27

Bill Evans: Live At Art D'Lugoff's Top of The Gate

C. Michael Bailey By

Sign in to view read count
Track review of "My Funny Valentine"

Bill Evans: Live At Art D'Lugoff's Top of The Gate Why is pianist Bill Evans so important to jazz? it is simple: every pianist to hear and perform after him was influenced by him. Art Tatum and Oscar Peterson may have been technically more brilliant and extroverted, but it took first Bud Powell and then Evans to turn the creative tables toward the muted and introverted, thereby beginning a jazz piano cultural revolution that continues to this day. Evans had an almost painfully personal style that, like late-period Art Pepper, bared naked his troubled soul in exquisite detail.

This never-before-released sides from Resonance Records, Live At Art D'Lugoff's Top of The Gate, is notable for having a couple of firsts: it's the first-ever documented Evans trio recordings of "My Funny Valentine" and "Yesterdays," while "Witchcraft" is Evans' only recording of this Cy Coleman-Carolyn Leigh song, aside from the 1959 studio version appearing on Portrait in Jazz (Riverside).

It is "My Funny Valentine," however, that shines most brightly. A ballad, always fertile territory for Evans' inward thinking, it is treated with an anathema hard swing by the normally quiet and thoughtful pianist. Evans tries to fool with an impressionistic introduction that, in time, fully dissembles into a full-fledged show tune for jazz piano trio. Bassist Eddie Gomez, perhaps Evans' greatest bass collaborator after the tragic loss of Scott LaFaro, plays his level best, guiding Evans, while drummer Marty Morell watches the tempo road signs.

It is Gomez that turns introspective (in a wordy fashion) on his solo, with Evans' bright accompaniment providing the bassist a spark of effervescence. This performance is nothing short of stunning and it may be quite proper that no one has emerged on piano to dethrone the last great muse of the 88 keys.

Personnel: Bill Evans: piano; Eddie Gomez: bass; Marty Morell: drums.

Year Released: 2012 | Record Label: Resonance Records | Style: Modern Jazz


Related Video

Shop

More Articles

Read Circles CD/LP/Track Review Circles
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: March 24, 2017
Read Windmills CD/LP/Track Review Windmills
by Edward Blanco
Published: March 24, 2017
Read Ugly Beautiful CD/LP/Track Review Ugly Beautiful
by David A. Orthmann
Published: March 24, 2017
Read Trickster CD/LP/Track Review Trickster
by Glenn Astarita
Published: March 24, 2017
Read Caipi CD/LP/Track Review Caipi
by Geannine Reid
Published: March 24, 2017
Read United CD/LP/Track Review United
by Mark Sullivan
Published: March 23, 2017
Read "Nine Thoughts For One Word" CD/LP/Track Review Nine Thoughts For One Word
by John Ephland
Published: October 1, 2016
Read "Up Go We" CD/LP/Track Review Up Go We
by Budd Kopman
Published: August 4, 2016
Read "Scott Hamilton / Harry Allen: live!" CD/LP/Track Review Scott Hamilton / Harry Allen: live!
by Edward Blanco
Published: August 9, 2016
Read "Momentum" CD/LP/Track Review Momentum
by Franz A. Matzner
Published: September 22, 2016
Read "Godspeed" CD/LP/Track Review Godspeed
by Roger Farbey
Published: December 14, 2016
Read "Strange Voodoo from Electric Salad Studio: Volume 1" CD/LP/Track Review Strange Voodoo from Electric Salad Studio: Volume 1
by Jack Gold-Molina
Published: November 28, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: DOT TIME RECORDS | BUT IT  

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!