Eddie Costa / Bill Evans

Complete Quartet Recordings

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This Lone Hill Jazz compilation is a bit misleading. Though Bill Evans and Eddie Costa are present on every track, this CD actually consists of the complete contents of his album Guys and Dolls Like Vibes plus one track from Michel Legrand's Legrand Jazz. The Frank Loesser songs chosen from his Broadway musical Guys and Dolls (a fairly recent hit at the time of these 1958 sessions) are fertile ground for Costa (who sticks to vibes, though he was also a good pianist) and Evans. Their logical improvisations on these catchy melodies, several of which became popular vehicles for jazz musicians and singers, feature both men equally, backed by the superb team of bassist Wendell Marshall and drummer Paul Motian. One can feel the chemistry in the swinging take of "Guys and Dolls," the moving ballad "Adelaide" (an overlooked gem from the show) and the explosive take of "If I Were a Bell" (the latter which Evans would record later that year with Miles Davis, who had covered the piece in 1956 as well). But it is the wild rhythmic approach to "Luck Be a Lady" that proves to be the most unusual arrangement of the Loesser material. On the sole track from Legrand Jazz, Miles Davis is the featured soloist in John Lewis' "Django," with Costa and Evans relegated to the background, along with guitarist Barry Galbraith, bassist Paul Chambers and drummer Kenny Dennis. While this is a worthwhile CD, jazz fans are advised to buy Eddie Costa's Guys and Dolls Like Vibes and the complete version of Michel Legrand's Legrand Jazz instead of this oddly packaged pretender.

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