CD Bill Evans's Finest Hour (CD 984292),
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Bill Evans's Finest Hour
Bill Evans (Piano)
1. Spartacus Love Theme
2. Luck Be a Lady
3. For Heaven's Sake
6. Time Remembered
7. I Should Care
8. Spring Is Here
9. Jazz Samba
10. Wrap Your Troubles in Dreams (And Dream Your Troubles Away)
11. I Loves You, Porgy
12. Walkin' Up
13. Dolphin-After, The
Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): 549675
Personnel includes: Bill Evans (piano); Stan Getz (tenor saxophone); Donald Ashworth, Henry Estrin, Romeo Penque, Joseph Soldo (flute); David Schwartz (violin, viola); Karen Jones, Leo Kahn, David Nadien, George Ockner, Raoul Poliakin, Tosha Samaroff (violin); Norman Forrest (viola); Seymour Barab (cello); Eddie Costa (vibraphone); Jim Hall, Sam Brown (guitar); Wendell Marshall, Gary Peacock, Ron Carter, Chuck Israels, Eddie Gomez, John Beal (bass); Paul Motian, Elvin Jones, Larry Bunker, Arnie Wise, Philly Joe Jones, Jack DeJohnette, Marty Morell, Gary Chester (drums).
Producers include: Creed Taylor, Helen Keane.
Compilation producer: Bryan Koniarz.
Recorded between 1963 & 1970. Includes liner notes by Bill Kirchner.
Digitally remastered by Jeff Willens.
Personnel: Sam T. Brown, Jim Hall (guitar); David Schwartz (violin, viola); George Ockner, Tosha Samaroff, Leo Kahn, David Nadien, Raoul Poliakin (violin); Norman Forrest (viola); Seymour Barab (cello); Romeo Penque, Harvey Estrin (flute); Eddie Costa (vibraphone); Elvin Jones, Gary Chester , Arnold Wise, Jack DeJohnette, Larry Bunker, Marty Morell, Paul Motian, Philly Joe Jones (drums).
Recording information: Montreux Jazz Festival, Switzerland (02/20/1963-04/23/1970); New York, NY (02/20/1963-04/23/1970); RCA Studios, New York, NY (02/20/1963-04/23/1970); San Francisco, CA (02/20/1963-04/23/1970); Town Hall, New York, NY (02/20/1963-04/23/1970); Van Gelder Studios, Englewood Cliffs, NJ (02/20/1963-04/23/1970); Village Vanguard, New York, NY (02/20/1963-04/23/1970); Webster Hall, New York, NY (02/20/1963-04/23/1970).
Arranger: Mickey Leonard.
Bill Evans's Finest Hour represents a number of choice tidbits recorded by the pianist between 1958 and 1970 for Verve. The settings of these recordings range between the intricate trio work he became so identified with to, in at least one instance, full orchestration. While Evans is certainly capable of bopping with the best on songs like "Luck Be a Lady" and "I Should Care," his style glimmers more distinctly on quieter numbers. The fragile "Elsa" and subtle "Spring Is Here" allow him to slowly, though deliberately, develop his impressionistic piano lines. Sensitive accompaniment by drummer Paul Motian and bassists Gary Peacock and Chuck Israels also adds a rich dynamic to these cuts. The recording of "I Loves You, Porgy" at the Montreux Jazz Festival is even more low key and bare, featuring Evans unaccompanied. These somber ballads, emotive and filled with slight shadings, work beautifully. It is almost as though the listener is eavesdropping as the pianist engages in late-night conversations with himself. Evans plays Latin jazz on two somewhat uncharacteristic tracks, "Jazz Samba" and "The Dolphin --After," and overdubs two other pianos on the moody "Spartacus Love Theme." Bill Evans's Finest Hour presents a good overview for those unfamiliar with the great pianist's music. The disc will also offer the listener a starting point to delve further into the delicate, lovely world of Bill Evans. ~ Ronnie D. Lankford, Jr.
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