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...

242

Bill Evans Trio: The Complete Village Vanguard Recordings, 1961

Jim Santella By

Sign in to view read count
With one and a half hours of material, this three-disc box set proves invaluable. It brings the classic Bill Evans Trio into focus for an evening of modern jazz that's played the way it's supposed to be played. You can relish every nuance of this session because it's not loud, forceful, flashy, or intense. No, Bill Evans didn't design his creations so that you would have your socks knocked off by dramatic intensity. He gave us something to enjoy night after night after night.

"My Foolish Heart," for example, begins with a simple piano melody that comes surrounded by swirling brushes and a somber bass walk. Evans explores the melody from the inside. He lets it simmer gently and wash over the audience gracefully. Everywhere you look, the pianist and his musical partners have sprinkled delicious gestures around the room with a natural aura.

Bassist Scott LaFaro improvises on each familiar melody with a melodic rapport. He contributed several of these memorable compositions, which have become standards. The trio's synergy comes from all of them, and LaFaro ensures that the trio's balance remains level. His solo on "My Romance," take 1, from Waltz for Debby, comes complete with a healthy respect for the composer's original theme. His lyrical manner reappears on "My Romance," take 2, which finds the bassist exploring in like manner, but finding new ways to express his ideas.

Paul Motian gives the session variety through the textures that he selects to help depict each mood. Swirling for one mood and striking crisply for another, he embraces each song with a hug. "Waltz for Debby," take 2, which originally appeared on Waltz for Debby, finds the drummer flapping his wire brushes lightly to create a casual mood, while "Jade Visions," take 2, from Sunday at the Village Vanguard, finds Motian swirling with a dreamy texture. His crisp stick work on "Milestones" helps to create a mood of driving with spirit.

Evans treats each piece with kid gloves. His creations are intended for the listener who wants to appreciate art from the inside. The box set comes with an informative booklet featuring black and white photos and pertinent liner notes by Orrin Keepnews.

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Related Articles

Read Passion Reverence Transcendence CD/LP/Track Review
Passion Reverence Transcendence
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: August 17, 2018
Read Inner Voice CD/LP/Track Review
Inner Voice
by Don Phipps
Published: August 17, 2018
Read Live In London Volume II CD/LP/Track Review
Live In London Volume II
by Roger Farbey
Published: August 17, 2018
Read The Literature CD/LP/Track Review
The Literature
by Jim Trageser
Published: August 17, 2018
Read Suite 150 / A Big Band Portrait CD/LP/Track Review
Suite 150 / A Big Band Portrait
by Jack Bowers
Published: August 16, 2018
Read Lost Days CD/LP/Track Review
Lost Days
by Don Phipps
Published: August 16, 2018
Read "A Sky You Could Strike a Match On" CD/LP/Track Review A Sky You Could Strike a Match On
by Patrick Burnette
Published: January 15, 2018
Read "Free Sessions Vol. 1: Planets Of Kei" CD/LP/Track Review Free Sessions Vol. 1: Planets Of Kei
by Mark Sullivan
Published: October 27, 2017
Read "Straight Forward" CD/LP/Track Review Straight Forward
by Paul Rauch
Published: January 14, 2018
Read "Live in Japan" CD/LP/Track Review Live in Japan
by Mark Corroto
Published: April 12, 2018
Read "Like A Radio" CD/LP/Track Review Like A Radio
by Doug Collette
Published: March 20, 2018
Read "Locked & Loaded" CD/LP/Track Review Locked & Loaded
by John Kelman
Published: May 26, 2018