275

Bill Evans: The Complete Village Vanguard Recordings, 1961

C. Andrew Hovan By

Sign in to view read count
Bill Evans: The Complete Village Vanguard Recordings, 1961 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.

Year Released: 2005 | Record Label: Riverside | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

More Articles

Read June CD/LP/Track Review June
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 19, 2017
Read The Final Concert CD/LP/Track Review The Final Concert
by John Sharpe
Published: February 19, 2017
Read Desire & Freedom CD/LP/Track Review Desire & Freedom
by Glenn Astarita
Published: February 19, 2017
Read On Hollywood Boulevard CD/LP/Track Review On Hollywood Boulevard
by Budd Kopman
Published: February 19, 2017
Read The Motorman's Son CD/LP/Track Review The Motorman's Son
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 18, 2017
Read "Song of the Free Will" CD/LP/Track Review Song of the Free Will
by Dave Wayne
Published: November 16, 2016
Read "Infinitude" CD/LP/Track Review Infinitude
by Roger Farbey
Published: October 31, 2016
Read "Double Quartet" CD/LP/Track Review Double Quartet
by Glenn Astarita
Published: June 3, 2016
Read "New York Connections" CD/LP/Track Review New York Connections
by David A. Orthmann
Published: September 18, 2016
Read "First Set" CD/LP/Track Review First Set
by Jerome Wilson
Published: February 6, 2017
Read "King Of Xhosa" CD/LP/Track Review King Of Xhosa
by James Nadal
Published: January 23, 2017

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!