BILL EVANS (PIANO) — Conversations With Myself (review)

BILL EVANS (PIANO) — Conversations With Myself album cover Album · 1963 · Post Bop Buy this album from MMA partners
3/5 ·
Amilisom
This album is rather special.

Here Bill Evans explores the unusual method of overdubbing three different piano tracks of himself. But instead of each track supporting the others like the way a harmony supports a melody, the tracks can each speak for themselves half of the time.

The end result is what you would hear if you had three Bill Evans clones chattering over the top of each other, some speaking louder than the others. Although the album is cleverly called "Conversations With Myself" the conversation is more of an argument where the different versions of Bill Evans don't always listen to the one speaking. The effect can be pretty dense sometimes, especially since Bill Evans plays quite a lot of jazz licks that draw greatly from rhythmic variation. As a result, the jazz standards he plays almost become too complex where the original beauty of the tunes is buried deep in layers and layers of rhythmic syncopation.

Bill Evans actually won his first grammy through this album. For those who would like to hear the stranger side of Bill Evans's playing, I would recommend this greatly. It certainly is worth a listen. But by no means would I consider this a masterpiece of Evans.
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