“Peace Piece” — for musical escape

August 10th, 2017

 

Bill Evans

_____

 

To understate the obvious, our world has not been the same since January 20.  Science has become fiction, democratic institutions are being threatened, global relationships that have been nurtured for generations are devalued and misunderstood, and our world is in complete turmoil.  Like Hillary or not (and God, how I liked her – her grace, intelligence, experience, resilience, strength, and compassion are all qualities we are starved for today), it is tough to argue with what is now clearly the most honest assessment of Donald Trump during the campaign, when she said, “A man you can bait with a tweet is not a man we can trust with nuclear weapons.”  Alas, this most basic and obvious warning — which should have elicited a major national conversation before the election — got lost in the noise of campaign coverage more concerned with her oh-so-scandalous emails!  

So this is where we are, living on the brink of catastrophic war due to our man-child president’s narcissism, his endless lies, and his addiction to Twitter spats.  Where a cool head and diplomacy is required, we get inflammatory and impulsive rhetoric, cabinet members communicating competing messages, and a predictable reaction from an unpredictable and dangerous adversary who may be the only person on the planet more unhinged than Mr. Trump.

How to escape the madness?  A round of golf, maybe?  A trip to the movies?  A brisk walk in the park? Walk a Labrador? Hold a child? Turn off the news and meditate??

This morning, I found a worthwhile escape in the music of Bill Evans, particularly his sparkling piano solo “Peace Piece.”  This brilliant and meditative 1958 recording – an obvious flight from madness due to its title alone – came out of the introduction to Leonard Bernstein’s “Some Other Time,” that, while Evans played it, he said, “started to get so much of its own feeling and identity that I just figured, well, I’ll keep going.”  According to Evans biographer Keith Shadwick, the improvisation on “Peace Piece” “called on Evans’s detailed knowledge of the music of composers such as Satie, Ravel and – in parts – Scriabin.”  The piece also served as an inspiration to Miles Davis, who wanted to use it in his Kind of Blue sessions.

So…For almost seven minutes of sheer beauty, and an island of calm, click on the link below…

“Peace”

 

 

 

 

Share this:

Comment on this article:

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

In This Issue

This issue features an interview with Bing Crosby biographer Gary Giddins; a collection of poetry devoted to the World War II era; and a new edition of “Reminiscing in Tempo,” in which the question “What are 3 or 4 of your favorite jazz recordings of the 1940’s” is posed to Rickie Lee Jones, Chick Corea, Tom Piazza and others.

Features

In this edition of Reminiscing in Tempo,, Chick Corea, Rickie Lee Jones, Tom Piazza, Gary Giddins, Randy Brecker, Michael Cuscuna, Terry Teachout and many others answer the question, “What are 3 or 4 of your favorite recordings of the 1940’s?”

Interviews

Interview with Bing Crosby biographer Gary Giddins, author of the new book "Swinging on a Star: The War Years, 1940 - 1946"

Poetry

Eight poets — John Stupp, Aurora Lewis, Michael L. Newell, Robert Nisbet, Alan Yount, Roger Singer, dan smith and Joan Donovan — write about the era of World War II

The Joys of Jazz

Award winning radio producer and host Bob Hecht shares his love of jazz through his podcasts on his site “The Joys of Jazz.” In this edition, he tells two stories; the history of the virtual anthem of World War II, “I’ll Be Seeing You,” and the friendship and musical rapport of Bing Crosby and Louis Armstrong.

Short Fiction

Hannah Draper of Ottawa, Ontario is the winner of the 49th Jerry Jazz Musician New Short Fiction Award. Her story is titled "Will You Play For Me?"

Coming Soon

Three prominent scholars in a conversation about the lives of Billie Holiday, Ralph Ellison, and Langston Hughes (pictured)

Contributing writers

Site Archive