Chet Baker – Chet {Riverside}[OJC]


Review by Scott Yanow (allmusic.com)

The shifting personnel on this excellent CD find Chet Baker joined by such players as baritonist Pepper Adams, flutist Herbie Mann, pianist Bill Evans, and guitarist Kenny Burrell. This reissue of an LP adds one selection (“Early Morning Mood”) formerly only available on a sampler. Fine straight-ahead music that comes from the tail end of the West Coast jazz era.

Tracks:
01 – Alone Together
02 – How High The Moon
03 – It Never Entered My Mind
04 – ‘Tis Autumn
05 – If You Could See Me Now
06 – September Song
07 – You’d Be So Nice To Come Home To
08 – Time On My Hands (You In My Arms)
09 – You and the Night and the Music
10 – Early Morning Mood

Personnel:
Chet Baker – trumpet
Pepper Adams – baritone sax
Herbie Mann – flute
Kenny Burrell – guitar
Bill Evans – piano
Paul Chambers – bass
Connie Kay, Philly Joe Jones – drums

Recorded in New York City; December 30, 1958 and January 19, 1959

Quality: eac, flac, cue, log, artwork

Miles Davis – Kind of Blue “50th Anniversary Collector’s Edition” [2CD] {Columbia}


~wikipedia.org
Kind of Blue is a studio album by American jazz musician Miles Davis, released August 17, 1959, on Columbia Records in the United States. Recording sessions for the album took place at Columbia’s 30th Street Studio in New York City on March 2 and April 22, 1959. The sessions featured Davis’s ensemble sextet, which consisted of pianists Bill Evans and Wynton Kelly, drummer Jimmy Cobb, bassist Paul Chambers, and saxophonists John Coltrane and Julian “Cannonball” Adderley. After the inclusion of Bill Evans into his sextet, Davis followed up on the modal experimentations of Milestones (1958) and 1958 Miles (1958) by basing the album entirely on modality, in contrast to his earlier work with the hard bop style of jazz.

Though precise figures have been disputed, Kind of Blue has been cited by many music writers not only as Davis’s best-selling album, but as the best-selling jazz record of all time. On October 7, 2008, it was certified quadruple platinum in sales by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). It has been regarded by many critics as the greatest jazz album of all time and Davis’s masterpiece. The album’s influence on music, including jazz, rock, and classical music, has led music writers to acknowledge it as one of the most influential albums of all time. In 2002, it was one of fifty recordings chosen that year by the Library of Congress to be added to the National Recording Registry. In 2003, the album was ranked number 12 on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.

Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine ~allmusic.com
Kind of Blue isn’t merely an artistic highlight for Miles Davis, it’s an album that towers above its peers, a record generally considered as the definitive jazz album, a universally acknowledged standard of excellence. Why does Kind of Blue posses such a mystique? Perhaps because this music never flaunts its genius. It lures listeners in with the slow, luxurious bassline and gentle piano chords of “So What.” From that moment on, the record never really changes pace — each tune has a similar relaxed feel, as the music flows easily. Yet Kind of Blue is more than easy listening. It’s the pinnacle of modal jazz — tonality and solos build from the overall key, not chord changes, giving the music a subtly shifting quality. All of this doesn’t quite explain why seasoned jazz fans return to this record even after they’ve memorized every nuance. They return because this is an exceptional band — Miles, Coltrane, Bill Evans, Cannonball Adderley, Paul Chambers, Jimmy Cobb — one of the greatest in history, playing at the peak of its power. As Evans said in the original liner notes for the record, the band did not play through any of these pieces prior to recording. Davis laid out the themes before the tape rolled, and then the band improvised. The end results were wondrous and still crackle with vitality. Kind of Blue works on many different levels. It can be played as background music, yet it amply rewards close listening. It is advanced music that is extraordinarily enjoyable. It may be a stretch to say that if you don’t like Kind of Blue, you don’t like jazz — but it’s hard to imagine it as anything other than a cornerstone of any jazz collection. [Legacy’s greatly expanded 50th Anniversary Collector’s Edition was issued in 2008.]

Tracklist, disc one:
01. So What (9:25)
02. Freddie Freeloader (9:49)
03. Blue in Green (5:38)
04. All Blues (11:36)
05. Flamenco Sketches (9:26)
06. Flamenco Sketches (alternate take) (9:34)
07. Freddie Freeloader – studio sequence 1 (0:53)
08. Freddie Freeloader – false start (1:28)
09. Freddie Freeloader – studio sequence 2 (1:31)
10. So What – studio sequence 1 (1:56)
11. So What – studio sequence 2 (0:14)
12. Blue in Green – studio sequence (1:59)
13. Flamenco Sketches – studio sequence 1 (0:45)
14. Flamenco Sketches – studio sequence 2 (1:12)
15. All Blues – studio sequence (0:19)

Tracklist, disc two:
01. On Green Dolphin Street (9:50)
02. Fran-Dance (5:50)
03. Stella by Starlight (4:47)
04. Love for Sale (11:49)
05. Fran-Dance (alternate take) (5:54)
06. So What (previously released in unauthorized form) (17:29)

Personnel:
Miles Davis – trumpet
Cannonball Adderley – alto saxophone
John Coltrane – tenor saxophone
Wynton Kelly, Bill Evans – piano
Paul Chambers – bass
Jimmy Cobb – drums

Recorded May 26, 1958 – Apr 9, 1960 at 30th Street Studio; New York
Produced by Teo Macero and Irving Townsend

Genre: Jazz
Style: Hard Bop, Post Bop
Label: Columbia – 50th Anniversary Collector’s Edition
Year: 2008
Time: 65:44 + 55:39

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

Bill Evans Trio – I Will Say Goodbye {Fantasy}[OJC]


Review by Scott Yanow (allmusic.com)

The title refers to the Michel Legrand piece performed twice on the date, and to the fact that pianist Bill Evans was on the verge of switching labels from Fantasy to Warner Bros. For his final Fantasy album, Evans, bassist Eddie G√≥mez, and drummer Eliot Zigmund perform memorable renditions of such songs as Herbie Hancock’s “Dolphin Dance,” Johnny Mandel’s “Seascape,” and Burt Bacharach’s underrated “A House Is Not a Home.” The CD reissue adds two additional selections (“Nobody Else But Me” and “Orson’s Theme”) from this excellent series of sessions. Fine post-bop music from an influential piano giant.

Tracks:
01 – I Will Say Goodbye
02 – Dolphin Dance
03 – Seascape
04 – Peau Douce
05 – Nobody Else But Me
06 – I Will Say Goodbye (take 2)
07 – The Opener
08 – Quiet Light
09 – A House is Not a Home
10 – Orson’s Theme

Personnel:
Bill Evans – piano
Eddie Gomez – bass
Eliot Zigmund – drums

Quality: eac, flac, cue, log, artwork

Bill Evans – Affinity (with Toots Thielemans) {WarnerBros}


Review by Scott Yanow (allmusic.com)

Pianist Bill Evans (who doubles on electric piano on this album for the final time in the recording studio) welcomes guest harmonica player Toots Thielemans and Larry Schneider (on tenor, soprano and alto flute) to an outing with bassist Marc Johnson (making his recording debut with Evans) and drummer Eliot Zigmund. The material contains some surprises (including Paul Simon’s “I Do It for Your Love” and Michel Legrand’s “The Other Side of Tonight”) and only two jazz standards (“Body & Soul” and “Blue and Green”) with the latter being the only Evans composition. Excellent if not essential music that Evans generally uplifts.

Tracks:
01 – I Do It for Your Love
02 – Sno’ Peas
03 – This is All I Ask
04 – The Days of Wine and Roses
05 – Jesus’ Last Ballad
06 – Tomato Kiss
07 – The Other Side of Midnight (Noelle’s Theme)
08 – Blue and Green
09 – Body & Soul

Personnel:
Bill Evans – acoustic and electric piano
Toots Thielemans – harmonica
Marc Johnson – acoustic bass
Eliot zigmund – drums
Larry Schneider – tenor and soprano sax; alto flute

Recorded at Columbia Studios, 30th Street, NYC;
October 30&31; November 1&2, 1978.

Quality: eac, flac, cue, log, artwork

Bill Evans Trio – Waltz for Debby {Riverside} “Analogue Productions”


Review by Thom Jurek (allmusic.com)

Recorded at the Village Vanguard in 1961, shortly before Scott LaFaro’s death, Waltz for Debby is the second album issued from that historic session, and the final one from that legendary trio that also contained drummer Paul Motian. While the Sunday at the Village Vanguard album focused on material where LaFaro soloed prominently, this is far more a portrait of the trio on those dates. Evans chose the material here, and, possibly, in some unconscious way, revealed on these sessions — and the two following LaFaro’s death (Moonbeams and How My Heart Sings!) — a different side of his musical personality that had never been displayed on his earlier solo recordings or during his tenures with Miles Davis and George Russell: Evans was an intensely romantic player, flagrantly emotional, and that is revealed here in spades on tunes such as “My Foolish Heart” and “Detour Ahead.” There is a kind of impressionistic construction to his harmonic architecture that plays off the middle registers and goes deeper into its sonances in order to set into motion numerous melodic fragments simultaneously. The rhythmic intensity that he displayed as a sideman is evident here in “Milestones,” with its muscular shifting time signature and those large, flatted ninths with the right hand. The trio’s most impressive interplay is in “My Romance,” after Evans’ opening moments introducing the changes. Here Motian’s brushwork is delicate, flighty and elegant, and LaFaro controls the dynamic of the tune with his light as a feather pizzicato work and makes Evans’ deeply emotional statements swing effortlessly. Of the many recordings Evans issued, the two Vanguard dates and Explorations are the ultimate expressions of his legendary trio.

Tracks:
01 – My Foolish Heart
02 – Waltz for Debby
03 – Detour Ahead
04 – My Romance
05 – Some Other Time
06 – Milestones

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

Recorded live at the Village Vanguard, New York City; on June 25, 1961

Quality: eac, flac, cue, log, artwork

Tony Bennett & Bill Evans Album {Fantasy}[OJC]


Review by William Ruhlmann (allmusic.com)
Having completed his relatively brief sojourn with MGM/Verve with 1973’s Listen Easy, Tony Bennett was in the midst of forming his own label, Improv Records, when he made a deal with jazz pianist Bill Evans to cut two LPs, this one for Evans’ label, Fantasy Records, with another to follow on Improv. The singer and his collaborator (“accompanist” does not adequately describe Evans’ contribution, and in any case he received co-billing) got together in a recording studio over four days in June 1975 with no one other than the producer, Helen Keane and an engineer present, and quickly recorded one of the best albums of either’s career. For Bennett, it was a dream project; for years (decades, actually), he had been balancing the demands of commerciality with his own inclinations toward jazz and affection for the songs of Broadway masters and of the Great American Songbook. Left to himself with a jazz partner, he naturally gravitated toward both interests. There were songs here that he had already recorded, but never in so unadorned and yet fully realized a fashion. Evans was an excellent accompanist, using his steady left hand to keep his singer centered, but ready, whenever the vocals were finished, to go off into his characteristically lyrical playing. Bennett could seem a bit earthbound when he came back in (he still wasn’t really a jazz singer), but his obvious enthusiasm for the project, coupled with his mastery of phrasing in songs he understood perfectly made him an equal in the partnership. As far as the major-label record business was concerned, the 46-year-old singer might have been over the hill and indulging himself, but in fact he was in his prime and finally able to pursue his ambitions unfettered, and that would prove itself a major boost to his career over time. For the moment, he’d made an excellent jazz-pop hybrid in which both musicians were shown off to advantage. [The five alternate takes included as bonus tracks on the 2006 reissue of the album are, not surprisingly, more interesting for Evans’ different improvisations than for anything else. But they also demonstrate that he and Bennett tried different approaches to the tunes. The album’s lead-off track, “Young and Foolish,” begins with both Bennett and Evans on the refrain, but the alternate take starts with Evans alone, followed by Bennett singing the song’s introductory verse instead; the version runs a minute longer. The alternate take of “The Touch of Your Lips,” on the other hand, is at a faster tempo and a minute shorter. None of the alternate takes actually improves on the originally released ones, but they show how well considered the album was.]

Tracklist:
01 – Young and Foolish 03:54
02 – The Touch of Your Lips 03:56
03 – Some Other Time 04:42
04 – When in Rome 02:55
05 – We’ll Be Together Again 04:39
06 – My Foolish Heart 04:51
07 – Waltz for Debby 04:04
08 – But Beautiful 03:36
09 – Days of Wine and Roses 02:22

Personnel:
Tony Bennett – vocals
Bill Evans – piano

Recorded at Fantasy Studios, Berkeley, CA; June 10-13, 1975.

Label: Fantasy / OJC
Year: 1991
Genre: Jazz
Style: Vocal Jazz, Post Bop
Total Time: 34:58

Quality: eac, flac, cue, log, artwork