Maybe it is and maybe it isn't as historical in scope as some of the previous ten archival Bill Evans releases from that master of jazz discovery, Zev Feldman, and Evans' estate, but Tales: Live in Copenhagen (1964) is sure fire proof you got nothing but the best on any given night at any given gig by Evans and his cohorts.
From the get go, this setrecorded by Evans, bassist Chuck Israels and drummer Larry Bunker at Danish radio's Radiohuset studio and TV-BYEN on August 10 and 25, 1964 respectivelylight it up and burn bright. "Waltz For Debby" springs out at the studio audience with a vibrancy and voltage that may have caught one and all off guard. But not for long as Israels and Bunker prove beyond doubt that onstage with Evans is where they belonged.
Regally, "My Foolish Heart" marks its place in stark comparison to the Evans/LaFaro/Motian version seared into memory from umpteenth repeated listens to Sunday at The Village Vanguard (Riverside, 1961). That more ruminative, contemplative version is reset here as a more confident, triumphant lover's statement. Earl Zinders' "How My Heart Sings" whisked along by Bunker's brushwork, waltzes with ease, yet never wonders too far from shore
"Sweet and Lovely," with highlight reel interaction between Evans and Bunker, leads us to "I Didn't Know What Time it Was," appearing here as the only known performance within Evans expansive discography. A mid tempo dancer with a killer solo by Israels, one can only wonder why it was dropped from future set-lists. The pianist's own brief yet wonderfully jagged and energetic "Five" closes the Radiohuset set on a high high note. Featuring slightly different shadings and nuances, the trio then revisit "My Foolish Heart," "How My Heart Sings,""Sweet and Lovely" and "Five" for the August 25th studio audience at TV-BYEN. Recorded in Stockholm 1969 with bassist Eddie Gomez and drummer Marty Morell, the darkly hopeful yet eminently playful "Round Midnight" is the closing bonus track.
Recorded during the pianist's first European tour in 1964, Tales: Live in Copenhagen (1964) comes with the ever informative liners by Evans scholar Marc Meyers. The double LP set is Elemental Music's Record Store Day Black Friday offering for this coming November 24, 2023. Its CD counterpart, including all of the annotation and rare photographs highlighted in the LP package, will see the light of day on December 1.
Waltz for Debby; My Foolish Heart; How My Heart Sings; Sweet and Lovely; I Didn't Know What Time
it Was; Five; My Foolish Heart #2; How My Heart Sings #2; Sweet and Lovely; Five#2 'Round
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