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.

Track Listing: CD1: Emily; Witchcraft; Yesterdays; Round Midnight; My Funny Valentine; California Here I Come; Gone With The Wind; Alfie; Turn Out The Stars. CD2: Yesterdays; Emily; Round Midnight; In A Sentimental Mood; Autumn Leaves; Someday My Prince Will Come; Mother of Earl; Here's That Rainy Day.

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

Title: Live At Art D'Lugoff's Top Of The Gate | Year Released: 2012 | Record Label: Resonance Records


Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read I Believe In You CD/LP/Track Review I Believe In You
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: August 18, 2017
Read Morning Sun CD/LP/Track Review Morning Sun
by Jack Bowers
Published: August 18, 2017
Read The Conscience CD/LP/Track Review The Conscience
by John Sharpe
Published: August 18, 2017
Read Harlem CD/LP/Track Review Harlem
by James Nadal
Published: August 18, 2017
Read Open Book CD/LP/Track Review Open Book
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: August 17, 2017
Read Stolen Moments CD/LP/Track Review Stolen Moments
by Jack Bowers
Published: August 17, 2017
Read "Alma Matters" CD/LP/Track Review Alma Matters
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 10, 2017
Read "Dawg Yawp" CD/LP/Track Review Dawg Yawp
by Jim Trageser
Published: October 29, 2016
Read "Pensamiento" CD/LP/Track Review Pensamiento
by James Nadal
Published: January 7, 2017
Read "My Iris" CD/LP/Track Review My Iris
by Fiona Ord-Shrimpton
Published: February 18, 2017
Read "Media vita" CD/LP/Track Review Media vita
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: August 10, 2017
Read "It's Always 9.30 In Zog" CD/LP/Track Review It's Always 9.30 In Zog
by Roger Farbey
Published: August 11, 2017

Sponsor: JANA PROJECT | LEARN MORE  

Support our sponsor

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

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