Sandy Brown Jazz

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Take Two

You Must Believe In Spring

 

 

 

Take Two

 

 

When lonely feelings chill
The meadows of your mind
Just think if Winter comes
Can Spring be far behind

 

Michel Legrand wrote this lovely song for the 1967 French musical movie Les Demoiselles de Rochefort (The Young Girls Of Rochefort). The song is a great optimistic theme of hope for us today. Les Demoiselles De Rochefort

 

 

 

 

Yvonne runs a cafe in Rochefort with her daughters Delphine, who teaches ballet classes and Solange, who gives music lessons. Two smooth-talking but kind-hearted carnival guys, Étienne and Bill, arrive in town and attract the attention of the girls, Yvonne's estranged fiancé also arrives in town and opens a music store and then Yvonne meets Maxence, a sailor about to be demobbed from the navy. Maxence is a poet and painter, and is searching for his ideal woman. Add in a collection of other characters and relationships and you have a mélange des relations formidable.

 

 

 

 

Here is the trailer for the movie:

 

 

 

and here is You Must Believe In Spring from the film, called here Chanson De Maxence.

 

 

 

Beneath the deepest snows
The secret of a rose
Is merely that it knows
You must believe in Spring

 

The song has been recorded many times and there are a number of versions with lyrics you might like to listen to including those by Cleo Laine, Ian Shaw and Bill Evans with Tony Bennett. There is also a nice video by pianist and vocalist Sarah McKenzie.

 

Just as a tree is sure
Its leaves will reappear
It knows it's emptiness
Is just the time of year

 

But the versions I have chosen for this month's Take Two are instrumental performances.

The first is an audio recording by pianist Bill Evans from 1977 but not released until 1981 after his death in 1980. The trio here is Bill Evans (piano), Eddie Gomez (bass) and Eliot Zigmund (drums) and apart from Bill Evans' beautiful playing, credit must also go to Eddie Gomez for his bass solo.

 

 

 

 

The website billevanswebpages sums it up in a review by Helen Keane and Tommy LiPuma: 'You Must Believe in Spring is an indispensable part of the huge recorded output of Bill Evans, for musical reasons, but its significance is otherwise noteworthy as well. It was his first date for Warner Brothers, after a long and fruitful association with Fantasy Records. Recorded in August 1977 at Capitol studios in Los Angeles, but not released until early 1981 -- it was also the first album released by any company after the pianist’s death in September 1980, thus adding to the bittersweet experience of listening to its beauty .... One of the most-loved of his records ... it was also the last session Bill did with bassist Eddie Gomez, who Eddie Gomezamicably left the trio soon after these dates after an eleven year tenure, to pursue other projects.'

 

Eddie Gomez

 

 

'Appearing on Marian McPartland’s “Piano Jazz” show in 1979, Evans spoke of this then yet-untitled album, in that it was already “in the can” and he specifically remarked how well Gomez played on the date. Even among bassists, and other working musicians, it’s still a wonder how he was so finely tuned-in to not only Bill’s melodic ideas, but to his freely played rubatos -- knowing where to come in on a chord change, or where to land in close sync with the piano, even though the tempo might be so slow (as in many intros) as to be essentially undefined. .........'

 

 

The frozen mountain dreams
Of April's melting streams
How crystal clear it seems
You must believe in Spring

 

 

 

 

The second 'take' is a video duet by Issei Igarashi playing flugelhorn with pianist Mami Ishizuka that I find particularly compelling. To many of us in the UK their names might not be familiar, but this video gives us the opportunity to discover them. Japanese trumpeter Issei Igarashi began playing piano when he was four and took up trumpet at the age of ten after purchasing an album by Miles Davis. In 1985 he moved to Tokyo to attend Kunitachi College of Music. In the late 1980s he joined the New Tide Jazz Orchestra, the Japanese Jazz Messengers, the group led by the tenor saxophonist Seiichi Nakamura, and Motohiko Hino’s ensemble 196X. He has also played with Tommy Flanagan, Duke Jordan, Ray Bryant, and Kenny Barron, among others.

Mami Ishizuka was born in Tokyo, and also started playing the piano early when she was three. She taught at a middle school in Tokyo for a few years after completing her degree in piano from the Kunitachi College of Music, and before starting her professional career as a pianist, vocalist and composer/arranger. Her performances include a variety of piano styles and she also sings, although not on this video.

 

 

 

You must believe in love
And trust it's on it's way
Just as the sleeping rose
Awaits the kiss of May

So in a world of snow
Of things that come and go
Where what you think you know
You can't be certain of
You must believe in Spring and love

 

Michel Legrand

 

 

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Other pages you might find of interest :

More Take Two
Tracks Unwrapped
Video Juke Box
Jazz As Art

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