Bill Evans – Treasures: Solo, Trio, & Orchestra Recordings from Denmark – Elemental Music

by | Apr 1, 2023 | Jazz CD Reviews, SACD & Other Hi-Res Reviews | 0 comments

Another Bill Evans LP release to “treasure”…

Bill Evans – Treasures: Solo, Trio, & Orchestra Recordings from Denmark – 1965-1969 – Elemental Music #5990544 – Three 180 gm vinyl – Limited Edition to 7500 pressings – Available on Record Store Day (4/22/23) – ****

(Bill Evans – piano; Niels-Henning Pedersen, Eddie Gomez – acoustic bass; Alan Dawson (#A1-A3), Alex Riel (#A4- and LP 1, Side B, LP 3, Side A), Marty Morell (LP 2, Side 2, and LP 3, Side B) – drums. With Royal Danish Symphony Orchestra & The Danish Radio Big Band – Palle Mikkelborg – arranger, conductor, and trumpet)

More than any other iconic jazz musician, the late pianist, Bill Evans, has been featured recently on previously unreleased European recordings. Through the “detective” skills of producer, Zev Feldman, who has scoured previously untapped resources, jazz connoisseurs have been treated to more manna from heaven from the genius piano skills of Bill Evans.

On the occasion of this Spring’s Record Store Day (4/22/23), Elemental Music is releasing three glorious 180 gm vinyls, remastered by Bernie Grundman, from the private collection of Danish producer, Ole Matthiessen.

Unheard since their debut on Danish radio, and authorized by the estate of Bill Evans, this is the 10th collection of Evans’ material to be released by Mr. Feldman. 

Its historical value is significant as it documents Evans in his prime, and features solo, trio, and orchestral settings. Bill traveled extensively in Europe, and found eager, attentive audiences throughout the continent. They were eager to hear Bill’s impressionistic harmonies, block chords, and sublime melodic lines.

Both his bassist, Eddie Gomez, and his drummer, Marty Morell, were in their early 20s at the time, and went on to long term tenures with Evans. (Morell played with Bill for seven years, longer than any other drummer that Evans ever used!). Each was eager to explore Europe early in their careers, and appreciated the patience of Evans, and the opportunity to freely improvise.

The song list on this release is heavy with Evans’ standards (“Waltz for Debby,” “Come Rain or Come Shine,” “Nardis,” “My Funny Valentine”), but as always with Bill, there are embellishments, and solos from his trio that continue to fascinate. Bill was noted for his “telepathic” communication with his rhythm sections.

Perhaps the most fascinating material here is the orchestral suite (LP 2, Side 2). Recorded in November of 1969, and arranged and conducted by Danish trumpeter, Palle Mikkelborg, it featured four Evans’ originals. One of the stand-outs is “My Bells,” which is based on “So What” from the iconic Kind of Blue album of Miles Davis, on which Evans piano was featured. On the orchestral suite, American jazz ex-pats, Idrees Sulieman, and Sahib Shihab, were part of the Danish Radio Big Band at that time.

As on all of these Feldman “finds,” included  is a deluxe booklet with previously unpublished archival photos. In the booklet, there is an overview from Evans historian, Marc Myers, present day interviews with band members, Eddie Gomez, Marty Morell, Palle Mikkelborg, and Alex Riel, as well as tributes to Evans from jazz pianists, Matthew Shipp, and Ran Blake.

The “fan club” of Bill Evans runs deep…

Bill Evans was 36 years old on his tour of Denmark in 1965. Throughout his career, he battled drug issues (heroin and cocaine), and he died fifteen years later in 1980. His genius continues to be lauded.

This valuable LP package will be available on Record Store Day on April 22nd, and a two CD, plus digital release, will follow on April 28. With only 7500 pressings of the 3 LP set made, Evans collectors might want to camp out at their local record store to make sure they can score a set for themselves. Just a word to the wise…

—Jeff Krow

Bill Evans – Treasures

LP 1- Bill Evans Trio Denmark ’65
Side A:
Come Rain or Come Shine
Someday My Prince Will Come
Beautiful Love
Waltz for Debby

Side B:
I Should Care
Very Early
Time Remembered
Who Can I Turn To?

LP 2 – Bill Evans Solo & Orchestral Suite
Side A – Solo:
Re: Person I Knew
‘Round Midnight
My Funny Valentine
Time Remembered
Come Rain Or Come Shine

Side B – Orchestral Suite:
Intro into Waltz for Debby
Time Remembered
My Bells
Waltz for Debby (Reprise)
Walkin’ Up

LP 3 – Bill Evans Trio Denmark 1966/69:
Side A:
Stella By Starlight
Detour Ahead
In a Sentimental Mood
Time Remembered

Side B:
Autumn Leaves
Quiet Now 

More Information through Record Store Day:

Logo Record Store Day

Album Cover for Bill Evans Treasures

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