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Claus Ogerman - Metronome Records:


 
Bill Evans, "Symbiosis", Metronome [Germany] #68.052 (year unknown).[LP Reissue]
Other issues of this album are listed separately under their respective record labels.

A jazz concerto entirely composed, arranged, and conducted by Claus Ogerman.

Tracklist:

1st Movement (A) (Moderato, Various Tempi)

1st Movement (B)

1st Movement (C)

2nd Movement (A) (Largo, Andante, Maestoso, Largo)

2nd Movement (B)


* * *

"'Symbiosis' is a vastly overlooked album in Evans' prolific canon, yet one that needs to be seriously reckoned with. Ogerman, who had worked with Bill on two previous albums in 1963 and in 1965 (With Symphony Orchestra), composed an adventurous and often hauntingly beautiful work in two parts. In the third section of the first movement, working over a slow and gentle jazzy swing, Bill plays long and fast-moving lines on electric piano that catch your ear with their shimmering beauty and complexity. Ogerman writes lush but never maudlin strings (and a few flutes) here in dense, often whole-tone and poly-chordal fashion underneath -- creating a perfect cushion for the pianist's swirling right-hand lines. The Rhodes fits in well here, as it does sparingly in and out through Symbiosis' framework. It is often used as punctuation at the end of a written ensemble phrase, or as an ensemble texture. Evans' choices as to when to use the Rhodes or the Steinway are wise indeed, and not without great sensitivity, integrating seamlessly within the composition. Claus Ogerman as composer-arranger succeeds marvelously here with a work of great harmonic expression and rhythmic interest that showcases Evans' lyrical expression and his obviously inherent classical strengths, yet within a composition that represents much of what jazz is about. (Ogerman would later do the same for tenor sax virtuoso Michael Brecker for his Cityscape album.) If we consider the aural comparisons to the other albums Bill did with orchestral accompaniment, it is far and away the most superior achievement, and may represent his best use of the electric keyboard in context. "Symbiosis" is far too important to be neglected as often as it has when jazz writers discuss Bill Evans albums. As biographer Keith Shadwick noted: 'Evans brings to the work the consummate artistry and sensitivity that occurs when he is stretched and stimulated. His rubato playing in the opening and second movement sometimes alone, sometimes in unison with the strings, is both moving and immensely accomplished in a way that few jazz or classical pianists could have countenanced.'"
--Excerpted from the article "Rhodes Less Travelled" by Jan Stevens. Used by exclusive permission of the author, and The Bill Evans Webpages [
http://www.billevanswebpages.com/rhodespiece.html]. © Jan Stevens 2002. All rights reserved.

"The producer, arranger, conductor, pianist and coach for the album 'Classical 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 piano 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," which roughly describes the territory explored by Symbiosis, but I think that in 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 outline, 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 spontaneous (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 of Symbiosis's two movements, in particular, is possessed of enormous sweep and drive."
--Commentary by Glenn Gould, August 26, 1977 on a Canadian radio broadcast, whose remarks were made after playing some of the "Symbiosis" album to the audience.

Recorded at Columbia Recording Studios, New York, New York on February 11, 12 & 14, 1974.  Includes liner notes by Claus Ogermann and Hanns E. Petrik.

Special Note: Six minutes of the work "Symbiosis" as performed by Bill Evans was used within the film "Sideways" (2004), but for legal reasons the excerpt could not be included in the CD soundtrack available for this film.  This notation was supplied directly by Claus Ogerman.



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