Remastered in 24-bit from the original master tapes. Part of our Keepnews Collection, which spotlights classic albums originally produced by the legendary Orrin Keepnews. The legend of Bill Evans really begins with this album, his second. The pianist had just spent most of 1958 as part of one of the major units in jazz history: the Miles Davis Sextet that also featured John Coltrane and Cannonball Adderley.
The legend of Bill Evans really begins with this album, his second. The pianist had just spent most of 958 as part of one of the major units in jazz history: the Miles Davis Sextet that also featured John Coltrane and Cannonball Adderley. His fellow musicians already knew his worth (the album title was almost literally accurate, and the four endorsements on the cover, which embarrassed Bill, could easily have been greatly multiplied); with this record, the jazz public began to follow their lead. Aided by Sam Jones and Philly Joe Jones, Evans set down some of his most swinging trio sides, but the session would be memorable if it had only yielded the remarkable and haunting solo improvisation called "Peace Piece."
William John Evans, known as Bill Evans (pronunciation: /ˈɛvəns/, August 16, 1929 – September 15, 1980), was an American jazz pianist and composer who mostly worked in a trio setting. He is widely considered to be one of the greatest jazz pianists of all time, and is considered by some to have been the most influential post-World War II jazz pianist. Evans's use of impressionist harmony, inventive interpretation of traditional jazz repertoire, block chords, and trademark rhythmically independent, "singing" melodic lines continue to influence jazz pianists today. Unlike many other jazz musicians of his time, Evans never embraced new movements like jazz fusion or free jazz.
Orrin Keepnews' commentary (from his new liner notes): “This turned out to be the easiest Bill Evans record session I was ever involved in. The trio's initial working repertoire consisted entirely of material that he wanted to record but had not yet attempted; I probably would have preferred having more than two originals, having not yet fully realized that his ability to reconstruct and revitalize old and often over-familiar standards was one of his more important contributions to the jazz vocabulary.”
Conventional wisdom, which in this case may be right, holds that Bill Evans' storied career peaked on June 25, 1961, a date that yielded two live records, Sunday at the Village Vanguard and Waltz for Debby, the final two documents of Evans' first, and best, trio, with bassist Scott LaFaro and drummer Paul Motian. In the two years he'd been playing with Evans, LaFaro had opened up new possibilities for the jazz bass, playing with a harmonically oblique, melodically flexible style that was, at the time, unprecedented. Ten days after this record was made he died, just 25 years old.
With the passage of time, Bill Evans has become an entire school unto himself for pianists and a singular mood unto himself for listeners. There is no more influential jazz-oriented pianist only McCoy Tyner exerts nearly as much pull among younger players and journeymen and Evans has left his mark on such noted players as Herbie Hancock, Keith Jarrett, Chick Corea, Brad Mehldau. Borrowing heavily from the impressionism of Debussy and Ravel, Evans brought a new, introverted, relaxed, lyrical, European classical sensibility into jazz and that seems to have attracted a lot of young conservatory-trained pianists who follow his chord voicings to the letter in clubs and on stages everywhere.
This wonderful tribute concert to the hero of lyrical Jazz Piano features Kenny Wheeler, Gordon Beck and friends at the Brewhouse Theatre, London 1992. The prolific and exceptionally musical Evans was proufoundly influential across the Jazz world, and several of his finest compositions are performed in this exceptional tribute event.
This Canadian concert was performed shortly before drummer Marty Morell’s departure, and therefore, boasted a well-rehearsed unit. Before Eliot Zigmund’s arrival, Evans would make a duo album with Eddie Gomez entitled Intuition. The concert issued here was one of two performances recorded during that engagement, although not a single tune was played twice. The other concert has been issued on CD under the title of Blue in Green. Our concert, taken from a radio broadcast, has been long unavailable and appears here on CD for the first time ever. As a bonus to this rare concert, we have added the soundtrack from a TV show featuring the same Bill Evans trio, recorded in New York on September 17, 1972.
Miles Dewey Davis III (May 26, 1926 – September 28, 1991) was an American jazz musician, trumpeter, bandleader, and composer. Widely considered one of the most influential musicians of the 20th century, Miles Davis was, together with his musical groups, at the fore front of several major developments in jazz music, including BeBop, Cool Jazz, Hard Bop, Modal Jazz, and Jazz Fusion.