Search - Bill Evans :: Interplay

Bill Evans
Genres: Jazz, Pop
  •  Track Listings (7) - Disc #1

Bill Evans had recorded only sparsely with horn players when this session was cut in 1962. His performance on Miles Davis's Kind of Blue had portended a certain minimal presence when playing with horns, but Interplay defie...  more »


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CD Details

All Artists: Bill Evans
Title: Interplay
Members Wishing: 2
Total Copies: 0
Label: Ojc
Release Date: 7/1/1991
Genres: Jazz, Pop
Styles: Cool Jazz, Modern Postbebop, Bebop
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPC: 025218630825

Synopsis essential recording
Bill Evans had recorded only sparsely with horn players when this session was cut in 1962. His performance on Miles Davis's Kind of Blue had portended a certain minimal presence when playing with horns, but Interplay defies the earlier recording's hints with particularly strong playing. He's perhaps egged on by Philly Joe Jones, who seemed always able to throw Evans into overdrive (just listen to the Secret Sessions for plentiful confirmation of this). Here, you have Jones pushing Evans, and guitarist Jim Hall adding harmonic depth and brittle latticework around the edges while trumpeter Freddie Hubbard joins in the fray. The instrument mix is odd, but Hubbard plays lyrically enough that he sounds snug in Evans's ever-surprising chord voicings. As for Hall, he sounds genteel and then engaged and then snapping as the band pushes hard on several standards. --Andrew Bartlett

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CD Reviews

Bill Evans Leading a Quintet!
Tim Smith | Bonney Lake, WA United States | 10/07/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)

"You may be slightly put off the first time you listen to this CD if you're only familiar with Bill Evans in a trio or from 'Kind of Blue'. The combination is unusual, maybe even unique, for Evans and it may take a few tracks to adjust. But if you haven't embraced this CD by the last notes of 'When You Wish Upon a Star', then the blues 'Interplay' will nail it for you. Some critics have pooh-poohed Evans' ability by saying he couldn't swing. I really don't understand that criticism at all, but for those who contend Evans couldn't play the blues, 'Interplay', which Evans wrote, proves he could. The personnel are all first rate, particularly Jim Hall and one of my favorite drummers, the fantastic Philly Joe Jones. The others, Freddie Hubbard and Percy Heath, are up to their usual high quality, too. My favorite tracks are 'Interplay', 'Wrap Your Troubles in Dreams', and 'When You Wish Upon a Star'. This disc, like so many of Bill Evans' works, is one of those that one can be enjoyed over and over. Even so, I have been listening to Evans' music for many years and I don't recall meeting anyone who owns this CD. That may be due to the fact that many view it as an experiment that failed given that Evans didn't lead another quintet like this again. I don't know if Evans and the other players considered it an experiment, but it surely was no failure. It is one of my five favorite Evans CDs."
Unusual and Good
J. Birchell | Anchorage, AK, US | 12/07/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)

"The neatest thing about this album is Bill Evans' inclusion in a quintet format (rather than his usual trio" and the rarity that represents. Also unusual is the makeup of the quintet: in place of the usual second horn, there is an electric guitar. The tempos are unusual for the cooler, laid-back Evans. However, desptie all these deviations from the norms of Evans and teh jazz quintet, the album is, in itself, quite compelling. The music is fun to listen to, first and foremost. It also displays Evans' characteristic near-telepathic tightness: where the imporvisatory sequences of John Coltrane or even Miles Davis will grow sloppy occasionally (with various players tripping over each-other, so to speak) this never happens with Evans, particularly on this album. The improvised material is seamless enough to be through-composed, but inspired enough not to lose the spur-of-the-moment flair. The musicianship is also of high quality, with all of the players being highly skilled at their craft.
Definitely for the open-minded fan of jazz and music (although considerasbly less radical than "Kind of Blue" or "A Love Supreme"). Evans fans looking for the usual Evans fare: beware!"
Another Underated Masterpiece!
JoeyD | los gatos, ca | 02/26/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I purchased this excited because it had such a great line-up. It's hard to turn down anything with Bill Evans and then once you throw Freddie Hubbard in the mix, forget about it, you know it's gotta to be great. Not to mention the rest of the quintet - Jim Hall, Percy Heath , and of course Philly Joe Jones - not to shabby to say the least! Jones seems to be the guy everybody else feeds off of, especially Evans. This one cooks! And it even exceeded my great expectations. Did Bill Evans ever not make a great album every time as a leader? This is one is no exception.

Freddie Hubbard is the man! He is so great on this album that any fan of his needs to make this purchase. Heath and Jones make up an all-star rythym section and the chemistry between the two shines. And Hall is just his steady, lyrical self which is a perfect fit. Bottom line, all of them deliver and I just can't figure out why this album isn't more popular than it is.

All in all, add this one to the Bill Evans classics archive. I wish I would have found this much sooner than I did. It's right up there with "Waltz for Debbie", "Sunday at the Village Vanguard", "Portrait in Jazz", etc...etc...! I think it's easy to sometimes forget just how many amazing albums this great talent had. Thank you Bill for bringing so much joy to my life!