COMPARED TO WHAT? …TRIO 65 by Bill Evans Trio

In the mid-1960s Bill Evans was involved in numerous recording projects, from film soundtrack work and playing with a symphony orchestra to duets with guitarist Jim Hall and solo and multitracked piano. As a result, he spent very little time in the studio with one of his finest working units, the trio with bassist Chuck Israels and drummer Larry Bunker.

Each of Evans’s trios found a different balance of elements, usually hinging on the pianist’s musical relationship with his bass player. Israels is less given to virtuoso flights and aggressive countermelody than Scott LaFaro or Eddie Gomez, instead of picking his notes for maximal harmonic and melodic effect, while maintaining a secure time feel. His style provides a different focus for the pianist, less reactive and more continuous, and it emphasizes Evans’s capacity for rhythmically aggressive, boppish playing.

John Carisi’s “Israel,” a tune dating from Miles Davis’s Birth of the Cool, has Evans fastening on the rhythmic undercurrent generated by Israels and Bunker, and it continues with his linear approach to the solo on his own “Elsa.” With familiar musicians and tunes, Evans produces one of his most relaxed and sustained recordings of the period. ~Stuart Broomer | Amazon

If you haven’t, check out “TRIO 65” by the Bill Evans Trio

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