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Explorations

38 customer reviews

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Audio CD, July 1, 1991
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$9.95 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details Only 1 left in stock. Sold by Big_Box_Bargains and Fulfilled by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.

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Explorations + Portrait In Jazz + Waltz for Debby
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Editorial Reviews

No Description Available.
Genre: Jazz Music
Media Format: Compact Disk
Rating:
Release Date: 10-AUG-1990

1. Israel
2. Haunted Heart
3. Beautiful Love (Take 2)
4. Beautiful Love (Take 1)
5. Elsa
6. Nardis
7. How Deep Is The Ocean
8. I Wish I Knew
9. Sweet & Lovely
10. The Boy Next Door

Product Details

  • Audio CD (July 1, 1991)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Ojc
  • ASIN: B000000Y2A
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #184,329 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

55 of 56 people found the following review helpful By Kenneth James Michael MacLean on December 4, 2000
Format: Audio CD
It is difficult to overstate the quality of Bill Evans playing. I have been listening seriously to jazz for over 30 years and I do not believe there is a more consistent artist than Bill Evans. The quality of his work is astonishing, session after session, especially the recordings he did for Riverside. Explorations is deep, swinging and melodic, as are so many of his dates. This session is of particularly high quality, and the version of Nardis is just wonderful. This guy has the ability to play unique versions of every tune he approaches -- his ability to project the inner essence of a song is unmatched. Every cut on this session is great, as the trio is in fine form.
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40 of 41 people found the following review helpful By Micah Newman on February 19, 2005
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
...the average number of stars should be *five*.

There, that's better.

I'm a huge Bill Evans aficionado, and love his work from every period of his career. The earlyish period of '58-'61, in which this one falls, was undeniably the pinnacle, though, and this LP is, to me, hands-down the definitive Bill Evans studio album. This same band's work on the Village Vanguard recordings (captured on _Sunday at the Village Vanguard_ and _Waltz for Debby_) actually surpasses _Explorations_, I think, but as a regular studio LP, this one should be duly recognized as one of those absolutely perfect jazz albums, in company with such as Miles Davis' _Kind of Blue_, John Coltrane's _Giant Steps_, and Wayne Shorter's _Speak No Evil_.

The sound quality is crystalline, the playing flawless yet soulful, and on top of all that, it's the classic trio with LaFaro and Motian. The track selection just couldn't be improved upon: there's the melodic drive of tunes that sound like they were written for Bill Evans like "Israel" and "Nardis," ravishing ballads like "Haunted Heart" and "Elsa," and more playful tunes like "Beautiful Love" and "The Boy Next Door." You get the whole spectrum of Evans' magic here. Hopefully you already know of the transcendant musical genius of Bill Evans' piano artistry, and if you're looking for where to start or what's essential, let me just say this: this is *it*.
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50 of 53 people found the following review helpful By Ted Ficklen on September 15, 2000
Format: Audio CD
Some prefer Evans' Portrait in Jazz or Sunday at the Village, but for me, this is the greatest recording by Evans and his all time best trio: Paul Motian on drums and the too soon gone Scott LaFaro on bass. The peaks here for me are the opening number, Israel, which seems to start almost in mid-tune, and Nardis, which is credited to Miles Davis, but became a Bill Evans theme throughout his career.
If you have a CD Walkman, this is a great CD to listen to while you walk or run.
Bill Evans had a full career and made many great albums. Scott Lafaro died tragically young not long after this was recorded. Fans of the bass playing may want to look for a neat little CD, The Arrival of Victor Feldman, one of the precious few LaFaro recordings.
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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful By hbaker on April 23, 2001
Format: Audio CD
This is probably my favorite Bill Evans record. Scott Lafaro's playing compliments Bill's wonderfully, as the two interact throughout the entire disc. Paul Motian's drumming is subtle and superb, a perfect fit for the tunes and the other two guys. This album was recorded in '61, 4 months prior to the Vanguard recordings. There isn't a bad tune or a "skippable" tune on the disc. Even while some of the tunes are up tempo (at least for Bill), the album remains soft and subtle. You could study this album for a year, put it on while having guests for dinner, or fall asleep to it. Rarely does such an album have so many wonderful qualities to it.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By teresa ruggles on March 1, 2000
Format: Audio CD
there is probably never going to be another piano trio like this one. scott lafaro on bass, bill evans on piano, and paul motain on drums is the perfect combination. this album beautifully captures what Evans called their "simultaneous" improvisation sound. but, unlike many improvising act, no one steps on the other. scott lafaro was a true virtuoso and his death at the age of 26 was a terrible happening for jazz and the music world in general. if you like this i also recommend the other three albums with this classic bill evans trio: Waltz for Debbie, Sunday at the Village Vanguard and Portait in Jazz. you will not regret buying any of them.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful By jeffrey burr on November 19, 2001
Format: Audio CD
I agree that this is the finest work by one of the finest in Jazz. Bill Evans and his team play at their highest level of focus and lyricism. Listen to Bill's solo on the opening number: the lines are so simple, yet telling us a very beautiful, possibly painful, story. He develops this story with such mastery, he makes it seem as though it was the only possible way. For those who have dug this album as deeply as I, each solo has become it's own composition. This album is very spiritual and amazing. LISTEN!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By S. Grewal on April 7, 2006
Format: Audio CD
This was the first Bill Evans "first trio" recording with Evans-LaFaro-Motian I ever listened to and I was instantly attached to it. You can't say enough about Evans' piano playing here. It's immaculate. This was made about eighteen months into the trio's existence, and by now they had developed a nice rapport.

Evans' versatility is apparant on this recording. He can be slow (Haunted Heart) , upbeat (Israel, Sweet and Lovely), or even at moments outwardly funky (How Deep is the Ocean?). My personal favorite is probably Elsa. Even the composer of that song, Earl Zindars, agrees that Evans played it best and after he heard it he wrote all his future compositions with Evans's playing in mind. 2nd favorite is How Deep is the Ocean.

If you have a subwoofer, turn it up and listen to the marvelous bass playing of Scott LaFaro. What is amazing is that around the time of this recording, Evans and LaFaro were rumored to be at odds, but their playing is still harmonious as can be. LaFaro's regular bass had been sent for repair, so for this recording he uses a different one that had a mediocre high register, but a MARVELOUS low register. So the bass is deep and booming.

I also urge you to buy the live recordings "Sunday at the Village Vanguard" and "Waltz for Debby" from this trio, arguably the 2 greatest trio recordings ever.
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