Bill Evans album




bill-resImagine finding a bottle of 1968 Grange under your house. This album is a greater coup. A ’68 Montreux Jazz Festival recording of pianist Bill Evans’ trio with bassist Eddie Gomez and new drummer Jack DeJohnette was always thought to be their only album together. In fact five days later they also recorded in a German studio, and those newly discovered tapes result in this double-album of, in some cases, previously unheard masterpieces.

Where Evans’s greatest band, with Scott LaFaro and Paul Motian, had a soft-focus foreground in which the relationships between the three instruments ebbed and flowed, this band is more sinewy. You hear it in Evans’s harder attack at the piano and his more driving rhythms. But the interplay is almost as intricate as the earlier trio’s, if slightly more conventional. Inevitably the masterpieces include ballads, where Evans’ touch, harmonies and melodic grace conspire not just with Gomez’s virtuosity, but with DeJohnette’s gift for cross-hatching the implications of an Evans idea, while insinuating his own subtle complexities into the pianist’s mind.