Bill Evans

Waltz for Debby: The Complete 1969 Pescara Festival

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The Bill Evans Trio was recorded in 1969 for broadcast at the debut of the Pescara Jazz Festival in Italy, though the pianist was outraged when the music was bootlegged by a Japanese label a short time later, followed by others, often with the songs mislabeled. In any case, Evans, along with his longest working trio, bassist Eddie Gomez and drummer Marty Morell, are in top form during this hour-long set. Evans shines throughout the date, though his rhythm section plays far more than just a timekeeping role, interacting with him. Gomez's fluid solos are highlights of Evans' arrangement of the lovely ballad "Emily." Whether utilizing brushes or sticks, Morell's drumming is first-rate, especially in the explosive rendition of Miles Davis' modal masterpiece "Nardis." The leader's demanding "Very Early" is a delight, though the introduction is inexplicably clipped from his rendition of "Waltz for Debby," a track also plagued with what sounds like noise from a monitor on-stage. One other amateurish flaw is that Evans is listed as the composer of Denny Zeitlin's "Quiet Now." In any case, fans of Bill Evans will definitely want to pick up this exciting live CD, now available on a Lone Hill Jazz reissue.

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