Bill Evans – Explorations (1961 Album)

Bill Evans – Explorations (1961 Album) with sheet music

Explorations is an album by jazz pianist Bill Evans that was originally released on Riverside label in 1961. The album won the Billboard Jazz Critics Best Piano LP poll for 1961.


Bill Evans (p) Scott LaFaro (b) Paul Motian (dr)
Released: End of March 1961
Recorded: February 2, 1961
Label: Riverside
Producer: Orrin Keepnews

Bill Evans Trio – Explorations Track list

1 | 00:00​ | Bill Evans Trio – Beautiful Love 2 | 05:06​ | Bill Evans Trio – Israel 3 | 11:17​ | Bill Evans Trio – Haunted Heart 4 | 14:44​ | Bill Evans Trio – Elsa 5 | 19:56​ | Bill Evans Trio – Sweet and Lovely 6 | 25:49​ | Bill Evans Trio – The Boy Next Door 7 | 30:56​ | Bill Evans Trio – Nardis 8 | 36:47​ | Bill Evans Trio – How Deep Is the Ocean 9 | 40:20​ | Bill Evans Trio – I Wish I Knew

“Explorations “

bill evans explorations sheet music

was the second album Evans recorded with his trio of Scott LaFaro on bass and Paul Motian on drums. Evans considered it one of his favorites from this period. Producer Orrin Keepnews in the liner notes talks about the two extra pieces released on CD, “Beautiful Love (take 1)” and “The Boy Next Door”.

The first version of “Beautiful Love” to be included in the original LP was a second take, in fact as Keepnews specifies, “it is not the usual case of a second attempt that immediately followed the first. Early in this date, he played this number once; we both approved, and he moved on to something else. Much later, he decided to try a second ‘Beautiful Love’, which he later preferred.” “The Boy Next Door” was instead set aside, at the time, because of the limited space of LP support.

The album was remastered and reissued by Original Jazz Classics in 2011 with two previously unissued alternate takes.

The album won the Billboard Jazz Critics Best Piano LP poll for 1961.

David Rickert of All About Jazz wrote: “…Evans demands to be heard, seducing you with his indelibly emotional playing… The trio works magic here, breathing fresh air into standards such as ‘How Deep Is the Ocean?’ and ‘Beautiful Love’ and creating the illusion that these songs were written just so someone like Evans could play them.

The highlight of the album is ‘Elsa,’ which is one of the most beautiful piano ballads on record.” Writing for Allmusic, critic Thom Jurek said of the album: “Evans, with Paul Motian and Scott LaFaro, was onto something as a trio, exploring the undersides of melodic and rhythmic constructions that had never been considered by most… Explorations is an extraordinary example of the reach and breadth of this trio at its peak.”

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