Author Topic: Bill Evans  (Read 6278 times)

Joe R

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Bill Evans
« on: January 13, 2008, 08:15:21 PM »
I've recently fallen in love with several "minimal" jazz albums that consist of a trio of piano, bass, and percussion. For some reason this stuff really hits the spot for me. Although I'm unfamiliar with the music of Bill Evans, I know that he played a lot of music in this very same format. So can anyone suggest a good starting point in the Bill Evans discography?

I prefer laid back jazz, with lots of spaces, and not too much melodic structure.
« Last Edit: January 14, 2008, 04:58:35 AM by Joe R »

Undershadow

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Re: Bill Evans
« Reply #1 on: January 14, 2008, 03:15:59 AM »
Sorry, Joe, but I'm not much of a knower about Bill Evans, nor indeed much of a listener to jazz, but if you like minimalist piano-based music with a jazz flavour, I'd urge you to seek out stuff by The Necks. This is a piano-led trio from Sydney that I've found has a sneaking appeal to people who like ambient. I wouldn't call what they do "ambient jazz", but others have.
Couple of links, one to general info, the other to albums of theirs (and a couple of appraisals) to check out:

http://www.thenecks.com/pages/info.html

http://www.bbc.co.uk/music/release/35w6/
http://www.boomkat.com/item.cfm?id=23165



http://manwithoutshame.blogspot.com/2007/05/necks-hanging-gardens-cd-fish-of.html
« Last Edit: January 14, 2008, 03:21:57 AM by Undershadow »

Joe R

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Re: Bill Evans
« Reply #2 on: January 14, 2008, 05:01:14 AM »
Hi Alan! Thanks for the "Necks" recommendation, I'll have to check it out.

jblock

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Re: Bill Evans
« Reply #3 on: January 14, 2008, 06:52:14 AM »
If you want to start with Bill Evans, I'd start with Sunday At The Village Vanguard. Probably his best single release and a wonderful record. There's also a Complete At The Village Vanguard box set (3 CDs) if you like the single disc release.
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jkn

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Re: Bill Evans
« Reply #4 on: January 14, 2008, 06:52:47 AM »
The only cd I have directly credited to him is a Bill Evans pairing with Jim Hall called Undercurrent.   I enjoy it.   Piano and guitar.  Here's a link to the new remastered version (read a couple comments to get a feel for the difference between the original and the remaster - I have a non-remastered cd version).

http://www.amazon.com/Undercurrent-Bill-Evans/dp/B0000691U0/ref=sr_1_18?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1200318165&sr=1-18

If you don't have Miles Davis' Kind of Blue... Evans is playing piano on most tracks and, wow, you need this album.  And it's only $8 on Amazon...

http://www.amazon.com/Kind-Blue-Miles-Davis/dp/B000002ADT/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1200318429&sr=1-1

« Last Edit: January 14, 2008, 06:56:04 AM by jkn »
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Somnia

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Re: Bill Evans
« Reply #5 on: January 14, 2008, 12:41:40 PM »
I HIGHLY recommend Tomasz Stanko - "Suspended Variations" album on ECM.

Minimal, and extremely gorgeous jazz. 

Evan Bartholomew
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Joe R

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Re: Bill Evans
« Reply #6 on: January 14, 2008, 05:26:44 PM »


If you don't have Miles Davis' Kind of Blue... Evans is playing piano on most tracks and, wow, you need this album.  And it's only $8 on Amazon...





I agree with you all the way about Kind of Blue. I heard this years ago at a friend's house, and I was impressed enough to buy it, even though I wasn't even a jazz fan at the time. It's one of those incredible discs that you can't help but love, regardless of your musical preferences.

Undercurrent does indeed sound like a beautiful disc. And what an album cover! :o

Sunday At The Village Vanguard sounds great as well... and I'll definitely do some research on that Tomasz Stanko disc. In fact there's a CD called Trio, by Stanko's band, that I'm gonna get -a piano, bass, drum combo that sounds awesome.

And The Necks do some really interesting long-form jazzy type stuff that apparently gets quite hypnotic, judging from the MP3s and reviews...

Thanks for the suggestions, guys! :)

The jazz discs that really have me going now are:

Vassilis Tsabropoulos- Achirana; Breathtaking!
Arild Andersen, with Vassilis Tsabropoulos- The Triangle; almost as good
Tord Gustavsen Trio- Being There; very nice, but a bit too much structure for my preference.

Somnia

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Re: Bill Evans
« Reply #7 on: January 14, 2008, 06:10:43 PM »
Oh yes, Arild Andersen is a long time favorite.

You might be interested in Trygve Seim, though its not the typical piano/drums/bass thing.  Fits somewhere between minimalist classical and nordic jazz.  Haunting.

Also, from the archives:  Eberhard Weber - Fluid Rustle.  From out in leftfield, but a beautiful record of ambient influenced boundaryless jazz music.
Evan Bartholomew
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Scott M2

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Re: Bill Evans
« Reply #8 on: January 14, 2008, 08:49:41 PM »
The current triple CD release of The Complete Bill Evans Trio at the Village Vanguard Recordings is a real beauty.
I particularly enjoy the robust sound of Scott LaFaro's bass. There's quite a bit of audience noise (glasses clanking,
low conversation and such) but you start to ignore it, like in a real club - which it was.

I was turned onto the the Vanguard recordings after reading Jade Visions, a haunting poem by Aidan Baker.
(Yes, besides being an uber-prolific recording artist & multi-instrumentalist, Aidan's also a published writer and poet
and hanging's too good for him.) The poem takes place in the mind of Scott LaFaro, who died in a car crash only
10 days after the Vanguard album(s) were recorded, and he's musing on which take they'll use of his piece,
Jade Visons, when his car strikes a tree. Aidan explained that to hear both versions, I needed to find the
Complete Recordings and fortunately it was remastered and re-released not too long afterward. (The previous
edition was hard to find and quite expensive.)

Explorations is a fine album by the same trio but the edition I have (a 20bit remaster) has a weak bass sound.

I asked Lynn for her pick for a Bill Evans Trio CD and she chooses You Must Believe In Spring - a CD with a later trio
and released after Evans' death. She enjoys the romantic vibe. Evans is her favourite pianist after Keith Jarrett.

Joe R

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Re: Bill Evans
« Reply #9 on: January 17, 2008, 03:35:52 PM »
Okay, my choice is "The Complete Bill Evans Trio at the Village Vanguard". This one seems to get raves everywhere you read. I would've started with "Sunday at the Village Vanguard", but the prices for that are:  :o

Mark Mushet

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Re: Bill Evans
« Reply #10 on: January 17, 2008, 11:41:51 PM »
You could also try "Waltz for Debby". Ralph Towner is a huge Bill Evans fan. And "Undercurrent" is often cited in "Best of..." album cover volumes!

jkn

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Re: Bill Evans
« Reply #11 on: January 18, 2008, 05:10:34 AM »
Here's the Undercurrent album cover - original photograph.

http://www.shorpy.com/weeki-wachee-mermaid

Click 'view full image' - it's worth it.  :)

If you scroll down through the comments section - someone has posted other photos/postcards from the weeki wachee mermaids.
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jeff pearce

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Re: Bill Evans
« Reply #12 on: January 18, 2008, 06:11:20 AM »
Joe, I'd check out Marcin Wasilewski's "Trio" recording- it's fantastic.  They're a bunch of YOUNG guys (not even 30 yet, I think) and they got their start backing Tomasz Stanko when they were just teens.  On "Trio", they do a GREAT cover of Bjork's "Hyperballad" There are samples to listen to at amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/Trio-Marcin-Wasilewski/dp/B00076QGF0/ref=pd_sim_m_img_3

If you'd like to SEE how Bill Evans did his magic, there are some nice videos on youtube- this one, in particular, shows his great trio doing a very subdued version of "my foolish heart"



I'll third, fourth, fifth or sixth "Undercurrent"; Bill's piano and Jim Hall's guitar are perfect together.  However, "The Complete Bill Evans Trio at the Village Vanguard" is a fine fine introduction to his music.

Jeff
« Last Edit: January 18, 2008, 06:14:49 AM by jeff pearce »

mgriffin

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Re: Bill Evans
« Reply #13 on: January 18, 2008, 07:31:06 AM »
Welcome back to the Forum, Mr. Pearce!
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Scott M2

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Re: Bill Evans
« Reply #14 on: January 18, 2008, 07:45:51 AM »
Just in case it's not 100% obvious, I thought I'd point out that all the music on
Sunday at the Village Vanguard and Waltz for Debby is contained within
The Complete Bill Evans Trio at the Village Vanguard Recordings plus a few
other swings at some of the songs.

Somnia

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Re: Bill Evans
« Reply #15 on: January 18, 2008, 09:22:43 AM »
That Marcin Wasilewski sounds beautiful.  I've heard much about the "teens" that backed Stanko, but I didn't realize that they had their own recordings.

Excellent recommend thanks!
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Joe R

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Re: Bill Evans
« Reply #16 on: January 18, 2008, 07:49:33 PM »
Hi Jeff!  :)

Yes, I mentioned that Marcin Wasilewski- "Trio" disc at the beginning of this thread. I LOVE that disc, and it's one of the reasons I'm pursuing this jazz thing further.

Vassilis Tsabropoulos- "Achirana" is another drop-dead awesome piano/bass/percussion disc, probably my favorite one yet.

jeff pearce

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Re: Bill Evans
« Reply #17 on: January 18, 2008, 09:40:05 PM »

Yes, I mentioned that Marcin Wasilewski- "Trio" disc at the beginning of this thread. I LOVE that disc, and it's one of the reasons I'm pursuing this jazz thing further.

Vassilis Tsabropoulos- "Achirana" is another drop-dead awesome piano/bass/percussion disc, probably my favorite one yet.

Got "Archirana"- love it.... also enjoy "The Triangle" (Vassilis Tsabropoulos, Arild Andersen, and John Marshall).  I remember the buzz around "Achirana" when it came out was "this is a classically trained guy playing jazz, so it CAN'T be good".  Sure sounded good to me...

You might want to give "Amaryllis" by Marilyn Crispell a try- she is a VERY generous pianist in regards to her sidemen (Gary Peacock has an absolutely huge bass tone on "Amaryllis").  The music gets a little more active towards the end, but it's a nice balance to the music that precedes it- which is quite slow and gorgeous, with a ton of open spaces.

Jeff

GordonDanis

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Re: Bill Evans
« Reply #18 on: April 01, 2008, 07:45:54 PM »
You guys did a Bill Evans post, and nobody told me?  OK guys, that's cool, you know, whatever, what goes around and whatnot... ::)

But seriously....It saddened me greatly when I read perhaps the ultimate biography of Evans by classical pianist Peter Pettinger, called How My Heart Sings (1996 Yale University Press,) only to learn that he died in Fort Lee, New Jersey in 1981, not far from where I was living at the time, grieving from the death of his brother Harry, playing gigs and recording largely to feed a recurring, demonic drug habit, which he shared with drummer Philly Joe Jones, another enormous talent cut short by drugs.

Bill Evans was a prolific artist, but there is substantial agreement that his best works were performed in his "Village Vanguard" trio with Scott LaFaro on bass and Paul Motian on drums.  All of that music is now contained on two Hybrid Syper Audio CDs, Sunday At The Village Vanguard and Waltz For Debby.   What were excellent recordings to start become absolutely crystalline via Super Audio; just for one thing, you have never heard Scott La Faro's bass sound so real and full.  There are three other titles on Super Audio: Explorations, Moonbeams, and Portrait In Jazz.

Before Super Audio arrived, I would have suggested the 10 CD Riverside Sessions as a start, but much of the Super Audio Material is duplicative of the Riverside sides.

Evan's chordal vocabulary and impressionistic style seems to become more and more influential with each passing year: look at Chick Corea, early McCoy Tyner, Keith Jarrett, Brad Mehldau, Michel Pettruciani, guitarists Jim Hall, Pat Metheny, and John McGlaughlin, also saxophonist Paul Desmond, and many, many others.
« Last Edit: April 01, 2008, 08:09:48 PM by GordonDanis »
-gd

GordonDanis

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Re: Bill Evans
« Reply #19 on: April 01, 2008, 07:49:56 PM »
Good to see Jeff chiming in on one of our favorite musicians, Bill Evans, and favorite albums, Miles Davis' Kind Of Blue.   Improved just a bit in Super Audio (mostly in the bass-Mr. P.C. never sounded quite so authoritative,) it has been the best selling album/CD yearly, since 1959.  Quite a "record."
-gd