La Barbera. The recording quality of the live set (recorded at Ronnie Scott's) is excellent, and Evans is in surprisingly enthusiastic and creative form; there is no hint that the end is near. Highlights of the very worthwhile release include "Days of Wine and Roses" (which alternates back and forth between two keys), "Knit for Mary F.," and "Stella by Starlight." Easily recommended for true Bill Evans fans.