Performer: Bill Evans (Piano)
Engineer: Dave Jones; Jack Higgins; Tommy Nola; Wally Heider; Bill Schwartau; Bill Stoddard...
Producer: Nick Phillips (Compilation)...
Distributor: Universal Distribution
Notes: Personnel: Jim Hall (guitar); Cannonball Adderley (alto saxophone); Freddie Hubbard (trumpet); Connie Kay, Larry Bunker, Paul Motian, Philly Joe Jones (drums). Photographer: Lee Tanner. Bill Evans's late '50s-early '60s tenure with the Riverside label produced probably his best recordings, including the groundbreaking trio dates at the Village Vanguard with bassist Scott LaFaro and drummer Paul Motian. "All of You" and "My Foolish Heart" are included from those live recordings on ESSENTIAL STANDARDS, which mainly features a varied Evans menu from his Riverside years. Also included are "Goodbye," from the sprightly duo LP KNOW WHAT I MEAN? with altoist Cannonball Adderley, and the uptempo "You and the Night and the Music" from an atypical quintet session with guitarist Jim Hall and hard-bop trumpeter Freddie Hubbard. Taken singly, Evans's Riverside albums are much too important in their own right to be justly represented on only one disc, but this intelligently selected compilation does close with one of the pianist's greatest tracks, the slow and ecstatic "Young and Foolish" from 1959's EVERYBODY DIGS BILL EVANS, a still astonishing piece that encapsulates everything the musician was trying to accomplish in these breakthrough years.
One of the most original and influential pianists in jazz, Bill Evans possessed an intensely personal and lyrical approach. The release of his first records under his own name, as well as his appearance on Miles Davis's KIND OF BLUE, pushed Evans rapidly to the forefront of jazz piano. For much of his career--which began in the 1950s and spanned several decades--he worked exclusively with his own trios, which brought collective interplay to new heights and extended the vocabulary of post-bop jazz piano.
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