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Turn Out the Stars: Final Village Vanguard Recordings [Box set]

Bill EvansAudio CD
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)

Price: $48.17 & FREE Shipping. Details
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MP3 Music, 58 Songs, 1 Digital Booklet, 2009 $33.49  
Audio CD, Box set, 2009 $48.17  

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With Live at Art D'Lugoff's Top of the Gate, Resonance Records offers listeners a table at the front of the stage for a stellar performance by one of jazz's greatest trios. It's October 23, 1968 in Greenwich Village, and legendary pianist Bill Evans is joined by bassist Eddie Gomez and drummer Marty Morell for two top-notch sets, represented here in their entirety. Aired only ... Read more in Amazon's Bill Evans Store

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Turn Out the Stars: Final Village Vanguard Recordings + Last Waltz: Final Recordings Live + Complete Village Vanguard Recordings 1961
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (May 12, 2009)
  • Original Release Date: 2009
  • Number of Discs: 6
  • Format: Box set
  • Note on Boxed Sets: During shipping, discs in boxed sets occasionally become dislodged without damage. Please examine and play these discs. If you are not completely satisfied, we'll refund or replace your purchase.
  • Label: Nonesuch
  • ASIN: B001QITOQ6
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #141,476 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Editorial Reviews

Though these extraordinary 1980 recordings were made only months before pianist Bill Evans' untimely death on September 15, 1980, at the age of 51, they capture a beginning for more than an end. The performances on these six CDs - which feature newly written originals as well as brilliant interpretations of the standards that Evans loved -were recorded on the evenings of June 4, 5, 6 and 8, 1980. Evans intended to release a double LP culled from these sessions, and he supervised the initial mixing and editing of the tapes. It would take more than fifteen years before this material would become available, in an exhaustive, chronologically sequenced six-CD form. This Nonesuch reissue contains the original packaging and liner notes, as well as the complete 1996 set.

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
30 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars All of us are in the gutter,..... April 14, 2003
Format:Audio CD
.... but some of us are looking at the stars. When I first picked this up, 7 years ago, I was stunned and driven to tears by the beauty of the music herein. I have never heard a CD that has impacted me as deeply as this, and I was not really that aware of Evans, other than as the piano player on KIND OF BLUE. THIS CHANGED ALL THAT. What happened here was that I came face to face with a man who knew that his life was ending and the urgency in his playing was driven by his desire to make some lasting enduring statement about Music and what Truths lie therein before fate came to turn out the stars.
You don't need me to validate his playing. Evans was one of a kind and a soul of powerful emotions. Often called impressionistic, Evans was really more exitentialistic: there is an urgency at every moment to live and to play authentically. I can see what Miles saw in him: it wasn't what he played, but what was in the silence that his beautiful music framed. This set is absolutely loaded with such moments.
Oscar Wilde made the comment with which I opened this note. Oscar also observed that "All men kill the things they loved." Should you ever read Bill's biography, you'll understand how that aphorism applies with tragic tenderness to Bill Evans. I can think of no greater loss to music than his passing. This set presents the mments just before his star went supernova. It is the most brilliant box set I have ever heard.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Definitive Late Period Evans December 9, 1999
Format:Audio CD
This 6CD box set presents the final Bill Evans trio performing live at the Village Vanguard in New York. Recorded just three months prior to Evans death, the set proves to be the outright representative of his latter work.
This set is totally unique to any other Evans recording in my opinion, expressing both the hard swinging and also the subtle, lyrical Evans in equal proportions. The trio interacts brilliantly on every disc, with extended bass and drum solos frequent in number. This set throughly reveals Evans during his final performing period with a high percentage of original material and a more aggressive approach to the piano. In particular, disc 4 presents a firey Evans, who reinvents such tunes as "In Your Own Sweet Way" and "Up With The Lark".
Overall, this set comes highly recommended. Within my vast jazz CD library, this set ranks within the top few purchases I have made. Many of the selections are played with a liberal dose of humour and you get to fully recognise the way in which Bill Evans was growing musically during the period. The four takes of "Nardis" alone are proof to this rapid growth, with each presenting totally different views on the classic melody. If you love Bill Evans, or just love great piano jazz, then buy this set. You will not be disappointed.
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23 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bill's Best May 30, 2009
Format:MP3 Music
This is an exceptional collection, both as to rich content and sound quality. The different takes reveal Bill's perceptions of individual songs and his piano skills with fine side players. Having nearly everything of his, this is my "go to" set for some of the best standards and original jazz compositions ever written.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of his best November 19, 2009
Format:Audio CD
This set came before the Consecration and Last Waltz sets. Bill was with his last trio and was 'pushing' the tempos. Later he became more pensive and didn't have quite the hurried pace. At less than $50 it's a good deal for those wishing to collect his albums. The sound is very good, and although I value those last two albums (noted above) a little more, this one is a must-have for those wishing to get his best music. I rarely let a week go by without playing some Evans. I have nearly everything he recorded that has been issued. Of course, the Riverside set is the favorite of just about everyone who loves Evans, and I still go back to those recordings often. But this one is well worth having.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Some of the best piano jazz available June 10, 2000
Format:Audio CD
The Village Vanguard is the club that Bill Evans played some of his best music. It is rather amazing that Evans, who was dying after years and years of drug abuse, played the way he did during these sessions. It was as if his hands had a mind of their own. This 6 CD box is essential to any fan of Evans. His last trio was one of his best. Musch like his first trio, the interaction between Evans, Marc Johnson, and Joe LaBarbra is just amazing. I have heard many piano-bass-drum trios try to accomplish this sort of sound and they fall way behind. This is the trio at their best. I believe the most impressive tracks are the many versions of "Nardis" and "My Romance" where each memeber of the trio gets a few minutes for an unaccompanied solo. This set is rather expensive (there is a highlights CD that is rather limited) but it is worth every cent. It is a true jazz classic.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The hands of a genius, April 19, 2008
Format:Audio CD
Words like "perfect" and "brilliant" are often bandied about when one talks of their favorite musician(s). Frequently their use is unwarranted, making these words near-meaningless and overly common. However, when someone like Bill Evans comes along, the true meanings are restored and you just can't help but call the man a genius.

Turn Out the Stars is one of the most emotional, heartwrenching performances ever captured. While (in my opinion) Evans wasn't the technical virtuoso that Oscar Peterson was, he played with more passion than Peterson was ever able to muster. You can truly hear the pain and sorrow transferred from Evans's soul to the piano. At this point in his life, he had kicked heroin and was consumed by cocaine. When this was recorded Evans (and everyone else) was well aware that he was dying and his playing seems to be an attempt to write his own epitaph. It is at times somber, at times joyous, but always full of such emotion.

His supporting cast is phenomenal; by far the best trio he's had since the legendary "Live at the Village Vanguard" grouping. They are careful not to overpower Evans because they know he does not have much time left. Their restrained playing is absolutely gorgeous.

The decline of Bill reminds me of Charlie Parker's long downward spiral. In The Bird's case, alcohol had him by the throat for decades, and it eventually proved to be his Grim Reaper. Though Evans suffered the same ultimate fate, it does not detract from the quality of his music. This is perhaps the finest jazz recording made in the second half of the 20th century. It made me cry, smile and shudder the first time I played it through. It's that damn good.

Do yourself a favor and download the MP3 version of this from Amazon for $30, or try to find the box set somewhere. It will be one of the best investments you make this year.

Evans may be gone, but his legend lives on. There will never be another musician like him.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential music for humans
This is some of the most transcendent piano trio music I've ever heard. You can feel Mr. Evans trying to squeeze every last bit of music out of his mortal coil while he still can. Read more
Published 20 months ago by Matthew G. Marcus
5.0 out of 5 stars Bill...
Next to Herbie Hancock, Bill Evans is the most exceptional jazz pianist I have had the pleasure to hear... Read more
Published on February 24, 2012 by F. lawatsch
5.0 out of 5 stars At this price too good to pass up.
Bill Evans is simply my favorite musician, nudging slightly ahead of Ella, Miles, Oscar, Dizzy, Keith Jarrett, Sonny Rollins and Chick Corea in no special order. Read more
Published on June 2, 2011 by devotee of books, wine, music, and basketball
5.0 out of 5 stars Not only the best Bill Evans, it is the best piano jazz you can...
As a young 16 year old, I was a casual jazz fan who owned most of the essentials when this was released. Read more
Published on January 4, 2011 by G. L Vince
5.0 out of 5 stars muscular bass
Marc Johnson's bass work brings a muscularity to the trio
that I think is unrivaled in Bill Evans recordings!
Published on April 9, 2010 by minor white
Even for an avid fan, this six disc box set is a bit much. I will pick up almost anything with Bill Evans' name attached to it and even I had to listen to it one disc at a time... Read more
Published on December 3, 2005 by Crabby Apple Mick Lee
5.0 out of 5 stars Days of wine and roses . A colossal treasure !!!!
There are no words to describe the amazing beauty of the music featured in these 6 CDs. Here is a summit in the art of playing jazz on a piano. Read more
Published on December 3, 2003 by JEAN-MARIE JUIF
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous
These last sessions from June 1980 of Bill Evans Trio at the Village Vanguard are a treasure, in large part, due to the superb recording and engineering of Malcolm Addey. Read more
Published on February 5, 2003
5.0 out of 5 stars Pin Drop, Thank God!
In terms of sheer sound quality, this set is, by far, the best recording issued of Bill Evans. As compared to the first Vanguard recording in 1961, the audience is (or was)... Read more
Published on October 12, 2002 by Toshio Fukuhara
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