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For someone new to Bill Evans, this 1958 studio session may be a better bet than the celebrated Village Vanguard sessions. Instead of near-equal interaction by all three trio members, Philly Joe Jones and Sam Jones provide a non-intrusive backdrop for the featured performer, who reveals his unique, inimitable voice throughout. Evans plays here like a complete and mature artist with nothing to prove, fearless about programming ballads back to back and taking minimalism to its poignant extreme by leaving spaces for the listener to supply the evoked thought or feeling. He's equally in control on the up-tempo tunes, avoiding straightahead "blowing" in favor of harmonic textures and melodic contouring that's consistent with his work on the ballads. The varied program holds the listener's interest while still having the hallmarks of a unified tonal tapestry. It's doubtful there's a more introspective, meditative trio set on record, yet the pianist shows he can dance as well.
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VINE VOICEon May 5, 2008
I don't play any musical instruments. I grew up listening to 80s new wave, and Jazz for me was a basketball team. So I can't comment on "harmonic textures" or "melodic contouring" or even tell you what that means, but I can say that I really like this album. I heard about this reissue on the radio and realized that I liked the sound of a "trio" - just a piano, a bass, and some drums. No blaring and overwhelming brass instruments, just the easy-going yet up-beat sound that reminds me of the music that always seemed to be playing in the background in the cool restaurants in old 50s and 60s movies.

To me, the very first song here, "Minority," exemplifies this perfectly. It's up-beat and bouncy, yet relaxing at the same time. Several songs are just Bill Evans solo on the piano, like "Young and Foolish," and while they're more subdued and even a bit melancholy, this is great stuff. I'm still trying to find more of this kind of jazz music, and I seem to be partial to the older stuff, but this is great to put on while I'm just hanging around the house. So for those like me who are new to jazz but like that piano/bass/drums stuff, this is a great place to start.
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on July 11, 2013
This record, along with YOU MUST REMEMBER SPRING, stands as Bill Evans finest work in the studio. If you can only buy one, get this.
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on March 16, 2012
Keepnews claims that this is his favorite Bill Evans recording of all. Who can criticize that for a choice? What a great recording! I don't know that I share Orrin Keepnews' opinion as far as that choice, but man - every time I listen to this album, I consider it again! This recording is prior to the "super" trio of Evans / LaFaro / Motian, but it is another fantastic trio, indeed in it's own way very much "super". (Did you like the way that threw "indeed" in there for emphasis!) Also, allgedly this was recorded before Evans' addiction became a "problem", if one can in any way consider a Heroin addiction of any kind less than problematic!

Sam Jones is a very, very fine bassist - for sure equal in skill to any other bassist you may mention. Go ahead - mention another bassist. Eh? See what I mean? IMHO, the interaction between Evans and Jones is equal or superior to any later trios that Evans formed. Yes, I know; that is a tough call to make - all of these trios were off the hook!

Philly Joe Jones is also a very fine drummer. Allegedly also a kind of bad influence on young Bill Evans, that is if you consider providing Heroin a bad thing.

You will not find a weak track on this album. It is awesome in its' entirety.

And... if you have not heard Peace piece from this recording... brother, just wait until you do. 'Nuf said about that.

Excellent and worth owning!

You should (whoever you are) probably buy all of Evans' recorded output, at least up to about 1965. Here is my advice; load your shopping cart up with every single recorded performance by Bill Evans from 1959 to 1965 and buy them all on CD.
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on June 22, 2014
Like many of this eras greats, the piano trio was altered forever by Bill Evans . The tragic deaths of the great Clifford Brown, my aunt, who at age 4, had me picking out Benny Goodman Orchestra, over Duke Ellington and Count Basie, sidelined my Jazz education. But not before names like Hawkins and Brown and other soloists I could pick out. While it may have sidelined my Jazz education, it made me an early proponent of seatbelt use, and other things added by Volvo and Mercedes, but by "Kind of Blue", I was back on the jazz.
In the East Village in the 60's I had a intro into Carlos Santana at the Fillmore East , how easy if I had cash, to catch Miles and other established groups at The Village Gate, newer and established groups where harder to get into at Vanguard, until I figured out I could usually get in Thursday night as, I remember was the first night the of the session. Of course all of this is a bit of a haze as it a lot of that period. The death of Scott Lafaro in a tragic car accident, I always associate with Slug's on the East Side* and Pharoh Sanders. Pushing 70 after numerous heart attacks it is amazing I am alive, and remember anything.
But listening to this remastered disc an early recording allows me to anticipate how the group with Lafaro and later sidemen, became so great. In the early- mid sixties Oscar Peterson's trio where prominent, I can remember listening to him play on alive broadcast from what I imagined to be a fantastic club in NY. To find out later many of these spots had trouble fitting restrooms in alone anything much bigger than a trio. *I know the Club was Slug's this name may be an interpretation of mine, as some of the best live music I have heard was there. Enough history , today I would say look at the ECM artists Keith Jarrett, with Gary Peacock and Jack DeJohnette, and the Tord Gustavsen Trio, the double bass work of Harald Johnsen is an extension of what Lafaro might have done. As always good listening, and I reserve the right to be wrong on some....
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on April 15, 2015
Bill Evans has done it again. This time with Sam Jones (bass) Philly Joe Jones (drums) Mr. Evans has brought new ideas to songs like Night and Day, Tenderly as well as others and then tops them by playing Peace Piece. Beautiful
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on November 29, 2013
When you look at the original album cover and read the rave reviews by four jazz
titans—George Shearing, Cannonball Adderley, Miles Davis and Ahmad Jamal—you
would know why Bill Evans was a true and gifted favourite among jazz stars and jazz
fans alike. From the two-and-a-half years that elapsed during his stay with Riverside
Records (also owned by Prestige), Bill Evans have became the most acclaimed jazz
pianist through session work with Charles Mingus, Tony Scott, Cannonball Adderley,
George Russell, plus eight months of work with Miles Davis (1958-59) which include
Adderley and John Coltrane. After releasing four albums for the Riverside label and
RCA (2 of each), he have scored his next chart-topping album with Everybody Digs
Bill Evans in 1959, as he created a bright, eclectic masterwork that feature stunning
trio classics like Minority and Epilogue, as well as with standard versions on Young
And Foolish, Night And Day, Oleo and What Is There To Say?—there are even two
solo tracks featured). The music he created on the album with his trio that included
drummer Philly Joe Jones) confirmed the originality that is lyrical and high-swinging
in realms while the translucent solo classic Peace Piece and the bonus track Some
Other Time delivers the timeless harbinger of the modal magic and amour to whom
Evans would be sincerely admired for.
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There are many ways to discover the wonders of Bill Evans. My first exposure was with Portrait in Jazz, where Bill Evans' trio comprises Scott LaFaro and Paul Motian. From there it was a simple jump to The Complete Village Vanguard Recordings, 1961, which gives a lot of the same music a lot different treatment, again with the same trio. "Everybody Digs" pre-dates those recordings and features Philly Joe Jones on drums and Sam Jones on bass. This rhythm section seems to suit Bill very well for the musical stage he was in at that time, plus Evans lets them rest on some tracks and parts of tracks, allowing a mellower, clearer toned Bill Evans to shine through. On some of the tracks, such as "Night and Day" and the deeply moving "Some Other Time", Bill's piano is front and center most of the way. The effect is devastatingly brilliant. (If you think about Bill succumbing to the effects of drug addiction at only 51 years of age while you listen to Some Other Time, there's a good chance you'll feel your eyes welling up, I promise.) This Keepnews edition continues the high quality, crisp production standards of that great producer, but it also gives us a thick booklet of liner notes that is mostly ramblings of an old man who longs for the time when this music was being made (as a lot of us do). That is an inconsequential nit to pick, however, as the music here rules all. It's true: everybody - EVERYBODY - digs Bill Evans. You will too.
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on July 9, 2015
the best jazz has to offer. sublime trio jazz record. don't know why this wasn't in my collection sooner. the recording is so great, despite the year (1958) love the mix of the drums. so natural and in the room. beautiful trio interaction. has become one of my go-to jazz albums.
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on May 1, 2016
If you want an introduction to the music of Bill Evans--this disc is where to start! Recorded just after his departure from the Miles Davis sextet and a personal favorite, Bill proves again that he can swing with the best of them, "Minority", "Oleo" introspective balladeer with "Young & Foolish ". After listening to it, one can see why the raves were justified.
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