Undercurrent has long been considered one of the classic piano/guitar duo sessions, pairing Bill Evans with Jim Hall.
Undercurrent has long been considered one of the classic piano/guitar duo sessions, pairing Bill Evans with Jim Hall. These studio dates were a jump start for Evans' career, which he had placed on hold after the unexpected death of his bassist, Scott LaFaro, a few days following their historic Village Vanguard recordings were made. First reissued on CD in 1988, this 2002 edition features the same music, but remixed with gorgeous 24-bit sound and the songs re-sequenced into their original LP configuration, with the alternate takes and initially unissued tracks following them. An added bonus is the removal of the graphics from the striking cover photo, as well as the inclusion of a photo of Evans and Hall taken at one of the two sessions. The seamless way they swap between lead and supporting roles throughout gems such as the waltz-time "Skating in Central Park" adds to the overall appeal of the disc. Though the master take of "My Funny Valentine" has a smoother introduction, the alternate has more intriguing interplay between the two men. The other selections are every bit as masterful. Although Evans and Hall would later do a follow-up duo session for Verve, this memorable CD is the one to acquire first.
An extension of the popular Original Jazz Classics series (est. 1982), the new OJC Remasters releases reveal the sonic benefits of 24-bit remastering-a technology that didn't exist when these titles were originally issued on compact disc. The addition of newly-written liner notes further enhances the illuminating quality of the OJC Remasters reissues. "Each of the recordings in this series is an all-time jazz classic," says Nick Phillips, Vice President of Jazz and Catalog A&R at Concord Music Group and producer of the series.
A live recording with cuts from two concerts in Germany, it was recorded live to 24-track and later remixed for an amazing sound quality for a live album. Evans expands on the style of the late Miles Davis and the album is sometimes reminiscent stylistically of We Want Miles, but it has an individual touch due to the contributions from the different bandmembers. It's one of those rare live albums that is really enjoyable even if you were not at one of the shows. This album was voted Best Album of the Month by several large German publications.
Verve 60th Anniversary Rare Albums SHM-CD Reissue Series. Reissue with SHM-CD format. Two different sides of Verve Records in the 50s – one modern, one a bit more traditional – and both represented in live material from the Newport Jazz Festival in 1957! Side one features a stunning live performance from pianist Teddy Wilson – working in a tight trio with Milt Hinton on bass and Spec Powell on drums – and really blowing away any conceptions we might have had about Wilson being aging or flowery at the time. Instead, he's got a sharp edge and command of the keys that's amazing – and which almost seems to have a bit more bite than usual in this concert setting.
This album came about through a fortuitous convergence of circumstances. Shelly Manne & His Men were appearing at New York's Village Vanguard, sharing the bill with the Bill Evans Trio. Getting Riverside's permission to let the pianist participate, Creed Taylor set up a session at Rudy Van Gelder's studio with Evans and Manne sharing top billing. Manne's bass player, Monty Budwig, made up the trio.