The Definitive Bill Evans on Riverside and Fantasy

The Definitive Bill Evans on Riverside and Fantasy

by Bill EvansBill Evans


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Bill Evans cut a slew records for Riverside and Fantasy. His earliest sides were for Riverside between 1956 and 1973 before leaving first for Blue Note, then for a lengthy stay at Verve, and another at Warner. He signed to Fantasy in 1973, which at that time, owned the Prestige, Milestone, and Riverside catalogs; he remained there until 1977. This 25-track, double-disc set is culled from both periods. Disc one contains cuts from his earliest trio dates, with drummer Paul Motian and Teddy Kotick or the amazing Scott LaFaro on bass from the albums New Jazz Conceptions, Portrait in Jazz, Explorations, and the live Waltz for Debby and Sunday at the Village Vanguard. Interspersed is the solo "Peace Piece" from Everybody Digs Bill Evans, and a 1959 trio version of "Woody 'N' You" by Evans with Paul Chambers and Philly Joe Jones, which wasn't released until the mid-'70s. There's also the killer version of "Know What I Mean" for a 1961 Cannonball Adderley-led date for the album of the same title. The first disc wraps up with cuts from his third trio with Motian and bassist Chuck Israels, from the albums Moon Beams and How My Heart Sings, as well as one from the famed Interplay set with Freddie Hubbard, Jim Hall, Jones, and Percy Heath. So far, so good; these selections are ones Evans' fans will be familiar with and provide a fine introduction, though aficionados might argue track choices. Disc two is where it gets dicey. Though it opens with three more cuts from the early '60s, there is a ten-year break between the trio dates from 1963-1973. Evans' way of considering the possibilities of the piano trio had changed considerably by the latter period, and his harmonic focus had been deeply influenced by modern classical music, even when playing standards. The remaining tracks jump all over the place and don't provide a sense of continuity in his playing or composing. Arguably, the most satisfying things from the '70s here are his composition "Re: Person I Knew" and Steve Swallow's "Eiderdown," with saxophonists Warne Marsh and Lee Konitz. The programming by producer Nick Phillips feels schizophrenic and scattered, though it didn't come across that way album to album. This isn't to say what's on disc two isn't representative, but whether it's "definitive" is another matter.

Product Details

Release Date: 04/05/2011
Label: Riverside
UPC: 0888072327634
catalogNumber: 32763
Rank: 103210


Disc 1

  1. Speak Low
  2. Peace Piece
  3. Woody'n You
  4. Blue In Green
  5. Autumn Leaves
  6. Know What I Mean?
  7. Beautiful Love
  8. My Foolish Heart
  9. Waltz For Debby
  10. Gloria's Step
  11. Very Early
  12. In Your Own Sweet Way
  13. You and the Night and the Music

Disc 2

  1. Time Remembered
  2. Spartacus Love Theme/Nardis
  3. Isn't It Romantic
  4. On Green Dolphin Street
  5. Turn Out the Stars
  6. Re: Person I Knew
  7. A Face Without a Name
  8. Young and Foolish
  9. The Touch of Your Lips
  10. Child Is Born
  11. Eiderdown
  12. I Will Say Goodbye

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Bill Evans   Primary Artist,Piano,Soloist
Cannonball Adderley   Alto Saxophone,Lead
Tony Bennett   Vocals
Ron Carter   Bass
Eddie Gomez   Bass
Jim Hall   Guitar
Philly Joe Jones   Drums
Lee Konitz   Alto Saxophone
Warne Marsh   Tenor Saxophone
Chuck Israels   Bass
Teddy Kotick   Bass
Connie Kay   Drums
Percy Heath   Bass
Ray Brown   Bass
Larry Bunker   Drums
Kenny Burrell   Guitar
Paul Chambers   Bass
Freddie Hubbard   Trumpet
Marty Morell   Drums
Paul Motian   Drums
Zoot Sims   Tenor Saxophone
Eliot Zigmund   Drums
Tommy Nola   Drums
Harold Lang   Tenor Saxophone
Scott LeFaro   Bass

Technical Credits

Dave Brubeck   Composer
Miles Davis   Composer
Bill Evans   Composer
Dizzy Gillespie   Composer
Thad Jones   Composer
Michel Legrand   Composer
Steve Swallow   Composer
Ray Noble   Composer
Claus Ogerman   Composer
Don Cody   Engineer
Jack Higgins   Engineer
Phil Kaffel   Engineer
Helen Keane   Producer
Orrin Keepnews   Producer
Alex North   Composer
Jacques Prévert   Composer
Bill Schwartau   Engineer
Bill Stoddard   Engineer
Doug Ramsey   Liner Notes
Burt Goldblatt   Cover Photo
Abbey Anna   Art Direction
Egbert VanAlstyne   Composer
Tom Nola   Engineer
Scott LeFaro   Composer

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