Archive for the Bill EVANS Category

Bill EVANS Trio – Moon Beams 1962

Posted in Bill EVANS, JAZZ on November 19, 2010 by whoisthemonk

Bill EVANS Trio – Moon Beams 1962
1990 Issue. OJC-434

Jazz

Bill Evans is a musician you never tire of listening to. He has the ability to play a tune freshly, every time. This recording is, in my opinion, his finest. The first date after the untimely death of Scott LaFaro, this album is beautiful ,melodic and haunting. Every tune is played with typical Evans genius, but on this session he seems to be expressing his musical ideas with even more flavor and emotion. The first cut is the most expressive and emotive I have ever heard in the trio setting. I am sure it was dedicated to LaFaro, even though it supposedly is an anagram for the producer of the date, Orrin Keepnews. Evans expresses his passion, joy and grief for his young bassist in every note and the result is, to my mind, stunning. I love Chuck Israels’ bass lines and the chords Evans plays quietly over the bass solo are beautiful and ephemeral. Every tune on this CD is wonderful, the playing of everyone is at such a high level of creativity that this music will live on forever. This is a can’t miss choice if you like piano music.
By  Kenneth James Michael MacLean.
**
This is by far one of the most beautiful recordings made by the Bill Evans trio. This was I’m told Bill’s first all ballads record. Riverside records released it on vinyl way back in 1962. None of the music sounds dated. considering it’s 41 years old. This is the first recording Bill made with Chuck Israels taking over for the late Scott Lafaro as the bass player. This album has a very haunting and romantic feeling to it. The music is sad in tone and suggests feelings of longing and sobering reflection. One goal that Bill always strived for was to ballance intellect with passion to make intelligent and original sounding jazz. I dont even know if jazz is the right stamp to put on this recording. To me it sounds more like European classical music. Also thank god for Bill’s college music theory teacher at Southeastern University Gretchen Magee. Because if it werent for her motivation {Evans often thought of his work as unsatisfactory and sometimes needed alot of motivation from from bandmates and peers} he might not have composed his gorgeous original composition “Very Early” {which is the last track on the CD its just breathtaking…}Being an amature pianist myself, “Very early” and “childrens play song” were the first two Evans’ compositions I taught myself to play. The piece is a composition played in C major at a slow waltz tempo. He played the tune until the end of his life in 1980, but the original version on “moonbeams” might be the all around finest one. It is given a very slow and delicate treatment, and when he restates the theme at the end you can almost feel an imagrey of leaves or snow falling gently around you. I also really like his interpretation of “It might as well be spring”. I think that Bill Evans was a beautiful person and pianist because he was never flashy and this album proves that. He didnt play anything he didnt have to. He always played just the right amount of notes and chords. With this record it all comes together coherently to make a truly stunning musical statement. Evans once told Tony Bennet to forget everything else and just concentrate on “truth and beauty.” With the album “moonbeams” fans of Evans’ music and important legacy will clearly be able to hear his own truth and beauty about life glowing from this gorgeous album. Highly recommended!
By Pat Sharp.
**
Bassist Scott LaFaro’s death in the early summer of 1961, just 10 days after the Bill Evans Trio’s triumphant Village Vanguard engagement was a devastating personal and musical, loss to the pianist, after which he took nearly a year off from recording or playing in public. (The Vanguard performances can be heard on SUNDAY AT THE VILLAGE, WALTZ FOR DEBBY and AT THE VANGUARD.) It fell to another bassist, Chuck Israel, to bring Evans out and re-establish the Bill Evans Trio as a going concern. Possessed of a warm tone, Israels’ essentially supportive playing with the Trio made for a studied contrast with the brashly virtuosic LaFaro, which was not necessarily a bad thing.

As if to make up for lost time, the newly reconstituted trio recorded two albums’ worth of material in June and May of 1962. MOONBEAMS is the “softer” of the two and introduced two graceful Evan’s originals, “Re: Person I Knew” (an anagram of producer Orrin Keepnews’s name) and the lyrical fugue “Very Early.” While any of the early Riverside albums make an excellent introduction to Bill Evans, MOONBEAMS is perhaps the most exquisitely romantic of the bunch, much like Coltrane’s BALLADS in this respect.
From CdUniverse.
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Bill Evans- Piano
Chuck Israels- Bass
Paul Motian- Drums
**
A1. Re: Person I Knew  5:42
A2. Polka Dots And Moonbeams  4:57
A3. I Fall In Love Too Easliy  2:39
A4. Stairway To The Stars  4:48
B1. If You Could See Me Now  4:24
B2. It Might As Well Be Spring  6:03
B3. In Love In Vain  4:56
B4. Very Early  5:04
**

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