20/02/2019: “Gary’s Theme” by Bill Evans

This is such a delicate song. The opening piano notes are played with such tenderness, it’s as if the keys were made of fragile glass.

The bass joins, tentatively, so as to leave the tranquillity of the piece undisturbed.

The drums are barely used here, and when they are, it’s only to add a shimmer of the cymbal or the light tap of the tom.

“Gary’s Theme” was originally written by Gary McFarland; an interesting thing to do, naming a song after yourself!

Tragically, McFarland died of poisoning in 1971 and never got the chance to record his own version.

Since Bill Evans himself died in 1980 as a result of years of drug abuse, and the album on which this was released was only released a year after his death, the song has a bit of a morbid history. The album was dedicated to his brother, who had committed suicide.

Nevertheless, the song is very beautiful, perhaps because of this.

The song was recorded in 1977 for the 1981 album You Must Believe In Spring.


1 Comment

  1. Gorgeous. Thank you for the info. I’ve been an Evans fan since I was 16 (I’m 20 now) and heard this piece a while back, but it hadn’t really fazed me then. I don’t know what changed, but now there’s something about it that stood out to me while listening to it today. I suddenly can’t stop listening to it. Bill’s music makes me feel ways I so rarely feel. His mind must have been an intense place. I love it so much.

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