This entry was originally posted on TheLarchWood
“Skating In Central Park” was originally written by John Lewis for “Odds Against Tomorrow”, a 1959’s film produced and directed by Robert Wise. The Modern Jazz Quartet recorded the tune for the film and for their album Music from Odds Against Tomorrow and released it in 1959 on United Artists Record.
Bill Evans and Jim Hall re-record the waltz and released it on their 1962 album Undercurrent on United Artists, which Jazz critic Pete Welding stated:
“This collaboration between Evans and Hall has resulted in some of the most beautiful, thoroughly ingratiating music it has been my pleasure to hear—now or any other time. Each of the selections is suffused with a lyric charm, a tenderness, an elegance, an unabashed romanticism that take one’s breath away. These joint inventions have the stamp of inevitability about them, the ring of utter verity in every line and note—the result of a perfect meeting of minds.
Yet not only is the music remarkable for its delicacy and subtlety of interaction, it is immediately appealing for its manifest loveliness. Of the six selections, five are warm, ardent ballads. They are afforded reflective, luminous performances that emphasize to the utmost the lyricism of the songs, yet are never cloying or overdone. It would be difficult to imagine more perfect realizations of the songs— especially Dream Gypsy and Hall’s attractive Romain—for on every one there are any number of moments of glowing, unalloyed beauty, as Evans and Hall spin out their shimmering entwining lines.
The sixth song, Valentine, is something of a dark horse. Reportedly, United Artists wanted an entire collection of ruminative ballads on the order of the first five; but after the session at which the ballads were recorded, Evans and Hall continued to play for their own satisfaction.”
The album cover for Undercurrent is originally Toni Frissell’s photograph “Weeki Wachee Spring, Florida”.
Bill Evans and Jim Hall’s Skating In Central Park is TheLarchWood’s Song of the Day getting 5 conifer cones out of 5 for the day. Listen Below.