cover picture
David Schollmeyer:
Bill Evans On The Organ
Label MDG 9062159-6
recorded September 2019 at Große Kirche in Bremerhaven/Germany
online distribution


David Schollmeyer church organ


Track List
01: My Bells
02: Very Early
03: Green Dolphin Street
04: Emily
05: Quiet Now
06: My Romance
07: Unless It's You
08: Peace Piece
09: Only Child
10: B Minor Waltz
11: You Must Believe In Spring
12: The Two Lonely People
13: My Foolish Heart
14: Waltz For Debby
15: Epilog


I must admit that when I first heard about this recording I thought to myself: "How can this possibly sound right"? So imagine my surprise when, the first time I listened to it, I was instantly enthralled by the way it sounds and the way it's played. Just think of the Beckerath Pipe Organ in the church of Bremerhaven as a Hammond B-3 on steroids. The Hammond B-3 is the organ of choice for all the great jazz organists. And Bill Evans (1929- 1980) has always been considered one of the great jazz pianists of all-time, not so much for technical panache like Oscar Peterson for example, but for the way he could extract magic out of a melody. So when you bring together an organ and his music you get a sound that grooves.
But great sound wouldn't matter unless the music is well played. And this is where organist David Schollmeyer, who is also a jazz pianist, steps in. His choice of stops and manuals on the organ always allow for a well defined melodic line, especially in Very Early, and he never allows the overall registration to get too heavy and blur the music's jazzy rhythmic pulse. I mean, just listen to his fancy footwork on the pedals which act as the upright jazz doublebass in Green Dolphin Street and you can tell that this musician can easily handle multitasking. I also love what he projects out of Peace Piece with its fancy musings in the right hand over an ostinato bass. He also well captures the bluesy feel of B Minor Waltz. Keep in mind that on a piano you can depend on the sustain pedal to hold key notes while your hands move on to something else. There's no such mechanism on the organ so your fingers have to do all the work of holding certain notes longer while the other fingers and feet keep moving along, and that's not an easy feat, but David Schollmeyer makes it all sound so natural. Bill Evans on a pipe organ ... no problem!
Jean-Yves Duperron - March 2020


Sound Samples
MP3 n/a


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