Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Conversations With Myself
Genres: Jazz, Pop
Listen to Samples
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Not for all Evans fans ...
B. J Robbins | La Quinta, CA United States | 10/18/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I have been listening to Bill Evans since high school and have many of his albums in 33 rpm (revolutions per minute, remember?). He never ceases to amaze, delight, and inspire. "Conversations with Myself" is a definite departure for Evans. Mostly a trio player (with the exception of "Alone"), here he is presented in triplicate. Whether more is less is for each listener to decide. Evans, in the liner notes, seems to have thought that the most interesting question was was this a solo or trio performance?
It seems to be a little of each. Sometimes Piano #1 stops playing chords and plays amazing walking bass lines (How About You? and Blue Monk). These two cuts are brilliant, full of melodic phrases, driving rhythms, and dissonant harmonies. 'Round Midnight, the opener, is haunting ... it will never leave you (and unlike the Romantic Evans, his playing on this cut emulates Monk's choppy, rhythmic style). The last cut, Just You, Just Me, another song in the Monk repertoire, might be a little dense, with all three pianos playing at once, but it is so melodic and frantic ... well, personally when I listen to it, I hope it will never end. And the Love Theme from Spartacus ... it is impossible to describe the beauty of Bill's playing on this. As the album notes say he doesn't just play the essence of a love theme, he plays the essence of love. No argument here.
The other cuts are interesting, but the above-mentioned are my personal favorites, and well worth the price of the CD.
As I said, this Evans album may not be for everybody. Evans himself had questions about the validity of the gimmick of overdubbing. But as someone once said, "There are two kinds of music ... good music and bad music." This is GREAT music."
The equivalent of piano mumbling
Eric C. Sedensky | Madison, AL, US | 04/24/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Let me say right away: I'm a big Bill Evans fan. Big. As in huge. It is only slightly exaggerating to say that because of Bill Evans, I decided to learn how to play jazz piano. Portrait in Jazz blew me away so completely that I had to have more, so I grabbed up The Complete Village Vanguard Recordings, 1961 soon after. That kept me going until I discovered Bill's work on the legendary Kind of Blue, then fell into the male vocal jazz realm and quickly ran across The Tony Bennett/Bill Evans Album. My wife suggested picking up Everybody Digs Bill Evans (XRCD), and that too is so spectacularly rich and rewarding it never gets dusty sitting on the shelf, as it is always out and about being listened to somewhere. In short, I've listened to and pursued Bill Evans' music in every direction and niche and never found anything even remotely unsatisfying or boring. Until this CD. I don't know if Bill made this at the height of his popularity so he figured he could get away with not actually producing any meaningful music, or maybe this was recorded when he was in one of his heroin-induced hazes, (you know, conversing with himself) or something. Whatever the case may be, this doesn't even really sound like Bill Evans. It's not exactly bad, per se. The two Monk tunes and Stella are pretty cool, but most everything else just sounds so completely uninspired and nothing like the Bill Evans music we fans have come to know and love. The songs are lackadaisical. The playing is technically competent but lacking any originality or depth. When the recording was done playing, I was relieved that I could stop waiting for something good to happen. That's right. I was glad that a Bill Evans recording was over. I listened to it a couple of more times over a couple of days, but I regret to have to say, I never felt any differently (or better) about it. I suppose at some point in the future I will play this again. Maybe I'll see something that I'm missing just now. Maybe I'll hear an aspect of Bill Evans I've never heard before. Or maybe, I will put it back on the shelf to languish while I listen to my Bill Evans recordings that don't irritate and disappoint me."
Best overdubbing experiment
Swing King | Cincinnati, OH USA | 02/07/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Evans' 1963 album for Verve was an overdub experiment featuring renditions of `Round Midnight' and `Stella by Starlight'. On "Conversations with Myself", Evans formed for himself his own trio. The experiment, Evans reasoned, would yield him an even closer affinity to the "other" players. Downbeat gave the album a five star review and the album also won Evans a Grammy. The album comes in digipak packaging and has been fully restored using a 20-bit transfer. Order yourself a copy and be treated to the creative genius of the prolific composer that was Bill Evans."