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Bill Evans: Live at Ronnie Scott's

Mike Jurkovic By

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Bill Evans: Live at Ronnie Scott's
Bill Evans was always at home onstage. Live at Ronnie Scott's, Resonance Records' fifth Bill Evans archival offering, hits the same high marks as its predecessors—2012's standard bearer Live at Art D'Lugoff's Top of The Gate , 2016's Some Other Time: The Lost Session From the Black Forest, 2018's Another Time and 2019's Evans In England—majestically did.

Do not let the dreaded tape hiss limit your listening. Recorded in '68, during a month-long residency at you-know-where, Evans—with the ever simpatico Jack DeJohnette on drums and the irascible Eddie Gomez on bass, at his side—gets loose, nimble and most comfortable at the center of their excitedly musical universe. What they accomplish in just four minutes of "Autumn Leaves" alone makes this a worthy successor to the above releases.

Twenty tracks from the four-week stay, Live at Ronnie Scott's sounds like an audience bootleg from the cluttered closet of an old British devotee, but that is part of the true beauty here. Discovered in and among DeJohnette's private stash, it not only adds great provenance to the whole beautiful two- disc package but also affords an opportunity to hear it like DeJohnette lived it, frisky (Gomez leads the pack), mightily venturesome and—at what may initially appear to be a run-of-the-mill, Tuesday-night setlist ("Round Midnight," "Nardis," " Stella By Starlight")—quite possibly sounding livelier than ever. It is a neat trick and one this mighty, short-lived, long-loved trio (they were together all of six months) obviously pulled off night after beautiful European night.

Complete with all the cool and historic bells and whistles that Zev Feldman and Resonance is righteously and duly noted for—a lengthy interview by Chick Corea with DeJohnette, contemporaneous photos, etc—Live at Ronnie Scott's is a great reminder of a time when giants took the stage nightly. It is a great thing to remember in this time of smaller dreams.

Track Listing

Sleepin' Bee; You're Gonna Hear From Me (Version 1); Yesterdays; Turn Out the Stars; My Man's Gone Now; Emily (Version 1); Spring is Here; Embraceable You; For Heaven’s Sake; Someday My Prince Will Come; Quiet Now; 'Round Midnight; Stella by Starlight; Alfie; You're Gonna Hear From Me (Version 2); Very Early; Emily (Version 2); Waltz for Debby; Autumn Leaves; Nardis.

Personnel

Bill Evans: piano; Eddie Gomez: bass; Jack DeJohnette: drums.

Album information

Title: Live at Ronnie Scott's | Year Released: 2020 | Record Label: Resonance Records

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