Nonesuch, 2009, CD
Jazz Ruler Type: Bebop
O’s Notes: Miles’ Kind of Blue is the all time best selling jazz album. The pianist on that set is Bill Evans; also one of the greatest jazz musicians of all time. He met a premature drug abuse related death at the age of 51. His live performance at The Village Vanguard June 1980 was recorded a few months before he died. This 6-CD set is the entire set of tapes! Evans is performing with Marc Johnson (b) and Joe LaBarbara (d) and playing with a vibrancy and renewed spirit that had been absent for many years with Evans since his first trio with Scott LaFaro and Paul Motian. It doesn’t take long for them to get warmed up and we settled in on “Nardis” (Disc 1, Track 2) with Evans, Johnson and LaBarbara enjoying incredible lengthy solos. Evans’ trio is unique at this time playing modal jazz with Bill sharing the lead with his bassist while retaining overall leadership. It was a time of growth again for Evans who wrote many new tunes for these sessions. Of course there are multiple takes of some tunes but the improvisation is different and appreciated. In contrast to many ‘complete recording sessions’ this one is worth listen to in its entirety.