Video: Bill Evans Plays Nardis, '78

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On July 19, 1978, Bill Evans performed at the Umbria Jazz Festival in Perugia, Italy, with Marc Johnson on bass and Philly Joe Jones on drums. What's fascinating about the following clip of Nardis is how fractured and percussive Evans's playing is. Was it the uncomfortable stool? Disgust with the piano? Drugs? Or the sheer tedium of the song? Or all of the above? What we see and hear on this video is a different Evans—an artist distraught, exceedingly aggressive and heavy handed, as if he's flogging the song rather than caressing it. The performance isn't helped by Jones beating Nardis into submission. Here's Nardis...

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This story appears courtesy of JazzWax by Marc Myers.
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