235

Bill Evans: Emergence

Nic Jones By

Sign in to view read count
Bill Evans: Emergence Pianist Bill Evans has become one of the three pervasive influences on that instrument in these early years of the twenty-first century, along with Herbie Hancock and McCoy Tyner. This set gathers together some of his earliest records both as a sideman and a leader and, as such, plots the beginnings of a phenomenon.

One of Evans' earliest gigs was as the pianist in the band of clarinetist Tony Scott, who died at the age of 85 on March 28, 2007. The quartet and tentette tracks gathered here reveal a musician still finding his feet but, equally importantly, one in the midst of discovering himself, musically speaking. This is apparent on "Round About Midnight," where he carries the darkly ambiguous melody almost by force of touch and sensitivity to instrumental color. In these respects he was perhaps Scott's pianist of choice, so well do the musical sensibilities of the two men complement each other.

The six tracks by the George Russell Smalltet undoubtedly offer the purest distillation of African American and European sensibilities that were destined to become a major facet of the pianist's later work, and though the juxtaposition of the two on "Ballad Of Hix Blewitt is a little contrived, the fact that they are reconciled at all is some order of modest achievement, especially if compared to "Ezz-thetic, where an astringent bop line is rendered distinctive by its unusual intervals and the fearsome dexterity of the Evans' right hand.

What really make this collection a useful one-stop for anyone wishing to get a taste of a talent emerging is the fact that two of the last tracks are given over to the trio format in which Evans arguably made his most profound contribution to the jazz canon. On "Five his sense of momentum in such that the argument that he didn't swing seems a little specious, whilst on the solo "Waltz For Debby he manages to conjure out a portrait of innocence and playfulness in less than a minute-and-a-half.

It's clear from this collection that Evans was something of a restless spirit even when he was working under the leadership of others. This, taken in combination with the fact that he's proven to be so enduringly influential, makes it something of a mandatory requirement for anyone interested in jazz piano.


Track Listing: Kimona My House; Like Someone In Love; Evry Night About This Time; Ye Hypocrite, Ye Beelzebub; Ezz-thetic; Round Johnny Rondo; Ballad Of Hix Blewitt; Concerto For Billy The Kid; Concerto For Billy The Kid (alternate take) Baltimore Oriole; Aeolian Drinking Song; Deep Purple; My Old Flame; Round About Midnight; Five; Displacement; Waltz For Debby.

Personnel: Bill Evans: piano (1-17); Dick Garcia: guitar (1-3); Jerry Bruno: bass (1-3); Camille Morin: drums (1-3); George Russell: arranger, leader (4-9); Art Farmer: trumpet (4-9); Hal McKusick: alto sax (4-9); Barry Galbraith: guitar (4-9, 13); Milt Hinton: bass (4-9, 13); Joe Harris: drums (4-9); Lucy Reed: vocal (10); Howard Collins: guitar (10); Bob Carter: bass (10); Sol Gubin; drums (10); Tony Scott: clarinet (11-14); Les Grinage: bass (11, 12, 14); Lenny McBrowne: drums (11, 12, 14); Johnny Carisi: trumpet (13); Joe Wilder: trumpet (13); Jimmy Cleveland: trombone (13); Urbie Green: trombone (13); Danny Bank: baritone sax (13); Osie Johnson: drums (13); Teddy Kotick: bass (15, 16); Paul Motian: drums (15, 16);.

Year Released: 2007 | Record Label: FiveFour | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

More Articles

Read The Picasso Zone CD/LP/Track Review The Picasso Zone
by Franz A. Matzner
Published: February 23, 2017
Read The MUH Trio – Prague After Dark CD/LP/Track Review The MUH Trio – Prague After Dark
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Les Deux Versants Se Regardent CD/LP/Track Review Les Deux Versants Se Regardent
by John Sharpe
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Molto Bene CD/LP/Track Review Molto Bene
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Fellowship CD/LP/Track Review Fellowship
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 22, 2017
Read E.S.T. Symphony CD/LP/Track Review E.S.T. Symphony
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 22, 2017
Read "Iceland" CD/LP/Track Review Iceland
by Dave Wayne
Published: May 21, 2016
Read "Some Great Songs Vol. 2" CD/LP/Track Review Some Great Songs Vol. 2
by Mark Sullivan
Published: February 6, 2017
Read "Things Are Looking Up" CD/LP/Track Review Things Are Looking Up
by Jack Bowers
Published: May 9, 2016
Read "Swivel" CD/LP/Track Review Swivel
by Mark Corroto
Published: October 16, 2016
Read "Cada Fuego Es El Primero" CD/LP/Track Review Cada Fuego Es El Primero
by Mark Corroto
Published: August 20, 2016
Read "Interlude: Atticus Live!-The Music of Jesse Lewis" CD/LP/Track Review Interlude: Atticus Live!-The Music of Jesse Lewis
by Karl Ackermann
Published: November 29, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!