on March 6, 2002
In my previous review, I stated that the CD I had was hard to hear and that the bassist and drummer were almost inaudible. I also said that what I did hear of their playing was uninspired. I can't explain it, but I listened to a different copy of this CD and it had much better fidelity. Out of fairness to Mr. Morrell and Mr. Gomez, I wish to revise some of my previous comments.
Mr. Gomez is an excellent bassist. His work is splendid throughout, particularly on "Good bye" and "Sleepin' Bee" as well as the previously mentioned "Five". It's been my observation too many fans pay a lot of attention to the pianists and blowers at the expense of the drummers and bassists. Many don't really appreciate how much the bass adds to a jazz combo. Without good "bottom" many compositions would be uninteresting and even directionless. This explains, but doesn't excuse, why I wrote what I did before. I should have realized there was something wrong with the copy of the CD I had, but didn't.
So, my apologies to Mr. Gomez (and Mr. Morrell, who also plays very well here). I would hate to think that anybody avoided listening to this CD because of my previous review. By all means, listen to Bill Evan's playing, but also realize how much his playing is enhanced by the contributions of Messrs. Morrell and Gomez.
on September 26, 2000
This album was recorded at the Jazzhus Montmarte in Copenhagen in 1969. Drummer Marty Morell is quoted in the liner notes saying that the trio loved playing the Montmarte because of the tremendous audience. One night, he said, a kid was lying under the piano. Unfortunately, I think that kid may have been holding the only microphone, because on the CD I have Morell and bassist Eddie Gomez are nearly inaudible. What can be heard of their work reveals excellent and reliable - even if not inspired - musicians. They do appear to be having a good time, though, and so will any one else who listens to this CD.
Thank goodness that kid with the microphone stayed awake during the whole gig because what is recorded of Evans is wonderful. Evans' playing is crystal clear, tight and lyrical. It is not only technically proficient, but (to use the producer's phrase) lighthearted. "How My Heart Sings" is utterly beautiful here. Here also is one of my favorite renditions of "Autumn Leaves". The loveliest piece on the CD is "Polka Dots and Moonbeams". The sole Evans composition is "Five (theme)" which at only 2:05 is too short, but Gomez really does his best work on that number.
Bill Evans on a bad day was still better than 95% of all other pianists and this was by no means a bad day for Bill. This is a very fine Evans effort. While not in the same class as his very best (and what else is?) this remains a very desirable CD for fans of jazz, piano and/or Bill Evans.