Bill Evans / Bill Evans Trio

The Complete Village Vanguard Recordings, 1961

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The music recorded by Bill Evans on June 25, 1961, has long since acquired legendary status. Evans, a brilliant pianist whose unique voicings have influenced over a generation of jazz pianists who have followed him, weaves one masterpiece after another with bassist Scott LaFaro (a promising composer and phenomenal bassist) and the equally valuable drummer Paul Motian. The interplay between them is phenomenal throughout each of their five sets from the final day of a summer gig at the Village Vanguard. This beautifully remastered three-CD collection restores the previously omitted take of "Gloria's Step" (marred only by a brief power outage) and the humorous finale by Evans at the end of the night (first issued in the massive Complete Riverside Recordings box set). The songs are in their original recorded sequence, adding a bit of ambience and audience reaction between numbers. Sadly, it was the trio's final recording, as LaFaro died in a car crash ten days later. The selections from this three-CD box set have been reissued numerous times over the years, but this is the first time that all of them have been collected in one U.S. release. Orrin Keepnews, the original producer, updates the liner notes he previously contributed to earlier issues of this music with a thoughtful commentary. This is an essential purchase, whether you are a novice or seasoned jazz fan. [Released on vinyl in November 2014.]

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