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Original Jazz Classic Jazz Showcase Series
Bill Evans
Original Jazz Classic Jazz Showcase Series
Genres: Jazz, Pop
  •  Track Listings (11) - Disc #1


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CD Details

All Artists: Bill Evans
Title: Original Jazz Classic Jazz Showcase Series
Members Wishing: 1
Total Copies: 0
Label: Ojc
Release Date: 6/9/1998
Genres: Jazz, Pop
Styles: Cool Jazz, Modern Postbebop, Bebop
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPCs: 025218901420, 090204698622

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CD Reviews

A Great Place to Start | San Anselmo CA, USA | 02/05/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)

"If you're shopping for your first Bill Evans disc, you may well be feeling intimidated by the 165 titles currently offers. Take heart--"Jazz Showcase" is an outstanding single disc collection of Evans' early 60s work for Riverside Records, generally considered his most important and fruitful period as an artist. Compiled by longtime friend and producer Orrin Keepnews, "Jazz Showcase" features essential recordings, both live and in studio, of Evans' groundbreaking trio with Scott LaFaro and Paul Motian. "`Showcase" also features essential solo recordings like the landmark "Peace Piece," as well as fascinating excursions with other jazz legends including trumpeter Freddy Hubbard, former Miles Davis bandmate and drummer Philly Joe Jones, guitarist Jim Hall and others. Excellent sound quality and informative liner notes.In short, Jazz Showcase is the best, most definitive single disc sampler of Evans' most important period, both musically and historically. A great place to start."
A Riverside Selection
MikeG | England | 06/09/2004
(3 out of 5 stars)

"There is, of course, some five-star music on this CD. But as with any Bill Evans `compilation', how many more than 3 stars it is worth depends upon how much you want this selection of tracks rather than the individual discs from which they come. The music is from albums first released on the old Riverside label, which means that they are all from the 1950s /early 1960s. Four are from the famous `first trio' with Scott la Faro on bass and Paul Motian on drums. The swinging, up-tempo "Autumn Leaves" is from their first album, Portrait in Jazz, and the lyrical waltz-ballad "Elsa" is from Explorations. "Waltz for Debby" - one of Evans's best-known compositions - and "Gloria's Step" are from the two famous albums recorded live at the Village Vanguard in 1961 (respectively: Waltz for Debby and Sunday at the Village Vanguard). So far so good; except that if you like these tracks you will probably want to acquire the original albums. The boppish "Conceptions" is from Evans's first album under his own name, New Jazz Conceptions (1956). From his second album, Everybody Digs Bill Evans (1958), comes an Evans classic, the haunting modal composition "Peace Piece" for solo piano (described in my review of that album). "Re: Person I Knew" is another Evans modal composition, from the ballad album, Moonbeams, and "In Your Own Sweet Way" is from its companion album, How My Heart Sings - both of these are by the "second trio" with Motian and Chuck Israels.

The remaining tracks are the more out-of-the-way ones. "Know What I Mean" is the title track from the quartet album Evans made with altoist `Cannonball' Adderley and "Interplay" is the title track from the quintet album with guitarist Jim Hall and trumpeter Freddie Hubbard. They are both interesting and well played Evans compositions, though not, in my opinion, the most inspired choices from these albums. "On Green Dolphin Street" is from a fairly impromptu studio session, with bassist Paul Chambers and drummer Philly Joe Jones. The three of them had been, for a brief period, the rhythm section for Miles Davis (Jimmy Cobb replaced Jones on the famous Kind of Blue sessions). It's a performance that swings along nicely at a dancing mid-tempo, Evans playing the theme statements and his solo entirely in a syncopated, chorded style which sounds to me (even if not intended as such) like an attempt to capture the sound of the George Shearing Quintet, a commercially popular chamber-jazz group of the time. In its relaxed, genial style this track is a performance of considerable charm. So, in their different ways, are most of the pieces here. If you want them, in this particular combination, here they are. Alternatively you could buy some of the original albums, in which case I would suggest that you start with Portrait in Jazz, Waltz for Debby (the Village Vanguard, 1961 album with that title) and Everybody Digs Bill Evans. If you're a `casual' listener to this kind of music, or maybe just getting to know Evans's work by exploring compilation CDs, the CD titled `Quiet Now/Never Let Me Go' on the Verve label is worth considering as an example of Evans's more romantic, lyrical playing, mainly at slow tempo. I'd also recommend `Bill Evans:Compact Jazz' (also on Verve)."