It’s a mellow weekend in San Diego, JazzBabies, what with the Easter holiday and return of the nice weather and all. My mind and ear went directly to “mellow” for this post, and I headed straight for Bill Evans and Jim Hall.
The first collaboration of these two giants was the album Undercurrents recorded in 1962, the first full recording for Evans after he was basically incapacitated by grief for nearly a year over the tragic death of Scott LaFaro in an auto accident. LaFaro had been Evans’ bassist and close friend before he died much too soon at age 25.
The album drew great reviews from critics like Pete Welding of Down Beat magazine and Scott Yanow who wrote that the collaborations “are often exquisite. Both Evans and Hall had introspective and harmonically advanced styles along with roots in hard-swinging bebop….recommended.”
The tune I chose for this mellow weekend is “Darn That Dream,” an Eddie DeLange/Jimmy VanHeusen ballad published in 1939 and ranked number one in 1940 when recorded by Benny Goodman and his orchestra.
The haunting, melancholy lines between Evans and Hall make me think this might have been the perfect choice for a man coming out of deep grief. But you don’t have to be grieving to enjoy it. It’s beautiful and gently soothing for even life’s smallest woes.
Enjoy, JazzBabies…and have a lovely mellow weekend wherever you are.