WHAT ABOUT THOSE TUNES MAKES THEM EVANS-LIKE? Well they're both definitely keyboard harmony and they're both definitely post-impressionist harmony that Bill was most comfortable in and, "Falling Grace" in particular is a kind of setup for the kind of broken-time feeling that Bill's trio with Scotty LaFaro and Paul Motian was exploring in those days. And the structure of it, which is not at all a conventional AABA or anything approaching it, is also something that I responded to in some of the stuff Bill was doing as well. He was able to deal with asymmetrical forms extremely well. One of the early Bill performances that I really loved was "All About Rosie" which was a George Russell piece, which made tremendous demands on Bill's knowledge and technique and he just nailed it.
Coincidentally, I wrote "Falling Grace" on George Russell's piano. I was subletting his apartment at the time and "Falling Grace" appeared unto me. In fact I've always kind of speculated that it might actually have been George's tune but George had the misfortune of going to Sweden and letting me use his apartment. So I get the copyright royalties on that one. And "Hullo Bolinas" too — Bill had a particular affection for waltzes and played them especially beautifully. "Emily" comes to mind. There were always waltzes in every set he played and "Hullo Bolinas" was definitely in the idiom of waltzes that he savored.
ONQUARTET LIVE I THINK OF "WALTER L" AS BEING MORE ROCK-SOUNDING— Yeah, that's more clearly cross-fertilized, definitely.
THE WHOLE SHEA STADIUM DISCUSSION WAS A REVELATION. GRANTED, I HAVEN'T READ EVERY INTERVIEW YOU'VE EVER GIVEN, BUT I DON'T REMEMBER SEEING THAT ANYWHERE. Well it doesn't come up all that often but, oh boy, what a concert. Interestingly the Beatles were very openly talking about their debt to black American music and the people who opened their Shea Stadium concert were I think maybe exclusively black American acts. I remember one was Bobby Hebb.
And they were strongly making the point that their music hadn't sprung from nowhere and that they were in particular indebted to R&B. And that kind of resonated with me, and I was appreciative that they were vocal about that. And in those days you were either a Stones fan or a Beatles fan; you sort of had to line up. It was like whether you preferred Lester Young or Coleman Hawkins. "The Beatles or The Stones." And the Stones were considered the black ones, the ones who were really indebted to the heavy Mississippi blues tradition, but what kind of got lost in the shuffle was that the Beatles also were clearly making the point that their primary source was black American music.
LISTENING TO YOU AND GARY, I'M REMINDED OF A LOT OF YOUNGER GUYS LIKE BRIAN BLADE OR KURT ROSENWINKEL, A WHOLE BUNCH OF MUSICIANS WHO ARE CHANGING THE WAY THEY WRITE TO THE POINT OF COVERING CONTEMPORARY POP. ALTHOUGH GARY SAID THAT FOR THE MOST PART YOU GUYS THOUGHT IT WORKED A LOT BETTER IF YOU WROTE YOUR OWN TUNES USING THESE DEVICES RATHER THAN DO COVERS. I GUESS YOU DID A COUPLE, HE SAID YOU DID A DYLAN TUNE, "I WANT YOU"? Yeah we did "I Want You" as a bass feature, I think at my instigation although I wouldn't swear to that. But that was one of the few covers — for the most part we were writing our own stuff. That seemed important. And the people who we were listening to the Beatles — the other bands that were coming up at that time — all wrote their stuff as well, so it seemed a natural fit to do the same.