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

Stan Getz Quartet feat. Astrud Gilberto – Getz Au Go Go {Verve} “Originals”


Review by Lindsay Planer (allmusic.com)
Although the name Stan Getz (tenor sax) was initially synonymous with the West Coast cool scene during the mid-to-late 1950s, he likewise became a key component in the Bossa Nova craze of the early 1960s. Along with Astrud Gilberto (vocals), Getz scored a genre-defining hit with the “Girl From Ipanema,” extracted from the equally lauded Getz/Gilberto (1963). While that platter primarily consists of duets between Getz and João Gilberto (guitar/vocals), it was truly serendipity that teamed Getz with João’s wife Astrud, who claims to have never sung a note outside of her own home prior to the session that launched her career. Getz Au Go Go Featuring Astrud Gilberto (1964) was the second-to-last album that he would issue during his self-proclaimed “Bossa Nova Era” — the final being Getz/Gilberto #2 [live] (1964) concert title from Carnegie Hall. In many ways, that is a logical successor to this one, as both include the “New Stan Getz Quartet.” The band features a young Gary Burton (vibraphone), Kenny Burrell (guitar), Gene Cherico (bass), and Joe Hunt (drums). As is typical with jazz, there are a few personnel substitutions, with Helcio Milito (drums) and Chuck Israels (bass), respectively, filling in on nearly half the effort. As the name of the disc intimates, this recording hails from the venerable Greenwich Village venue, the Café Au Go Go, in mid-August of 1964 — two months after “Girl From Ipanema” became a Top Five pop single. However, the focus of Getz Au Go Go steers away from the Brazilian flavored fare, bringing Astrud Gilberto into the realm of a decidedly more North American style. That said, there are a few Antonio Carlos Jobim compositions — “Corcovado (Quiet Nights of Quiet Stars)” and “One Note Samba” — both of which would be considered as jazz standards in years to follow — as well as the lesser-circulated “Eu E Voce.” Getz and crew gather behind Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein’s “It Might as Well Be Spring,” and the scintillating instrumental “Summertime,” from Porgy & Bess. Other equally engaging cuts include affective vocal readings of “Only Trust Your Heart,” and the diminutive, yet catchy “Telephone Song.” There is also some great interaction between Getz and Burton on “Here’s to That Rainy Day.” Getz Au Go Go is highly recommended for all dimensions of jazz enthusiasts.

Tracklist:
01 – Corcovado (Quiet Nights of Quiet Stars) 02:52
02 – It Might as Well Be Spring 04:28
03 – Eu E Voce (Me and You) 02:33
04 – Summertime 08:12
05 – 6-Nix-Pix-Flix 01:06
06 – Only Trust Your Heart 04:42
07 – The Singing Song 03:47
08 – The Telephone Song 01:58
09 – One Note Samba 03:20
10 – Here’s That Rainy Day 06:16

Personnel:
Stan Getz – tenor sax and leader
Astrud Gilberto – vocalist
Gary Burton – vibes
Kenny Burrell – guitar
Gene Cherico, Chuck Israels – bass
Joe Hunt, Helcio Milito – drums

Tracks 4, 5, 6, 7, 9, 10 recorded at Cafe Au Go Go, Greenwich Village, N.Y.C.; May 22, 1964
Tracks 1, 2, 3, 8 recorded at Carnegie Hall, N.Y.C.; October 9, 1964

Label: Verve
Year: 2007
Genre: Jazz
Style: Bossa Nova, Cool
Total Time: 39:13

Quality: eac, flac, cue, log, artwork