Claus Ogerman - Verve (continued):
A jazz concerto entirely composed, arranged,
and conducted by Claus Ogerman.
1st Movement (A) (Moderato, Various Tempi)
1st Movement (B)
1st Movement (C)
2nd Movement (A) (Largo, Andante, Maestoso, Largo)
[Verve reissued "Symbiosis" on CD]
["Jazz - The Verve Collection" CD Reissue]
* * *
"'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
--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.
From "The Verve Collection" CD Reissue:
- Complete credits and recording info for this album.
Reissue producers: Christian Kellersmann, Jorg
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.
This LP set contains material all previously
released in Verve albums V6-8610, V6-8625, V6-8642, V6-8672, V6-8765
This LP set contains tracks having arrangements overdubbed by Claus Ogerman (see tracklist below).
Bumpin' On Sunset (overdubbed string arrangement by Ogerman)
Goin' Out Of My Head
West Coast Blues
Midnight Mood (overdubbed string arrangement by Ogerman)
What The World Needs Now Is Love
Misty (overdubbed brass & woodwind arrangement by Ogerman)
Willow Weep For Me (overdubbed brass & woodwind arrangement by Ogerman)
Here's That Rainy Day