Gordon Beck

For Evans Sake

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Gordon Beck's tribute to the late jazz pianist Bill Evans is unusual in many ways. Though he admits to being influenced by Evans, the connection isn't as obvious during most of the tracks on this album. Aside from utilizing one-time Evans sideman Jack DeJohnette on drums and covering just one piece recorded by Evans ("Blue in Green," the leader's inspiration is indirectly applied. Also joining him are violinist Didier Lockwood (on selected tracks) and bassist Dave Holland, starting with Beck's furious "You Are All the Things" (a deliberately obvious reworking of "All the Things You Are"). Beck's "Mister E" captures the spirit of Evans yet never sounds like an attempt to clone Evans' approach. The leader's lyrical "Trio Type Tune Two?" is inspired by Evans' "Twelve Tone Tune Two," though it is not quite as striking. Also of merit are Beck's jaunty "For Evans Sake," the driving "Not the Last Waltz" (which DeJohnette impressively opens unaccompanied), and the moody ballad "He Is with Us Still."

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