Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Darn That Dream

I have been struggling with Darn That Dream for a very long time.   I've been wanting to do this song since  I heard Jim Hall and Bill Evans perform it on the Undercurrents album many years ago.  The idea of being able to play this both on guitar and piano was appealing to me.  That was always my target.  Back in 2012,  I even went so far as to do a "sound check" for piano/guitar.

I decided ultimately that unaccompanied interplay  between  piano and guitar,  when I was trying to play both,  was just going to be too hard to pull off.   So I scrapped the project.

Two years later I decided to take another run at this tune.  This time I was able to get a hold of a transcription of the Bill Evans piano part from the original Undercurrents recording.  After spending some time with the transcription,  I was more convinced than ever that I was not going to attempt to do a self-duo number - particularly since I have not been playing much guitar.   

So I had no idea what I was going to do with this mess.  There were a few beautiful passages from Bill Evans that I wanted to use,   but I had no overall song concept to fit them into.   What I decided to do was make this into a latin number.   More precisely, it is a latin jazz cha cha  with the Bill Evans voicings and phrasings spread liberally throughout.   My piano teacher Ed  gave me some other nice ideas that are incorporated as well-  like playing pieces of the melody in 10ths on different octaves of the keyboard,  or nice turnaround phrases.

Here are some of Evans phrases used (overused) throughout.

After deciding that I wanted to make this into a latin-style number,   I went online to see if I could find any nice latin-tinged recorded version to gain inspiration/insight from.   There were a few,  but not many compared to the overall number of covers available for this song.  One of the most beautiful treatments, and one that I would highly recommend is from guitarist Corey Christiansen and his quartet.  Tasty!

Bill Evans and Jim Hall Undercurrents

Corey Christiansen Quartet

1 comment:

  1. Ken,
    I absolutely LOVE this rendition:)
    The Latin feel works beautifully.
    Your ability to make the BIAB accompaniment sound so natural is OUTSTANDING!. The mix is excellent, and your playing is so lyrical and expressive.
    Keep up the great work!!