Bill Evans – The Tokyo Concert {Fantasy}[OJC]


Review by Ken Dryden ~allmusic.com
The Bill Evans Trio’s 1973 concert in Tokyo was his first recording for Fantasy and it produced yet another Grammy nomination for the presentation. With bassist Eddie Gomez and drummer Marty Morell, this straight reissue of the original LP mixes offbeat songs with overlooked gems, familiar standards, and surprisingly, only one Evans composition, the demanding “T.T.T.T. (Twelve Tone Tune Two).” Bobbie Gentry’s “Mornin’ Glory” was an unusual choice to open the performance and seems a bit conservative for Evans. The adrenaline picks up considerably with his mid-tempo waltzing take of Jerome Kern’s “Up With the Lark” and a driving “My Romance.” Evans also revisits the twisting Scott LaFaro tune “Gloria’s Step,” which showcases both Gomez and Morell. The closer, “On Green Dolphin Street,” is given a slight bossa nova flavor and isn’t nearly as aggressive as most of the pianist’s live recordings of this popular standard. Although this CD doesn’t rank among the Top Five live dates recorded by Bill Evans, it should be considered an essential part of his discography. It seems odd that no additional music turned up for this reissue, as the concert is just under an hour long; all nine tracks are included in the boxed set The Complete Fantasy Recordings.

Tracklist:
01. Mornin’ Glory (5:48)
02. Up with the Lark (6:48)
03. Yesterday I Heard the Rain (6:33)
04. My Romance (8:43)
05. When Autumn Comes (6:05)
06. T.T.T.T. (Twelve Tone Tune Two) (6:38)
07. Hullo Bolinas (4:01)
08. Gloria’s Step (7:57)
09. On Green Dolphin Street (6:47)

Personnel:
Bill Evans – piano
Eddie Gomez – bass
Marty Morell – drums

Recorded in performance at Yubin Chokin Hall, Tokyo, Japan; January 20, 1973.
Digital mastering, 1990 – Phil De Lancie; Fantasy Studios, Berkeley.
Produced by Helen Keane.

Genre: Jazz
Style: Mainstream, Post-Bop
Label: Fantasy / OJC
Year: 1990
Time: 59:19

Quality-1: flac (tracks, eac, cue, log) + full scans
Quality-2: mp3@320 + full scans

Bill Evans with Philly Joe Jones – Green Dolphin Street {Riverside}[xrcd]


Review by Scott Yanow (allmusic.com)

This obscure Bill Evans trio set (with bassist Paul Chambers and drummer Philly Joe Jones) went unissued until the mid-’70s when the pianist decided that it was worth releasing as a fine example of bassist Chambers’ work. Very much a spontaneous set (recorded after the rhythm section made part of a record accompanying trumpeter Chet Baker), the group runs through a few standards such as “You and the Night and the Music,” “Green Dolphin Street,” and two versions of “Woody ‘N You.” Although lacking the magic of Evans’ regular bands, this CD reissue has its strong moments and the pianist’s fans will be interested in getting the early sampling of his work. A special bonus is the rare first take of “All of You” from the legendary Village Vanguard engagement by the 1961 Evans Trio (with bassist Scott LaFaro and drummer Paul Motian).

Tracks:
01 – You and the Night and the Music
02 – My Heart Stood Still
03 – Green Dolphin Street
04 – How am I to Know?
05 – Woody’n You (take 1)
06 – Woody’n You (take 2)
07 – Loose Bloose

Personnel:
Bill Evans – piano
Zoot Sims – tenor sax
Jim Hall – guitar
Paul Chambers, Ron Carter – bass
Philly Joe Jones – drums

Recorded at Reeves Sound Studios, New York City; January 19, 1959 (tracks: 1-6)
Recorded at Nola Penthouse Sound Studios, New York City; August 21, 1962 (track: 7)
Style: Cool, Post-Bop, Mainstream Jazz – Year: 1999

Quality: eac, flac, cue, log, scans

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Bill Evans – The Bill Evans Album {SONY}


Review by Scott Yanow (allmusic.com)

On this CD reissue (which adds three “new” alternate takes to the original seven song-program), Bill Evans made his debut on electric piano, usually playing it in conjunction with his acoustic piano. Joined by bassist Eddie Gomez and drummer Marty Morell, Evans performs seven of his stronger originals including “Funkallero,” “The Two Lonely People,” “Re: Person I Knew,” “T.T.T.” and “Waltz for Debby.” Although not as distinctive on the electric keyboard as he was on the acoustic counterpart, Evans sounds inspired by its possibilities and is heard in top creative form throughout the date.

Tracks:
01 – Funkallero
02 – The Two Lonely People
03 – Sugar Plum
04 – Waltz for Debby
05 – T.T.T. (Twelve Tone Tune)
06 – Re: Person I Knew
07 – Comrade Conrad
08 – Waltz for Debby (alternate)
09 – Re: Person I Knew (alternate)
10 – Funkallero (alternate)

Personnel:
Bill Evans – acoustic and electric piano
Eddie Gomez – acoustic bass
Marty Morrell – drums

Recorded at Columbia Records 30th Street Studio, New York City;
on May 11, 12, 17, 19, 20 and June 9; 1971.

Quality: eac, flac, cue, log, artwork

Bill Evans with Jeremy Steig – What’s New {Verve} “Japan”


Review by “Andrew (Denver, Colorado)” (amazon.com)

Bill Evans did not record too many collaborations with other artists outside of his own trios, probably because few could hold their own in the presence of his intensely emotional improvisations. Well known are his fine recordings with Jim Hall and the album he made with Toots Tiellemans – Affinity.
Far less so is this session with Jeremy Steig, son of the more famous cartoonist William Steig. Jeremy’s main efforts were in the Jazz Fusion field which was in vogue in the late sixties and early seventies. This recording attests to his astonishing ability in the straight ahead jazz genre. More importantly, the level of his emotional expression at least puts him in Evan’s musical ball park, and Evans,in turn, seems to be inspired by Steig’s breathy and adventurous solos.
The original album was tough to find, so this reissue is very welcome, particularly with so few jazz flautists currently active. Highly recommended.

Tracks:
01 – Straight No Chaser
02 – Lover Man
03 – What’s New
04 – Autumn Leaves
05 – Time Out for Chris
06 – Spartacus Love Theme
07 – So What

Personnel:
Jeremy Steig – flute
Bill Evans – piano
Eddie Gomez – bass
Marty Morrell – drums

Recorded at Webster Hall, N.Y.C., on Jan. 30, Feb. 3, 4, 5 and March 11, 1969

Quality: eac, flac, cue, log, artwork

Bill Evans Trio – Moon Beams {Riverside} “Analogue Productions”


Review by Review by Thom Jurek (allmusic.com)

Moonbeams was the first recording Bill Evans made after the death of his musical right arm, bassist Scott LaFaro. Indeed, in LaFaro, Evans found a counterpart rather than a sideman, and the music they made together over four albums showed it. Bassist Chuck Israels from Cecil Taylor and Bud Powell’s bands took his place in the band with Evans and drummer Paul Motian and Evans recorded the only possible response to the loss of LaFaro — an album of ballads. The irony on this recording is that, despite material that was so natural for Evans to play, particularly with his trademark impressionistic sound collage style, is that other than as a sideman almost ten years before, he has never been more assertive than on Moonbeams. It is as if, with the death of LaFaro, Evans’ safety net was gone and he had to lead the trio alone. And he does first and foremost by abandoning the impressionism in favor of a more rhythmic and muscular approach to harmony. The set opens with an Evans original, “RE: Person I Knew,” a modal study that looks back to his days he spent with Miles Davis. There is perhaps the signature jazz rendition of “Stairway to the Stars,” with its loping yet halting melody line and solo that is heightened by Motian’s gorgeous brush accents in the bridge section. Other selections are so well paced and sequenced the record feels like a dream, with the lovely stuttering arpeggios that fall in “If You Could See Me Now,” and the cascading interplay between Evan’s chords and Israel’s punctuation in “It Might As Well Be Spring,” a tune Evans played for the rest of his life. The set concludes with a waltz in “Very Early,” that is played at that proper tempo with great taste and delicate elegance throughout, there is no temptation by the rhythm section to charge it up or to elongate the harmonic architecture by means of juggling intervals. Moonbeams was a startling return to the recording sphere and a major advancement in his development as a leader.

Tracks:
01 – Re: Person I Knew
02 – Polka Dots and Moonbeams
03 – I Fall in Love Too Easily
04 – Stairway to the Stars
05 – If You Could See Me Now
06 – It Might As Well Be Spring
07 – In Love in Vain
08 – Very Early

Personnel:
Bill Evans – piano
Chuck Israels – bass
Paul Motian – drums

Recorded in New York; June 2, 1962 (selections #2-4, 6, 7);
May 29, 1962 (#1, 8); May 17, 1962 (#5)

Quality: eac, flac, cue, log, artwork

Bill Evans Trio – Portrait in Jazz {Riverside}[DCC]


Review by Scott Yanow (allmusic.com)

The first of two studio albums by the Bill Evans-Scott LaFaro-Paul Motian trio (both of which preceded their famous engagement at the Village Vanguard), this Portrait in Jazz reissue contains some wondrous interplay, particularly between pianist Evans and bassist LaFaro, on the two versions of “Autumn Leaves.” Other than introducing Evans’ “Peri’s Scope,” the music is comprised of standards, but the influential interpretations were far from routine or predictable at the time. LaFaro and Motian were nearly equal partners with the pianist in the ensembles and their versions of such tunes as “Come Rain or Come Shine,” “When I Fall in Love,” and “Someday My Prince Will Come” (which preceded Miles Davis’ famous recording by a couple years) are full of subtle and surprising creativity. A gem.

Tracks:
01 – Come Rain or Come Shine
02 – Autumn Leaves
03 – Witchcraft
04 – When I Fall in Love
05 – Peri’s Scope
06 – What is this Thing Called Love?
07 – Spring is Here
08 – Someday My Prince will Come
09 – Blue in Green
10 – Autumn Leaves (alternate – monarual LP version)

Personnel:
Bill Evans – piano
Scott LaFaro – bass
Paul Motian – drums

Recorded at Plaza Sound Studios, Rockefeller Center, NY, on December 28, 1959

Quality: eac, flac, cue, log, artwork

Bill Evans – Trio ’64 {Verve} “Master Edition”


Review by Lindsay Planer (allmusic.com)

Joining Bill Evans (piano) on Trio ’64 — his initial first three-piece recording for Verve — is the compact rhythm section of Gary Peacock (bass) and Paul Motian (drums). The effort spotlights their communal and intuitive musical discourse, hinging on an uncanny ability of the musicians to simultaneously hear and respond. All the more interesting, Evans had not interacted in this setting before, having most recently worked with Chuck Israels (bass) and Larry Bunker (drums). The personable opener, “Little Lulu,” features the aggregate melodically molding individual and distinct sonic characteristics. Evans’ nimble and emphatic syncopation is not only ably supported, but framed by Peacock’s expressive runs and Motian’s acute sense of timing. “A Sleeping Bee” is one of the collection’s most endearing selections as the groove playfully scintillates surrounding some hauntingly poignant chord changes. Evans bandies back and forth with Peacock, the latter likewise providing a stellar solo. “Always” captures a similar effervescence as the instrumentalists ebb and flow in synchronicity. Since the December 18 session was held the week before Christmas 1963, they fittingly tote out “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town,” creating a minor masterpiece of post-bop from what could easily have started as a spontaneous seasonal suggestion. Noël Coward’s “I’ll See You Again” bears a brisk waltz persona, enabling the unit to fluently weave its offerings without obstructing the otherwise affective tune. Concluding Trio ’64 is Rodgers & Hart’s standard “Everything Happens to Me,” with an unhurried tempo lingering just long enough to embrace the familiar refrain. Evans sparkles, gliding around Peacock’s full-bodied basslines and Motian’s solid yet restrained beat.

Tracks:
01 – Little Lulu
02 – A Sleepin’ Bee
03 – Always
04 – Santa Claus is Coming to Town
05 – I’ll See You Again
06 – For Heaven’s Sake
07 – Dancing in the Dark
08 – Everything Happens to Me
09 – Little Lulu (bonus track #1)
10 – Little Lulu (bonus track #2)
11 – Always (bonus track)
12 – I’ll See You Again (bonus track)
13 – My Heart Stood Still (bonus track){unused title}
14 – Always (bonus){incomplete selection}
15 – I’ll See You Again (bonus){incomplete selection}
16 – My Heart Stood Still (bonus){incomplete selection}[false starts]

Personnel:
Bill Evans – piano
Gary Peacock – bass
Paul Motian – drums

Recorded December, 1963

Quality: eac, flac, cue, log, artwork