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Bill Evans Live in London in 1965

Bill Evans Live in London in 1965 at Ronnie Scott’s.

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Personnel:

Bill Evans (p) Chuck Israels (bs) Larry Bunker (dr)

Track list:

0:00 “Beautiful Love” 7:35 “Love Is Here To Stay” 13:37 “Spring Is Here” 20:59 “Someday My Prince Will Come ” 27:54 “Who Can I Turn To ?” 35:44 “Nardis” 43:20 “Detour Ahead” 49:48 “My Romance” 54:07 “Bill’s Play-Off Music” 55:44 “Interview Excerpt With Bill Evans”

Recorded: March 2-11, 1965 live at Ronnie Scott’s Club, London

Since the death of Bill Evans in 1980, many previously unknown live recordings have turned up. This is one of the better releases, consisting of parts of a pair of sessions during the Bill Evans Trio’s first visit to London for an extended gig at Ronnie Scott’s Club. Jazz journalist Leslie Tomkins was given permission to record the artist, without any intention of releasing these performances. Although these are not professional recordings (the bass sounds somewhat distant), the sound is actually very good, considering the circumstances under which the recordings must have been made.

The music chosen from two days of sets makes for an unusual play list, concentrating almost exclusively on standards from the Great American Songbook, with none of Evans’ brilliant originals, though he is in top form throughout the disc. “Someday My Prince Will Come” is playfully introduced with a brisk marching vamp, then Evans resorts to his favorite gliding waltz arrangement. “Who Can I Turn To?” is the piece of most recent vintage, taken from a Broadway production by Anthony Newley.

As on many interpretations of Miles Davis’ “Nardis,” Evans quickly fades into the background early in order to feature Chuck Israels first. He also delves into Johnny Frigo’s “Detour Ahead” (a piece written in the 1940s for the trio the Soft Winds). The only Evans original present is a rapid fire miniature interpretation of his theme song “Five” that also includes a drum solo plus snatches of various classic bop anthems. Tomkins’ interview with Evans, recorded during a 1972 visit to London, is informative. Fans of Bill Evans will definitely want to pick up this CD, issued by the English label Harkit.

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