Excellent presentation of Evan’s Live Concerts in Argentina!
Bill Evans – Morning Glory – The Concert At The Teatro/Gran Rex, Buenos Aires Resonance Records HCD-2061 (2 CD set), and a limited edition Record Store day 180-gram stereo double vinyl (HLP-9061). 92:04 *****:
(Bill Evans – piano; Eddie Gomez – double bass; Marty Morell – drums)
Since 2008, California-based label Resonance Records has endeavored to preserve the legacy of jazz. In addition to providing support to emerging jazz stars, the non-profit (under the leadership of George Klabin and Zev Feldman) has released material from John Coltrane, Gene Harris, Wes Montgomery, Larry Young, Charles Mingus, Scott LaFaro, Charles Lloyd, Jaco Pastorius, Sonny Rollins and Bill Evans. In a bit of exciting news, 2 Bill Evans late-career live concerts will be available for the first time. There will be limited edition 180-gram double stereo vinyl (Bernie Grundman Mastering) Record Store Day releases and 2-CD sets available. There will also be digital downloads. Included are the customary incisive liner notes, journalist/ musician interviews (and one with Evans) that frame the experiences of these Bill Evans trio appearances. The first concert (Morning Glory) at The Teatro Gran Rex in Buenos Aires (June, 1973) is performed with Eddie Gomez (double bass) and Marty Morell (drums). The set exemplifies the ability of Evans to work with melodic structure and improvise. Whether it’s breezy originals (“RE; The Person I Knew”, “The Two Lonely People”) or vintage movie and popular standards like “Emily”, “What Are You Doing The Rest Of Your Life” and “My Romance”), Evans distills the melodic essence, and injects tempo shifts and subtle flair. Like many great jazz players, he can transform a simple song (like “Who Can I Turn To?”) Into a complex jazz translation. On his originals, there is a palpable melancholy, and with the swing numbers, exuberance. His exchanges with Gomez and Morell display chemistry and playfulness. There are surprising covers, including Bobby Gentry’s “Mornin’ Glory”. Of course, the distinct meditative lyricism is articulated on “Up With The Lark”. But the trio swings on two iconic Evans compositions, “Waltz For Debby” and “T.T.T. (Twelve Tone Tune)”. The encore is an up tempo rendition of “My Foolish Heart”.
Side A: R: The Person I Knew; Emily; Who Can I Turn To?
Side B: The Two Lonely People; What Are You Doing The Rest Of Your Life; My Romance
Side C: Mornin’ Glory; Up With The Lark; T.T.T. (Twelve Tone Tune); Esta Trade Vi Llover
Side D: Beautiful Love; Waltz For Debby; My Foolish Heart
Disc 1: Re: Person I Know; Emily; Who Can I Turn To?; The Two Lonely People; What Are You Doing For The Rest Of Your Life; My Romance
Disc 2: Mornin’ Glory; Up With The Lark; T.T.T. (Twelve Tone Tune); Esta Trade Vi Llover; Beautiful Love; Waltz For Debby; My Foolish Heart
Bill Evans – Inner Spirit – The 1979 Concert At The Teatro General/San Martin, Buenos Aires Resonance Records HCD-2062 (2 CD set), and a limited edition Record Store Day 180-gram stereo double vinyl (HLP-9062) 95:05 *****:
(Bill Evans – piano; Marc Johnson – double bass; Joe LaBarbera – drums)
The second Buenos Aires concert, Inner Spirit was recorded at Teatro General San Martin in September, 1979, and features a new trio with Marc Johnson (double bass) and Joe LaBarbera (drums). In a lively set (with only one song from the prior concert), Evans reinforces his artistic vision of song nuances and swing. His original composition, “Laurie” is achingly beautiful with both hushed runs and flourishes. There are a pair of “contemporary” tunes that are interesting. The “Theme From M*A*S*H” is arranged with an accelerated waltz-time signature, eschewing the whimsy often associated with the T.V. show. He expresses the atmospheric subtlety of Paul Simon’s “I Do It For Your Love” with glowing improvisation. Originals like “Turn Out The Stars” and “Letter To Evan” (performed solo) alternate interpretative flexibility in finger-snapping cool and elegiac refinement. Among the many highlights of this set is a Brazilian opus (“Minha (All Mine)” and a solo, high-octane blues cover of “I Loves You Porgy”. Evans’ muscular version of “Someday My Prince Will Come” gets the crowd going. In a transformative finale, the pianist covers Miles Davis’ “Nardis” The 17:20 track has a stunning eight-minute piano intro that showcases instrumental gravitas and jazz inflection. As the trio joins in, both Johnson and LaBarbera get well-deserved extended solos. It was one of Bill Evans’ final concerts.
These two releases from Resonance Records would be a valuable addition to any jazz collection. The digital and analog re-mastering are crisp and capture the intimacy of a live concert. Additionally, the booklets, with detailed and anecdotal documentation, provide historical context. As with all of their prior releases, Resonance has produced this music with the expressed cooperation of the Evans family.
Side A: Stella By Starlight; Laurie; Theme From M*A*S*H
Side B: Turn Out The Stars; I Do It For Your Love; My Romance; Letter To Evan
Side C: I Loves You, Porgy; Up With The Lark; Minha (All Mine); Someday My Prince Will Come
Side D: If You Could See Me Now; Nardis
Disc 1: Stella By Starlight; Laurie; Theme From M*A*S*H; Turn Out The Stars;; I Do It For Your Love; My Romance; Letter To Evan
Disc 2: I Loves You, Porgy; Up With The Lark; Minha (All Mine); Someday My Prince Will Come; If You Could See Me Now; Nardis.