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Re: Another Piano Prodigy

> I suppose since Glenn Gould didn't care much for jazz, this post will be
> a bit off topic,

Well, not really. People point at Oscar Peterson, whose connection to gg
is limited to their native city Toronto. But the connection to Bill Evans
is interesting since they share some personal traits. There used to be a
site (http://www.billevans.org/Archives/GGandJAZZ.html) that got destroyed
under a hacker attack, but luckily I cut&pasted the article and even found
it in the depths of my computer (of course in the so well organized
Linux-corner). You find the article below.

> Michael Kaeshammer was born in Germany but he is now a Canadian.  He is
> 25.  If you get a chance to attend one of his concerts, do yourself a
> favor and go.   Outrageous things -- in the middle of a jam session of
> "On a Rainy Day" he played a section of Rondo alla Turca.  The person
> next to me gasped "What is that?"  I replied "Mozart." Kaeshammer is
> perhaps too modern for many jazz enthusiasts.  He did prepared piano in
> one piece.   Overall, his approach is very modern.

Now, that sounds intriguing. What was the setting he appeared in?

>From what you tell us, you should check out Lyle Mays as well
(http://www.openbook.gmxhome.de/index_5gazette.html has some bits on him).



 "I have always preferrred playing without an audience."
 Bill Evans.

 Evans (1929-1980) was, by all available evidence, Gould's favourite jazz
 pianist; his record collection contained seven Evans albums, more than of
 any other jazz musician, and he also owned a score of Claus Ogerman's
 Symbiosis, a work recorded by Evans. Indeed, Symbiosis, which most
 consider a relatively minor work in the Evans canon, held a special
 for Gould. In a 26 August 1977 broadcast in the CBC radio series Arts
 National, Gould, as host, played part of the recording of Symbiosis, and
 delivered the following brief commentary:

 The producer, arranger, conductor, pianist and coach for the album
 Barbra was the German musician Claus Ogerman and, when not advising
 Streisand on the care and feeding of Handelian appoggiaturas, Ogerman
 dabbles in several other musical areas as well. In 1973 he composed a
 forty-minute work for piano and orchestra called Symbiosis, with the
 part being written for and, in its premiere recording, played by the
 American, Bill Evans. I'm not really what you might call a jazz buff and
 I've never been able to get interested in what the Americans would call
 "third stream," [i.e., music that fuses classical and jazz principles]
 roughly describes the territory explored by Symbiosis, but I think that
 many respects this is a rather remarkable work. Much of it is what we
 classical types insist on calling through-composed - music in which every
 note is written out; other segments provide for only the harmonic
 plus a generous helping of figured-bass, and the soloist is expected to
 embroider accordingly. These sections are, to my ears, somewhat
 underwhelming - there's just too great a discrepancy between the
 (or supposedly spontaneous) noodlings of even so gifted an artist as Bill
 Evans and the very sophisticated structural scaffolding which Ogerman has
 erected. But the through-composed sections are really quite marvelous:
 Ogerman has a staggeringly inventive harmonic imagination and the first
 Symbiosis's two movements, in particular, is possessed of enormous sweep

 In addition, the following quote attributed to "legendary classical
 GlennGould," appeared on a 1994 CD release of Symbiosis, though I have
 unable to trace the source for it: "What a tremendous impression it has
 upon me. Symbiosis is very much my kind of music. I have been listening
 it] almost obsessively. ... [It has] had a particular influence upon me
 the years."

 Gould and Evans also enjoyed a personal relationship. Evans' biographer,
 Peter Pettinger, refers to a friendship between the two; they apparently
 talked often on the phone, and Gould even attended Evans' concerts in
 Toronto (a letter written ca. 1972, to an unnamed fan, suggests as much).
 Gene Lees, a prominent Canadian jazz musician and writer, and a friend of
 both Gould and Evans, introduced the two in the early 1970s -
 by phone - and later gave Gould some of Evans' albums. But the two
 had already known each other's work for years. Lees recalled:

 The relationship between Glenn and Bill Evans began just after Bill
 Conversations with Myself [in 1963]. I knew how much he loved Glenn's
 playing. Indeed, he'd said, "If I could play Bach like that, I'd be a
 contented man." And Glenn had a new album about to come out - Mozart
 sonatas, as I recall. I had what I thought was a stroke of genius. I
 suggested to the editor of High Fidelity that we try to get Glenn to
 Bill on one page and Bill to review Glenn on the other. Both of them
 I sent Glenn a test pressing of Bill's album, which caused him to say to
 "He's the Scriabin of jazz," an oft-quoted remark. (I did not know at the
 time that Bill was a Scriabin lover.) I got a copy of Glenn's new album
 Bill, and then the deal fell through: Bill chickened out. I think he was
 daunted by the task.

 In addition to a love of solitude, Gould and Evans shared many other
 similarities, not the least of which was their nearly contemporaneous
 lifespans. Evans listed as influences a group of composers all (except
 of whom were also favoured by Gould: Bach ("certainly essential to any
 musician"), Brahms, Bartok, Hindemith, Schoenberg, Beethoven, and Mozart.
 His posture at the keyboard was just as distinctive and brought his face
 close to the keys as Gould's, though Evans slumped from above rather than
 peeing up from below. "To be aware of the sound - that's why he hunches
 down," explained jazz pianist Richie Bierach of Evans' posture. "When
 head is like that, you hear the stuff, your ear is lower."

 "I began with classical music and, hearing good music in jazz, I was
 naturally drawn to it," Evans explained. His trios, especially the one he
 led in the early sixties with bassist Scott LaFaro and drummer Paul
 often succeeded in their goal of becoming an improvising aggregation of
 three equal voices, spinning contrapuntal lines of great complexity and
 integration. Evans' harmony was the most complex that had been heard in
 to that time; "a lot of Bill's harmonic conception, he told me, came out
 playing Bach," said his friend and fellow pianist Warren Bernhardt. He
 dramatically altered the harmonic structures of the pieces he played,
 omitting the root note in his voicing of chords to create a constantly
 evolving chromaticism that could be called "infinite harmonic
 take-two-ness." It was probably Evans' harmonic originality that inspired
 Gould's "Scriabin of jazz" remark. (His harmonic sensibility has much in
 common with the high chromaticism of Gould's String Quartet, Opus 1.)
 also shared Gould's fascination with serial composers and composed two
 pieces - "T.T.T." and "T.T.T.T." - based on twelve-tone principles. His
 compositions and improvisations are admired by musicians of all genres;
 Kronos Quartet and pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet have made classical
 recordings based on them.

 Evans also experimented with recording technology. Gould owned a copy of
 landmark 1963 record Conversations with Myself, on which Evans, perhaps
 inspired by Tristano's earlier efforts, plays duets and trios with
 via overdubbing. (According to Pettinger, Evans recorded this remarkable
 work on the Steinway CD 318 piano so beloved by Gould, who at the time
 recording Bach's D-major Partita.) Gould also owned a copy of Evans' 1967
 sequel, Further Conversations with Myself. Evans' intricate melodic and
 harmonic interweaving on these albums may have influenced Gould's
 "contrapuntal radio documentaries," in which multiple voices speak

 Gould evidently valued Evans' musical opinions. In his letter from ca.
 he wrote that "a very celebrated jazz pianist, Bill Evans, was giving a
 concert in Toronto and mentioned to me that on several recent occasions
 had played and was enormously impressed by the Yamaha instruments." After
 the demise of CD 318, Gould switched to a Yamaha piano, for such late
 recordings as the second Goldberg Variations. He may have recognized, as
 have many others, that the clarity and incisive touch of Evans' piano
 closely resembled his own.