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

Stan Getz with Cal Tjader {Fantasy}[xrcd]


Review by Richard S. Ginell (allmusic.com)

An amazing ad-hoc session, thrown together in a San Francisco studio with now legendary personnel from two different groups. The lineup says it all — a meeting of the Latin jazz maestro and the future champion of Brazilian jazz, plus, from Tjader’s group, Vince Guaraldi on piano and guitarist Eddie Duran, and from Getz’s band, the then unknown teenager Scott LaFaro on bass and Billy Higgins on drums. A moment for the history books is an 11-minute workout on Guaraldi’s pentatonic souvenir of Tokyo, “Ginza Samba,” where the fast-samba theme finds Getz blowing to a Brazilian rhythm four years before “Desafinado.” The jamming, though, is in a straight-ahead bebop groove where Getz’s eloquence unfolds with almost unearthly ease. The rest of the album alternates between lyric ballads and solid, though non-Latin, swinging where Tjader, Guaraldi, and Duran graft onto the great Getz rhythm section like they’ve been playing together for decades (check out the funky combustion on “Crow’s Nest”). Collectors’ note: when Getz became a bossa nova star, this album was reissued in 1963 as Stan Getz With Cal Tjader with a different set of liner notes and remains available on LP and cassette in this form.

Tracks:
01 – Ginza Samba
02 – I’ve Grown Accustomed to Her Face
03 – For All We Know
04 – Crow’s Nest
05 – Liz-Anne
06 – Big Bear
07 – My Buddy

Personnel:
Stan Getz – tenor saxophone
Cal Tjader – vibes
Vince Guaraldi – piano
Eddie Duran – guitar
Scott LaFaro – bass
Billy Higgins – drums

Recorded at Circle Record Studios, San Francisco; February 8, 1958.

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