Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Bill Evans Live At Art D'Lugoffs Top Of The Gate Resonance 2012

The good old fashioned street date is much like the emphasis on a major label deal is somewhat archaic in the world of music. While the official street date availability for this incredible unreleased two disc set of live performances by Bill Evans is not till 06/12/12 - on line ordering is available at

Resonance Records may well be the keeper of the flame, the Smithsonian of jazz labels. This two disc offering captures two live sets from Evans joined by bassist Eddie Gomez and drummer Marty Morell. Aired only once on Columbia University radio station WKCR-FM this concert has not been heard for more than forty years and never released in any previous form. While Evans artistry is legendary and his talent in many cases still unmatched, the sound quality of this recording is state of art. There is a warm live intimacy without the annoyance of a two drink minimum or clinking glasses. While it is certainly caveat emptor when it comes to purchasing recordings such as this, having heard numerous live Evans recordings this may arguably be in the top two or three - at least!

The two sets are a magnificent testament to the Evans gift of reinventing standards into something bordering on magical with the use of his lyrical driven harmonic genius. The only modern day pianist that remotely comes close may be Chick Corea. The first disc includes a breathtaking "My Funny Valentine" and a passionate "Gone With The Wind." There are three tunes that appear on both discs which include "Emily" along with "Round Midnight" and "Yesterday" which should be of tremendous interest to the die hard Evans fan and collector in comparing the rather diverse takes between the two sets. "Here's That Rainy Day" closes the second disc and may well be the first time Evans recorded this tune period. While Evans left us much too soon for health concerns that may have only been exacerbated by substance abuse, this is Bill Evans in top form.

Pristine sound quality and a trio in rare artistic form finds this as an Evans release well worth a spot in any jazz library. A stereotypical review simply does not work here.

Genius reviews itself.

Tracks: Disc One - Emily; Witchcraft; Yesterday; 'Round Midnight; My Funny Valentine; California Here I Come; Gone With The Wind; Alfie; Turn Out The Stars. Disc Two - "Yesterdays; Emily; In A Sentimental Mood; 'Round Midnight; Autumn Leaves; Someday My Prince Will Come; Mother Of Earl; Here's That Rainy Day.

Personnel: Bill Evans: piano; Eddie Gomez: bass; Marty Morell: drums.