15 years after his death, Bill Hicks is now more popular than ever, and is widely seen as one of the best comedian of the modern era. However, in America, where he challenged institutions and accepted ways of thinking, he suffered censorship and was never truly recognized by a wide audience in the United States. In the country which enshrines freedom of speech in its constitution his story is truly about what it means to be an American.
Bill Evans features five separate performances by one of the most revered pianists in music history. This collection covers an 11-year span, highlighting Evans’ ever-deepening artistry as he performs with four different all-star rhythm sections, including the stunning duo of bassist Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen and drummer Alan Dawson. This DVD includes for the first time on home video Evans’ renditions of the rarely performed “Sareen Jurer,” “Blue Serge” and “Twelve Tone Tune Two.” Among the many surprises in this collection is a live performance of “My Melancholy Baby” with saxophonist Lee Konitz.
Recorded during pianist Bill Evans' last visit to England (less than two months before his death), Evans is heard with one of his finest trios on Letter to Evan, the unit with bassist Marc Johnson and drummer Joe La Barbera. The recording quality of the live set (recorded at Ronnie Scott's) is excellent, and Evans is in surprisingly enthusiastic and creative form; there is no hint that the end is near. Highlights of the very worthwhile release include "Days of Wine and Roses" (which alternates back and forth between two keys), "Knit for Mary F.," and "Stella by Starlight." Easily recommended for true Bill Evans fans.
This radio broadcast was recorded from a December 1972 return to Paris (following Evans' appearance with Phil Woods on the same stage, which apparently wasn't recorded). It has the most adventuresome playing of the three Paris CDs issued by France's Concert, though there are no surprises among the songs played during this 70-plus-minute concert. All three members of the group are at the top of their form, with the simmering dramatic journey through a lengthy "Nardis" and the spirited encore of "Waltz for Debby" standing out as highlights. Probably one of the better examples of live dates by this edition of the Bill Evans Trio, this volume, like the previous two, is well worth acquiring.