In the '60s the jazz pianist Bill Evans would occasionally record an orchestral "easy listening" session to pay the bills, with predictably mediocre results. But FROM LEFT TO RIGHT, while certainly easy on the ears, is also one of Evans' most intriguing "lost" records, brought to us courtesy of Verve's winning "By Request" series. The novelty is that Evans plays both Fender Rhodes and acoustic piano simultaneously in real time, trading off themes and improvs with deliberative taste and, of course, rare skill. The sessions were produced by Evans' long-time, protective manager Helen Keane, so there was little danger of "selling out."
Unobtrusively arranged by Michael Leonard, this 1969 release resembles nothing so much as famed bossa nova composer Antonio Carlos Jobim's series of shimmering instrumental albums with arranger Claus Ogerman, even without those gently relentless rhythms driving every tune. Still, the highlight of this album is the dancing two-part "The Dolphin - Before & After," a non-Jobim bossa nova which allows Evans his only extended improvisations.