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Great talent; mismatched ensemble
on June 6, 2008
My tastes in jazz run to the more relaxing or sometimes mid-tempo pieces. I can't listen to anything too dissonant or jumpy. Most of Bill Evans' work fits perfectly into my preferences, and I have five Evans disks and will probably buy more. He's one of the great piano talents.
This disk, however, seems out of sync with his other offerings. I think it is because he is not with the classic trio line-up of Paul Motian on drums and Scott LaFaro on bass. Motian especially seems to understand Evans' sophisticated romanticism, and meshes well with him on my favorites: "Sunday at the Village Vanguard" and "Moon Beams." The drummer on this disk is Philly Joe Jones, who is indisputably a great drummer, but is too aggressive in this line-up and seems to compete, not connect, with Evans.
On "Minority," the piano breaks several times for brief trap drum solos; the result is a disjointed, jolting listening experience. I generally love jazz interpretations of Cole Porter songs, but the odd drum intro and Latin treatment Jones gives "Night and Day" ruins it for me.
A great assembly of talent, but they just don't seem to read each other well, and I believe there are far better works out there by both Evans and Jones.