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The Universal Mind of Bill Evans

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The Universal Mind of Bill Evans

type:
Movie
Current Status:
In Season
mpaa:
Unrated
runtime:
45 minutes
performer:
Bill Evans
director:
Louise Carvell
distributor:
Rhapsody Films
genre:
Documentary

We gave it an A

Several years ago, Rhapsody released a 21-minute video called Bill Evans on the Creative Process, a badly edited reduction of a 1966 TV program introduced by Steve Allen. The Universal Mind of Bill Evans is a restoration of the original 45-minute telecast, and it is wondrously dated. Here is the late, brilliantly original jazz pianist, his hair slicked back, his terrible teeth uncapped, a cigarette waving in the air, in intense conversation with his composer brother, Harry, on the nature of creativity in jazz. Occasionally they stroll to the piano for a musical illustration (Evans plays splendidly, especially a lilting ”Star Eyes”), or the film is halted so that Steverino can offer observations. What makes the film fascinating is Evans’ rap, a stream of ideas that issue forth like shamanistic lore. Onstage, Evans was famously reticent about speaking. Here he’s surprisingly, stirringly provocative. A

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