Remember spring as you walk past a frozen lake in winter.
Listen, the music calls you.
Let it take you away to glist’ning shores where dolphins play,
Back to your quiet mind where colors change in time.
Lead to the love inside remembered time.
You feel the time inside you.
You’re looking down at your hands and the room fills up with angels.
Take them, show them the way
The magnificent skies and em’rald hills where giants play.
And though they’re going to cheer,
They really want to hear
Those quiet lines
That lead them back inside remembered time.
Remember spring as you sleep through the iron days of winter.
How then could we repay you?
In your moment on earth, you taught us to believe in spring.
And when your heart went still,
What did you find there, Bill?
Play just one line.
Show us what lies beyond remembered time.
Lyric by Paul Lewis & Music by Bill Evans © TRO inc.
This Bill Evans original and wonderful deeply-felt ballad “Time Remembered” recieved in 1963 its first trio exposition on disc at Shelley’s Manne Hole in Los Angeles, California, with Chuck Israels on bass and Larry Bunker on drums. Subsequently he played the ballad on several gigs and was widely recorded on various albums, including a 1965 session where arranger and conductor Claus Ogerman supplies a string and woodwind arrangement. “Time Remembered” shows Evans influences from the romantic and impressionistic schools of classical music. This modal song doesn’t have a single harmonic cadence but a variety of shifting harmonies and the listener gets a feeling of floating from one tonality to the next. Evans employs an atonal non-functional chord succession without a primary key, the melody is comprised of unresolved melodic tensions, a remarkable characteristic of the music of Ravel and Debussy. The explanation of Bill Evans how he wrote the piece: “It was the harmony that came first , I wrote the harmony and then the structural melody with whole notes. Then off of that I filled in the motivic units and overall shape of the melody.”
Ralph A. Miriello, jazz journalist from Allaboutjazz.com, in an interview with Jack Reilly, author of the two excellent books The Harmony of Bill Evans volume 1 and 2: “Jack, what do you consider Bill Evans crowning compositional achievement?” “Time Remembered”, because there are no active (dominant) harmonies in the progression. A miracle of major proportions! No one has achieved this, no one; no other composer from the 1600’s up to the 1980’s. That’s magic”.
Numerous pianists and other instrumentalists recorded the ballad on their tribute albums and as a peculiarity the group Blood Sweat & Tears on their album What Goes Up! (1995)
The composer and songwriter Paul Lewis wrote the lyrics for “Time Remembered”. A personal note from Paul Lewis: “Katie King, a friend of mine in Seattle, was recording an album Jazz Figures (KKJazz) in 1991, she mentioned that she’d like to record “Time Remembered”, but unfortunately there was no lyric. I offered to try to write a lyric to it. It took me about two days, I recall. Afterwards, we wrote to TRO to make sure it would be OK to record the song with the lyric. Judy Bell from TRO wrote back and said that after checking with Nenette Evans, they wanted to publish it in the Bill Evans Fake Book. And so it became the ‘official lyric’ and a number of wonderful singers have recorded it. I’ve had the great pleasure of meeting a couple of these singers.” Meridith d’Ambrosio performed the song on her album Echo of a Kiss (1998), Kendra Shank on Mosaic (2009), Hilde Hefte on Playsong (2007), Esmeralda Ferrara on Sings Bill Evans (2002), Sylvia Perez on We Sing Bill Evans (2008), Karen Gallinger on Remembering Bill Evans (Dawn Preludes) (2000), Judy Niemack on About Time(2003) and Dutch singer Simone Honijk on her album Interplay (2008).
After he played his last haunting chord, “Time” stopped after 51 years for Bill, but his work – put in jazz and music – has an endless aura.
Bill Evans: ‘When you play music you discover a part of yourself that you never knew existed’
EARLA PORCH FRANK has a career as a sculptor and jazz vocalist. She was born in Cambridge, Mass., and studied Fine Art at the California Art Center and Kansas University. Majoring in sculpture, she has produced many abstract bronze works. Her flowing, lyrical pieces have graced many galleries throughout the country, including the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, and the Harvard library in Cambridge Ma. She executed a number of portrait sculptures of jazz legends like Charlie Parker, Billie Holiday and Chet Baker.
This sculpture of Bill Evans from 1980, the only one in existance, is on display at the Downbeat Jazz Hall of Fame in Orlando, Florida and at the Bill Evans Piano Academy in Paris, France. Nenette Evans, Bill Evans’ widow: “I couldn’t believe the likeness, Bill would have been so flattered to see it. It’s a real honor.” Bill’s lifelong manager Helen Keane send her two excellent photos to work from and a video tape helped her to get different angles of his face. To this day she spends hours listening to Bill’s recordings while sculpting.
Her career as a sculptor is very tightly entwined with her life as a jazz vocalist. Earla has sung in jazz clubs since she was in her teens and has worked with many jazz greats, including Chet Baker and Duke Jordan. In 2003 she released her album Satin and Smoke. Earla is a “listener’s’ singer” who sings in the same laid back understated manner that Chet Baker used to sing in. In the liner notes, jazz luminary Chet Baker says, “Earla is my favorite female singer.”
© Bronze Earla Porch Frank (1988)
© Photograph Rob Rijneke