BILL EVANS (PIANO) — Waltz for Debby (review)

BILL EVANS (PIANO) — Waltz for Debby album cover Live album · 1961 · Cool Jazz Buy this album from MMA partners
5/5 ·
Amilisom
This album, along with "Sunday at the Village Vanguard", was my introduction to Bill Evans. In the two albums, Evans plays with a very serene sound that I had trouble imitating in my personal piano playing. It wasn't until I started listening to studio albums such as "Portrait in Jazz" that I realized he actually has a slightly sharper and aggressive tone than it sounds like in his live albums.

Does this mean that this album makes him sound better than he is?

Not necessarily, it just means that this album has a great sound. Evans' unique licks are still there and Lafaro takes a solo on almost every song. Even when Lafaro isn't taking an official solo, if you listen closely you can hear him improvising during some parts regardless. If this album did have a problem, it would be the lack of energy. Bill Evans has a way of making every song he plays have a way of feeling really laid back, and the serene feel of this album only amplifies that. That's not a bad thing, and I personally really enjoy that about Bill Evans.

One of the highlights of this album would be the title track "Waltz for Debby". It is probably Bill Evans' most famous tune. Although this track starts out in 3/4 time (as a waltz commonly does), the drummer comes in playing 4/4 time. Suddenly what used to be a measure in 3/4 turns into 2 beats in 4/4 by means of quarter note triplets. Also during the head of this tune comes a part where Evans harmonizes the chords by means of fast arpeggios in his left hand, giving it almost an impressionistic sound.

I noticed that this website provides the track listing for the original LP. The CD version I have has extra takes of "Waltz for Debby", "Detour Ahead", "My Romance", and even a take of Gershwin's song "I Loves You, Porgy" from Porgy and Bess. I would recommend listening to these as well.
Share this review

Review Comments

Post a public comment below | Send private message to the reviewer
Please login to post a shout
more than 2 years ago
Love Bill Evans, I still have to get this album, sounds great - it's been on my list for a while too

JMA TOP 5 Jazz ALBUMS

Rating by members, ranked by custom algorithm
Albums with 30 ratings and more
Kind of Blue Cool Jazz
MILES DAVIS
Buy this album from our partners
A Love Supreme Post Bop
JOHN COLTRANE
Buy this album from our partners
The Black Saint and the Sinner Lady Progressive Big Band
CHARLES MINGUS
Buy this album from our partners
My Favorite Things Hard Bop
JOHN COLTRANE
Buy this album from our partners

New Jazz Artists

New Jazz Releases

Flow States Avant-Garde Jazz
MARSHALL ALLEN
Buy this album from MMA partners
That Feeling Soul Jazz
EIVIND AUSTAD
Buy this album from MMA partners
I Love To See You Smile Soul Jazz
3D JAZZ TRIO
Buy this album from MMA partners
More new releases

New Jazz Online Videos

3D Jazz Trio - Back At The Chicken Shack
3D JAZZ TRIO
js· 16 hours ago
That Feeling
EIVIND AUSTAD
snobb· 23 hours ago
Higher
ANDY SNITZER
js· 1 day ago
More videos

New JMA Jazz Forum Topics

More in the forums

New Site interactions

More...

Latest Jazz News

members-submitted

More in the forums

Social Media

Follow us