Here we are again, JazzBabies, at that Irish time of year with St. Patrick’s Day just hours away. I’ve got my “Kiss Me. I’m Irish” button all shined up and ready to go, and I’m not just some wannabe wearing that button. Sure and begorrah, the JazzCookie is the granddaughter of an Irish gypsy. I chalk up my lifetime of travels to those drops of Irish gypsy blood.
While scouting for a good Irish number, and there are some jazzy ones, I came across this instead by that Leprechaun of the Jazz Piano, Mr. Bill Evans. As I listened to one, then another and another of the tunes here, I decided to give you the entire album and let you decide how much of it you want to hear. As somebody (maybe Mae West) said, “You can never get too much of a good thing.”
The album Green Dolphin Street – green for St. Patrick’s Day – is an amazing showcase of the young Bill Evans, recorded in 1959 but not released until 1975. Apparently, it was Evans himself who held the album back, finally deciding late in his life that it was worth giving the world a chance to hear it. I’m glad he did.
The sound here is definitely reminiscent of the harder, be-bop sound of the late ’50s before Evans took his long break and came back with the style we’re more likely to recognize as quintessential Evans. I dig both.
Bill Evans, Philly Joe Jones and Paul Chambers are the shining stars here joined by Jim Hall and Zoot Simms on the “Loose Bloose” track. The album was later released on CD with an additional track, but this is the original.
A bit of jazz trivia…some album covers show the title as “Green Dolphin Street” and others as “On Green Dolphin Street.” The tune was written for the 1947 movie of the same name, and originally appeared without “on.” Sometimes, in the craziness of the days of our lives, a little simple trivia can be a comfort.
Happy St. Patrick’s Day. May you have the sun on your face, the wind at your back and a lucky $10 bill you forgot about in your wallet!
Erin go bragh!