All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

275

Bill Evans: The Complete Village Vanguard Recordings, 1961

C. Andrew Hovan By

Sign in to view read count
Certain quintessential works of art, like Van Gogh's "Starry Night or Munch's "The Scream, have been iconic and universal in their appeal to a worldwide audience. Much in the same manner, jazz has its own share of legendary recordings that have become widely appreciated, from Benny Goodman's famous appearance at Carnegie Hall in 1938 to Miles Davis' Kind Of Blue (1959) or John Coltrane's A Love Supreme (1965). To that choice list of essential releases, few would argue that the 1961 Village Vanguard recordings of the Bill Evans trio hold a special place in the collective hearts of many musicians and fans, the complete results of which have now been assembled in an attractive set that should be required listening for anyone even remotely interested in jazz.

This would be one of those few instances in musical history when everything would be just for right for the making of a masterpiece. Evans was at the peak of his pianistic powers with his most sympathetic colleagues to date: bassist Scott LaFaro and drummer Paul Motian. The trio had been developing its repertoire during their two-week stay at one of New York's most revered and intimate clubs, and engineer Dave Jones was on hand at the end of this stint to capture every subtle nuance. At the time, the music was diced and sliced and forced to fit the constraints of the LP era. Now it's all here as it went down and in glorious sound that puts you right in the middle of the action.

These three discs feature 22 performances from the five sets the trio performed back on June 25, 1961. Although in his commentary (included in the enclosed booklet) Orrin Keepnews calls the recording equipment "primitive," what has always been fascinating about these recordings have been the way that their crystaline quality illuminated the inner workings of this remarkable trio. Blow by blow descriptions are really unnecessary here. There's a freshness to this music that belies its age, and it never fails to energize, whether on the first or ninety-first listen.


Track Listing: CD1: Spoken Introduction; Gloria's Step (Take 1, interupted); Alice In Wonderland; My Foolish Heart; All Of You (Take 1); Announcement And Intermission; My Romance (Take 1); Some Other Time; Solar. CD2: Gloria's Step (Take 2); My Man's Gone Now; All Of You (Take 2); Detour Ahead (Take 1); Discussing Repertoire; Waltz For Debby (Take 1); Alice In Wonderland (Take 2); Porgy (I Loves You, Porgy); My Romance (Take 2); Milestones. CD3: Detour Ahead (Take 2); Gloria's Step (Take 3); Waltz For Debby (Take 2); All Of You (Take 3); Jade Visions (Take 1); Jade Visions (Take 2); ...A Few Final Bars.

Personnel: Bill Evans: piano; Scott LaFaro: bass; Paul Motian: drums.

Title: The Complete Village Vanguard Recordings, 1961 | Year Released: 2005 | Record Label: Riverside

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Related Articles

Read Mønk CD/LP/Track Review
Mønk
by Chris May
Published: September 20, 2018
Read The Music of Gary Lindsay / Are We Still Dreaming CD/LP/Track Review
The Music of Gary Lindsay / Are We Still Dreaming
by Jack Bowers
Published: September 20, 2018
Read Hidden Details CD/LP/Track Review
Hidden Details
by John Kelman
Published: September 20, 2018
Read Selective Coverage CD/LP/Track Review
Selective Coverage
by Jim Olin
Published: September 20, 2018
Read Fat Daddy CD/LP/Track Review
Fat Daddy
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: September 19, 2018
Read Short Stories CD/LP/Track Review
Short Stories
by Gareth Thompson
Published: September 19, 2018
Read "Back to the Sunset" CD/LP/Track Review Back to the Sunset
by Troy Dostert
Published: April 7, 2018
Read "Desert Pulse" CD/LP/Track Review Desert Pulse
by Glenn Astarita
Published: October 30, 2017
Read "Mopocalypse" CD/LP/Track Review Mopocalypse
by Anthony Shaw
Published: January 25, 2018
Read "Origins" CD/LP/Track Review Origins
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 20, 2018
Read "Drifting Home" CD/LP/Track Review Drifting Home
by Jim Worsley
Published: November 7, 2017
Read "Spiderwebmandala" CD/LP/Track Review Spiderwebmandala
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: August 12, 2018