BILL EVANS (PIANO) — Sunday at the Village Vanguard (aka Live At The Village Vanguard) (review)

BILL EVANS (PIANO) — Sunday at the Village Vanguard (aka Live At The Village Vanguard) album cover Live album · 1961 · Cool Jazz Buy this album from MMA partners
5/5 ·
Amilisom
On June 25th, 1961, the Bill Evans Trio recorded two live albums at the Village Vanguard jazz club in New York City. Those two albums were "Waltz for Debby" and the album that you are currently reading about.

The sound on these albums is fantastic. Not much other than "Kind of Blue" can really stand up against the laid-back, cool atmosphere that these albums create. Even when Evans plays active licks in solos to upbeat tunes, the laid-back atmosphere still remains strong. Occasionally you can hear the sounds of glasses clinking together or people talking in the background that actually adds to the feel of everything rather than getting in the way.

A unique aspect to the sound of these performances is the bassist, Scott Lafaro. Lafaro's previous experience with Ornette Coleman is evident in the music, as he occasionally improvises over the top of Evans' playing. Making the cool music feel slightly more loose and free, it adds a nice sense of introspectiveness to everything.

But how does this album contrast from "Waltz for Debby"? In many ways it doesn't. But if I were to give my personal opinion, I would choose this one as the superior. In comparison, Evans' improvisational ideas are more creative in this one and some of the tune selections (such as the Porgy and Bess tune "My Man's Gone Now" and "Alice in Wonderland") work really well for this album.

I would strongly recommend this album to anybody who enjoys cool jazz and/or piano trios.
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