During the seven year span at Riverside that launched his career, Bill Evans only twice recorded outside his customary trio format: in the summer of 1962, when he went into the studio in quintet settings involving some of the major jazz artists of the period. The results are combined in this package.
#1-6 originally issued as Interplay (Riverside 445)
#7-13 originally issued as part of The Interplay Sessions double-LP (Milestone 47055), as previously unreleased selections.
During the seven year span at Riverside that launched his career, Bill Evans only twice recorded outside his customary trio format: in the summer of 1962, when he went into the studio in quintet settings involving some of the major jazz artists of the period. The results are combined in this package. #1-6 originally issued as Interplay (Riverside 445). #7-13 originally issued as part of The Interplay Sessions double-LP (Milestone 47055), as previously unreleased selections.
The music on this live CD is much better played than expected, for pianist Bill Evans would pass away on the following September 15. Recorded at San Francisco's Keystone Korner during his last engagement, Evans (along with bassist Marc Johnson and drummer Joe LaBarbera) still seems in surprisingly prime form on four originals (including "Letter to Evan" and "Bill's Hit Tune"), three obscurities, and the "Theme from M.A.S.H." Hopefully, the music from this well-documented gig will eventually be released completely and in chronological order, for the highly influential pianist shows no obvious sign of decline during the highly intuitive post-bop performance.
When Bill Evans agreed to do a two piano date with Bob Brookmeyer, eyebrows surely must have raised. Pairing a rising superstar of modern jazz with a gentleman known for playing valve trombone and arranging charts might have been deemed by some as a daunting task. Fortunately for the keyboardists, this was a good idea and a marvelous concept, where the two could use the concept of counterpoint and improvisation to an enjoyable means, much like a great chess match. For the listener, you are easily able to hear the difference between ostensible leader Evans in the right channel of the stereo separation, and the accompanist Brookmeyer in the left.
The two LP editions recorded at this Paris concert were the last examples of Bill Evans' playing to be released at the time. With bassist Marc Johnson and drummer Joe La Barbera, Evans had one of the strongest trios of his career, as can be heard on such pieces as Edition One's "My Romance", "I Loves You, Porgy", and "Beautiful Love." The close communication between the players is reminiscent of Evans' 1961 unit with Scott LaFaro and Paul Motian.
This album brings together the only recorded sessions that Chet Baker and Bill Evans shared, together, yes, but with other great musicians as Herbie Mann, Pepper Adams, Kenny Burrell and Zoot Sims among others. The records were held in New York in two sessions during 1958 and 1959. Whoever possesses the records 'The lyrical trumpet of Chet Baker' and 'Chet Baker plays the best of Lerner & Loewe', already has fourteen of the fifteen tracks on the album, except for the bonus in which the pianist Bob Corwin replaces Evans ('Almost like being in love').
On June 25th, 1961, Bill Evans and his trio made jazz history over the course of five sets at the Village Vanguard. Selections from those performances were released on two full-length LPs, WALTZ FOR DEBBY and Sunday AT THE VILLAGE VANGUARD, both of which went on to become landmark jazz albums from the era. The three-disc COMPLETE VILLAGE VANGUARD RECORDINGS provides a valuable service by presenting all five sets in their complete and original sequence, with crisp remastered sound, a previously unissued take (Scott LaFaro's "Gloria's Step"), and snippets of on-stage patter.
THE COMPLETE BILL EVANS ON VERVE is an 18-disc, 269-track box set featuring every track that Bill Evans recorded for Verve between 1962 and 1969, including 98 previously-unreleased tracks. It includes a 160-page, full-color book. THE COMPLETE BILL EVANS ON VERVE was nominated for a 1998 Grammy Award for Best Recording Package - Boxed and for Best Historical Album. The 18 CDs in this exhaustive set provide a comprehensive picture of Bill Evans from 1962 to 1969, a period when the pianist was both consolidating his fame and sometimes taking his music into untested waters, from unaccompanied piano to symphony orchestra. His work with multitracked solo piano, originally released as Conversations with Myself and the later Further Conversations with Myself, was the most remarkable new format for his introspective music. It gave Evans a way to be all the pianists he could be at once–combining densely chordal, harmonically oblique parts with surprising, rhythmic punctuation and darting, exploratory runs.