Thursday, June 7, 2007

First, thanks to Matthew Eli Wengard for his links and kind words about this blog. Be sure to check out his blog. Also Matthew maintains a jazz calendar for the city of Tampa and other city/counties in West Central Florida. That kind of work is difficult and thankless, but necessary. There are some great jazz musicians in Florida and if you are in that area check 'em out.

I have completed a lead sheet to "Spartacus Love Theme" as played by Bill Evans, most notably on the "Conversations with Myself" album where he overdubs himself for three tracks of simultaneous wonderful music. This recording needs to be re-issued and remixed as the existing version has some very strange emphasis on parts of Bill's playing that are more accompaniment than the solo line. It was probably one of those situations where Bill, for reasons unknown, did not participate in the mix down. In spite of that it remains a tour-de-force of great music.

When Bill performed "Spartacus" he added a lot more that was not in the original Alex North score as well as altering the original melody somewhat. The lead sheet takes that into consideration and, at the same time, I try to simplify the basic premise of the "tune."

Sorry about the poor music notation but I have a love-hate relationship with Finale 2006 and right now it's "hate" as I could not find a way to simply change the time signature in the lead sheet template.

Pianist Steve Strunk, (video performance link halfway down screen) whom I knew at Florida State University some 35 years ago and who now teaches at Catholic University in DC is part of a four piano team, The Jazz Piano Collective that regularly performs arrangements and transcriptions from "Conversations" and the follow-up recording "Further Conversations." Pianist Steve Larson of the University of Oregon has transcribed several of the "Conversations" for performance by the group and hopes to complete the "Spartacus" transcription in late August.


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  2. I *can't wait* for a transcription of that version of the Love Theme. Been waiting for years to see how he fills out the arrangement with the other pianos. How will we be able to get our hands on it once it is done?

  3. Is it possible to see this transcriptions you said? it would be great

  4. Where is the transcription?!

  5. Where is the transcription?!