Bill Evans

Empathy/A Simple Matter of Conviction

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Two of pianist Bill Evans' better Verve recordings are combined on this single CD. Although separated by over four years time, in both cases the lyrical pianist is joined by drummer Shelly Manne; the bass spot is taken by either Monty Budwig or Eddie Gomez (the latter was making his recorded debut with Evans). The earlier session (the pianist's first project for Verve) has some unusual material including a pair of Irving Berlin obscurities ("The Washington Twist" and "Let's Go Back to the Waltz"), "Danny Boy" and "I Believe in You." The later date is most notable for including four obscure Evans tunes (including "Only Child" and "These Things Called Changes") plus his interpretation of "My Melancholy Baby" and some more conventional material. In any case, fans of the influential pianist will want to pick up this generous set which contains nearly 73 minutes of intriguing music.

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