bill evans

 

CD BOX SETS

Turn Out the Stars - The Final Vanguard Recordings
Complete Riverside Recordings
Secret Sessions
Complete Fantasy Recordings
Complete Bill Evans on Verve



T
URN OUT THE STARS -THE FINAL VANGUARD RECORDINGS

Bill makes what was his final visit to his "homebase" in NYC, the Village Vanguard (June 4-8, 1980) with the last trio (Marc Johnson and Joe LaBarbera), a mere three months before the end. The playing is alternately exhiliarating in its blazing musical adventuring and heartbreaking in its mystical beauty. A superb booklet comes with the set, including pianist Harold Danko's appraisal of Evans' career, and jazz critic Bob Blumenthal's incredible song-by-song commentary -- comparing different versions of some tunes performed over four nights of taping. Before his death in September 1980, Evans himself selected tracks for what would have been a double-LP, now available as the CD "The Artist's Choice". It took sixteen years for this vibrant and valedictory music to be released, and it's some of the most key moments in all the Bill Evans 'live' dates. You'll return to this music again and again, and rightly so. Evans was truly inspired, the excitement is contageous. The passion in this trio on the more "swinging" tunes, and in Evans' ballad wizardry is unmistakable.

(This CD box set is no longer available except from several private dealers and CD sales houses.)



T
HE COMPLETE FANTASY RECORDINGS

From
Concord Music Group (Fantasy Records'
) website [edited]:
SEE THEIR PAGE FOR MORE DETAILS
...

Here is the complete body of Evans' work for the Fantasy label during the seven-year period closely preceding Evans' untimely death in 1980. The set contains 98 selections recorded between 1973 and 1979 in club, concert, or studio settings, plus a previously unreleased 1976 Paris concert recording. Also included is the Marian McPartland hour-long interview with Evans at the piano, from her show on National Public Radio in 1978. Contains solo, duo, trio, and quintet performances with Tony Bennett, Ray Brown, Kenny Burrell, Eddie Gomez, Philly Joe Jones, Lee Konitz, Harold Land, Warne Marsh, Marty Morell, and Eliot Zigmund, as well as a 32-page illustrated booklet with essay by Gene Lees and notes by the late Helen Keane.



THE SECRET SESSIONS:

See our page on the complete track listings and personnel

Edited from materiial on Yahoo Music's website:

Recorded live at the Village Vanguard in New York, between March 1966 and January 1975. Includes liner notes by Orrin Keepnews and Doug Ramsey. From 1966 to 1980, Mike Harris, a successful optical physicist and admittedly "the world's biggest Bill Evans fan", surreptitiously taped the pianist and his trio on a portable tape machine whenever they played The Vanguard. Remember that the first trio's landmark 1961 Vanguard sessions forever changed the very nature of jazz playing itself. As far as these "secret" sessions are concerned, the legalities have now been attended to and the tapes handed over to Evan's original producer, Orrin Keepnews, who has fashioned an indispensable portrait of the artist at work in his natural setting. Remarkably the sound is mostly acceptable -- considering the circumstances and the balance between instruments is just about right, thanks to the warm acoustics of the Vanguard itself. We also get to hear the pianist with several drummers, notably Joe Hunt (never "formally" recorded with Bill), John Dentz (ditto) Arnie Wise, the fiery Philly Joe Jones, Marty Morell, and an energetic young Jack DeJohnette. Teddy Kotick is on a few early tracks but regular bassist Eddie Gomez provides most of the sterling support and virtuoso solos throughout. An amazing document for those wishing to track the different trios of Bill from 1966 -75 at his "home base" in NYC.



THE COMPLETE RIVERSIDE RECORDINGS

From Yahoo Music's site [edited]:

Genius starts here. Bill Evans' entire recorded output for Riverside Records, recorded 1956 to 1963, including all the legendary first trio sides with LaFaro and Motian. The set includes 151 performances in chronological order, including the entire existing recordings of the famed 1961 Vanguard sessions, as well as 17 selections from a previously unissued solo studio session and 7 other unreleased items. This boxed set also comes with a 32-page illustrated booklet including rare photos, full discographical details, an appreciation of Evans by critic Martin Williams, and personal commentary on each session by producer Orrin Keepnews. Includes liner notes by Martin Williams and Orrin Keepnews. Indispensible!

(This CD box set is no longer available except from several private dealers and CD sales houses.)


THE COMPLETE BILL EVANS ON VERVE:

Over 21 hours of music, (269 tracks) representing almost everything ever recorded while Bill was under contract with Verve Records from 1962-1970. There are the live trio sides with Philly Joe Jones (some formerly released on LP as "California Here I Come") the many false starts and studio banter on the uncompleted takes, allowing a glimpse of the process in the studio, all the Stan Getz sessions, the two sessions with Shelly Manne, the long-out-of-print Gary McFarland album with Bill as featured soloist, the Monica Zetterlund recordings from Europe, more from the "Left to Right" album and lots more. [The infamous "VIP Theme" album (1963) is not included, as was previously and incorrectly stated here. We were sent an email by Evans scholar Phil Bailey -- who wrote the notes. In fact, Verve had plans to resissue the album itself, but apparently Claus Ogerman, the session's arranger, talked them out of it. Our thanks to Mr. Bailey for this valuable info] The Verve set comes with a 160 -page booklet that includes interviews with Evans, and comments by musicians that worked with Bill, like Marc Johnson and Paul Motian, but its now-infamous steel box packaging (watch the rust!) is its serious major flaw. At a $300.00 list price, its an expensive set, but just about all the main Bill Evans from roughly 1963 through 1970 is right here.

(This CD box set is no longer available except from several private dealers and CD sales houses.)


FIND OUT MORE ABOUT THESE TWO CD BOXSETS OF BILL'S LAST PERFORMANCES
(Aug-Sept 1980) at amazon.com

CLICK ON THE RESPECTIVE CD COVER ON THE LEFT TO GO DIRECTLY TO ITS PAGE...

Read JazzTimes' "Consecration" review


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