Support All About Jazz

All About Jazz needs your help and we have a deal. Pay $20 and we'll hide those six pesky Google ads that appear on every page, plus this box and the slideout box on the right for a full year! You'll also fund website expansion.


I want to help
595

Bill Evans Trio: Explorations

David Rickert By

Sign in to view read count Views
Bill Evans Trio: Explorations An article in a men’s magazine once suggested an exercise regimen that consisted of a walk to the local record store to buy one Bill Evans CD every day. That way you would not only be in better shape, but you would also have a great collection of piano jazz as well. It’s an established fact that Evans revolutionized the sound of the piano trio; you can bet that every pianist who ever worked the hotel lounge circuit has worn out the grooves listening to his records. However, unlike the cocktail tinklings of his admirers that end up little more than background music, Evans demands to be heard, seducing you with his indelibly emotional playing. Most aficionados would agree that his trio records with Scott LaFaro on bass are his best, and the natural place for a novice to start.

Explorations is the second outing by this trio and took almost a year to record after Portrait in Jazz, the album that won him such great critical acclaim. Evans conceptualized the trio as exactly that—a trio, where each member contributed equally to the whole. It works marvelously: LaFaro’s nimble bass playing and Motian’s drumming provide a relaxed, rhythmic underpinning for Evan’s graceful chords. The trio works magic here, breathing fresh air into standards such as “How Deep and the Ocean?” and “Beautiful Love” and creating the illusion that these songs were written just so someone like Evans could play them. The highlight of the album is “Elsa,” which is one of the most beautiful piano ballads on record. Many would point to the later live recordings at the Village Vanguard as the essential Evans, but this earlier studio recording is quite a treat as well.


Track Listing: 1. Israel 2. Haunted Heart 3. Beautiful Love 4. Elsa 5. Nardis 6. How Deep Is the Ocean? 7. I Wish I Knew 8. Sweet and Lovely 9. Bautiful Love (alt. take) 10. The Boy Next Door.

Personnel: Bill Evans-piano; Scott LaFaro-bass; Paul Motian-drums.

Year Released: 2003 | Record Label: Fantasy Jazz | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop For Jazz

CD/LP/Track Review
Extended Analysis
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
The Complete Village Vanguard Recordings, 1961
The Complete Village...
Riverside
2005
buy
Explorations
Explorations
Fantasy Jazz
2003
buy
The Last Waltz
The Last Waltz
Fantasy Jazz
2000
buy

More Articles

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.