Tuesday, February 07, 2017

San Francisco's Keystone Korner and Bill Evans

(photo: Wikipedia)

From Journal 23 (Aug.-Nov. 1980)

Sept. 4, 1980
Last night, after spending time at Cafe Vesuvio with Diane Zimmerman, recalling 1977 with Jake in New Orleans (It was Jake's birthday), I went to the 11:30 performance of Bill Evans at Keystone Korner. I sat in the intimate space no more than 20 feet from the Evans Trio. 

The house was full, of course, and eager for the music. At moments during the performance, I was enraptured and wondered how I could ever leave San Francisco. The bass player, on two numbers, moved into an ecstasy of deep melody, motion, and expression-- outdoing even Evans. 

Afterwards, I walked up Lombard Street, up Russian Hill, to my home overlooking the Bay. Despite the chilly mist, I was glad to be here. I tossed another log on the fire when I got home.

Here is a better, more detailed account of the performance by Sascha Feinstein:

"Imagine, for a moment, the young bassist Marc Johnson beneath the giant mandala, his eyes half shut, almost rolled back. Drummer Joe LaBarbera's to the right of the stage, and to Marc's left, behind the piano, sits their leader, Bill Evans. During his week—long engagement in 1980, the trio plays several versions of "Nardis." Early in the week, he looks through the smoke and says, "We're going to conclude this set with an extended version of something that's been in our repertoire from the beginning . . . We've learned from the potential of the tune, and every once in a while a new gateway opens. It's like therapy, this tune." On September 8, his last night of the engagement, he closed with another version of "Nardis," almost twenty minutes long. "We've had a very nice engagement here," he tells the crowd. "You people in the audiences have been wonderful, and I hope we'll be back soon." On September 15, he died." https://www.allaboutjazz.com/keystone-korner-portrait-of... This was the intimate performance I attended in that sweet club. My journal is witness to the transcendence.

Keystone Korner: Portrait of a Jazz Club jazz article by Sascha Feinstein, published on October 26, 2011 at All…

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