30

Bill Evans: Live at Art D'Lugoff's Top of the Gate

Larry Taylor By

Sign in to view read count
Bill Evans: Live at Art D'Lugoff's Top of the Gate The two-CD Bill Evans Live at Art D'Lugoff's Top of The Gate—a never-before-released recording of the Bill Evans Trio made over 50 years ago—consists of two sets recorded by then-college student George Klabin in the New York City club, October, 1968. Until now, the music has only been heard on a Columbia University radio show; now, Klabin has taken the tape out of the closet and released it on Resonance Records, the label he heads. Crisp and clear, the sound has weathered the years.

The lineup that night consisted of three musicians in their prime: Evans, bassist Eddie Gomez and drummer Marty Morell. Evans had, reportedly, kicked his drug habit during this period, and this was thought by many to be his most stable and, certainly, longest-lasting group. This trio was together until 1975. The CD shows Evans in both swinging and contemplative modes and highlights the trio's superb interaction. Gomez had been with Evans since 1966, while Morell came aboard in 1968; Gomez was a master improviser, while Morell was an energetic, straight-ahead drummer, always keeping the trio on track. Along with the leader, both contribute masterful solos here. Each disc features one complete set, including two versions of three songs. There is one original; the rest are jazz standards and familiar show tunes.

Among an array of standouts, "Round Midnight " is given an assertive approach, with heavy chords for punctuation, in the manner of its composer, Thelonious Monk. Evans, though, delivers it in his own unique way, driven by Morell's extroverted drumming. A revved-up version of "Autumn Leaves" features a tasty bass solo and is spiced by the leader's swinging piano. A lilting "Someday My Prince Will Come" starts out coolly as a ballad, before becoming a fiery foray. Surprises abound in Evans' approaches, such as his unconventional treatment of the old Al Jolson favorite, "California Here I Come."

To be sure, there are the trademark elegant Evans' takes, particularly on "My Funny Valentine" and "Emily." We can be thankful, indeed, that Klabin had the foresight to pack away these tapes to be opened now. This package includes a 27-page booklet, some vintage photographs and essays by producer Zev Feldman, jazz critic Nat Hentoff and vibraphonist Gary Burton.


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; In A Sentimental Mood; Round Midnight; 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.

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


Shop

More Articles

Read The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door CD/LP/Track Review The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 25, 2017
Read The Angel and the Brute Sing Songs of Rapture CD/LP/Track Review The Angel and the Brute Sing Songs of Rapture
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Coldest Second Yesterday CD/LP/Track Review Coldest Second Yesterday
by John Sharpe
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Chicago II CD/LP/Track Review Chicago II
by Doug Collette
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Follow Your Heart CD/LP/Track Review Follow Your Heart
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Over the Rainbow CD/LP/Track Review Over the Rainbow
by Paul Rauch
Published: February 24, 2017
Read "Meeting At The Parting Place" CD/LP/Track Review Meeting At The Parting Place
by Dave Wayne
Published: October 1, 2016
Read "Groove Legacy" CD/LP/Track Review Groove Legacy
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: May 8, 2016
Read "Dark Blue" CD/LP/Track Review Dark Blue
by C. Andrew Hovan
Published: March 8, 2016
Read "In Denmark 1959-1960" CD/LP/Track Review In Denmark 1959-1960
by Chris Mosey
Published: November 7, 2016
Read "#knowingishalfthebattle" CD/LP/Track Review #knowingishalfthebattle
by Mark F. Turner
Published: January 23, 2017
Read "Afternoon In Paris" CD/LP/Track Review Afternoon In Paris
by Chris Mosey
Published: June 16, 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!