Released in 1995, The Best of Bill Evans on Verve is a carefully selected chronological survey of the pianist's solo, duo, and trio works recorded for this label between the years 1963 and 1969. A dizzying example from his first solo overdub album entitled Conversations with Myself is followed by an unusually hip and non-irritating version of "Santa Claus is Coming to Town." This comes from the album Trio '64, recorded in December 1963 with Gary Peacock and Paul Motian. "Grandfather's Waltz" is from Stan Getz and Bill Evans, a quartet album with Richard Davis and Elvin Jones that came together in early May 1964. The next three titles find Evans working with bassist Chuck Israels and drummers Larry Bunker or Arnold Wise. This material dates from mid-May 1964 through February 1966. "My Man's Gone Now," the lament from George Gershwin's Porgy & Bess, was drawn from Intermodulation, an album of duets with guitarist Jim Hall dating from the spring of 1966. By October of that year, Evans had begun a lengthy working relationship with bassist Eddie Gomez; the album called A Simple Matter of Conviction (with drummer Shelly Manne) was their first collaborative project. Evans and Gomez are heard with Philly Joe Jones in August 1967 (see "On Green Dolphin Street" from the posthumously released California Here I Come) and Jack DeJohnette in June 1968 (see "Someday My Prince Will Come" from Bill Evans at the Montreux Jazz Festival). "A Time for Love" is from a solo LP that materialized during the fall of 1968, and "Autumn Leaves" appeared on the album What's New, recorded during the first three months of 1969 and featuring Gomez, drummer Marty Morell, and flutist Jeremy Steig. This definitive and highly insightful portrait of Bill Evans in the '60s is recommended for relaxation, introspection, intimate lounging and inspired noctambulation.
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