Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Fly By Light | Atlanta, Georgia | 11/03/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This two edition concert set features Bill Evans with his "second greatest" trio, Marc Johnson and Joe LaBarbera, playing standards, including several that Evans recorded before. The sound is a surprise - the piano sounds vivid and gorgeous and Evans has fun with its low register growl. Jazz purists may not like the modern close-mic'ed sound - it's a bit sterile compared to traditional recordings. The bass also sounds very modern - the tone sings out in all registers, with only enough click and boxiness to prove that it is not a fretless bass guitar. If you like a detailed, modern sound, it's a great combination; if you prefer old-school sound shaped by a real venue, you may hate it.
Evans' solo work dominates; the three-way Evans/LaFaro/Motian dance only happens occasionally. The My Romance trio brings back the "good old days" and the piano/bass duet on Up with the Lark is a joy, but the "Bill Evans" label on the CD is more accurate than "Bill Evans Trio" would be. Johnson takes full advantage of his instrument's singing quality and range (I wish that LaFaro had this sound so I could hear him better), and leave you wanting more. LaBarbera plays effectively like Motian at his most subdued, Philly Joe Jones at his most extroverted, and everywhere in between. There's none of the rhythmic tug-of-war between piano and drums like in Montreux; everyone's locked in.
If you are not put off by busy arrangements and urgent tempos, and you don't require a giant helping of Village Vanguard-style interplay, the playing on this CD should satisfy your need for more Bill Evans."
A Labor of Love
W. Dent | Baltimore, MD | 10/01/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The very first thing that hit me upon listening to this cd is how wonderful are the sonics! This cd was well recorded, well engineered, and mastered. If you have ever owned a cd which just plain sounds really really good on your stereo when played, then you will understand what I mean when I say the word 'sonics'.
Bill Evans was taken with this particular trio often comparing it to his very first one with Scott LaFaro and Paul Motian. Anyone familiar with Bill's early history will know that his first trio was vaunted as something special and ended entirely too soon with the sudden death of Scott LaFaro. Marc Johnson, bassist, and Joe LaBarbera, drummer, are able co-conspirators on The Paris Concert Edition One. Following Mr. Evans' desire to play in a trio where equality among the instrumental voices reigned supreme, the work by all three musicians on this cd reflects a highly interactive unit moving in the same direction and to the same ends. There is true harmony and singleness of purpose on display. The respect and genuine love these fellows had for one another is so very present in the music they made. The songs on this cd are no exception.
From the opening strains of Paul Simon's I Do It For Your Love, the deep emotion for which Bill Evans is famous is evident. I have never been able to listen to Bill Evans play without some emotional investment. After a beautiful solo piano introduction, the other two musicians combine and masterfully contribute just what is needed to take us to the next level before ending the song. Quiet Now, Noelle's Theme, My Romance, I Loves You Porgy, Up With the Lark, All Mine, and Beautiful Love receive the same treatment of sensitivity, awareness, mutual respect, and yes, love, that the first song got.
The overall tone of this cd is relaxed and easy to entreat. The level of musicianship takes this cd well away from being categorized as easy listening or smooth jazz. However, the songs are all accessible and enjoyable even to the average non-musician-type listener. There is an elegance to the proceedings which can only be conjured in a live performance by the caliber of musician that Bill Evans or Duke Ellington
for example, were. I recommend this cd to anyone who loves great jazz. There is nothing "outside" or hard to understand about the music. For the Bill Evans fan, you won't be disappointed. For the person who hasn't yet heard the music of Mr. Evans, The Paris Concert, Editions One and Two are a great resource for introduction."