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Straight No Chaser - A Jazz Show

Straight No Chaser is the place for jazz lovers (and those who will soon be jazz lovers) to enjoy podcasts with their favorite music and artists. Winner of the 2017 JazzTimes Readers' Poll for Best Podcast, your host Jeffrey Siegel will take you inside the world of jazz, from the new releases to the best festiva;s to remembrances of jazz legends.

Fifty Years Ago Today - "Spring is Here"

Dec 28, 2009

Looking outside, I can unequivocably state - Spring is NOT here.

But fifty years ago today, Bill Evans was hard at work at what would become Portrait in Jazz, one of his best efforts for Riverside records. I'm not sure if Bill had his tongue firmly in cheek, or whether he simply loved the song, but Rodgers & Hart's "Spring is Here" is one of the highlights of the album.

This is the Evans who was crucial in creating the sound of Kind of Blue earlier in the year, using space and rhythm fills to create a moody recording. His unique use of chords, topped with his tasteful solos, make this memorable. Bassist Scott LaFaro and drummer Paul Motian complete the trio. When Spring did arrive in 1960, the trio appeared in a series of memorable concerts at Birdland in New York.

It's interesting to note that the trio's version of "Blue in Green" was recorded that day as well. The song is credited on Portrait in Jazz to Evans and Miles Davis, although on Kind of Blue, Davis is listed as the sole author. The credit remained something of a bone of contention between the two men, with Davis claiming he wrote the song entirely by himself, and Evans claiming that it was only his work.