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Waltz for Debby

88 customer reviews

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Audio CD, October 17, 1990
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

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

Recorded live at the Village Vanguard, this set rounded out what became known as an early "full" portrait of Bill Evans by following Sunday at the Village Vanguard with most of the rest of the music he played on June 25, 1961. Very little in the annals of piano-trio jazz ever reached the clarity of execution that Evans made his own with the recordings from this single date. With bassist Scott LaFaro and drummer Paul Motian, Evans reached a rapport that sounded whisper-intimate, rolling into gentle cascades and then rhythmically pouncing juts. On the keys, Evans sounds at once completely walled-off and nakedly open as he takes on "My Foolish Heart" and the title melody. The chords are voiced ever so oddly, as are the bass and drums. Coming as it did several months in the wake of the successful first episode in Evans's Vanguard, Waltz for Debby just made it all the more obvious what a wonder the world had in this trio and its leader. --Andrew Bartlett

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. My Foolish Heart
  2. Waltz for Debby (Take 2)
  3. Waltz for Debby (Take 1)
  4. Detour Ahead (Take 2)
  5. Detour Ahead (Take 1)
  6. My Romance (Take 1)
  7. My Romance (Take 2)
  8. Some Other Time
  9. Milestones
  10. Porgy (I Loves You, Porgy)

Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 17, 1990)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Ojc
  • ASIN: B000000YBQ
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (88 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #261,478 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

37 of 37 people found the following review helpful By M. Allen Greenbaum HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on February 2, 2001
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
A beautifully felt and executed album, by one of the best trios in jazz history. Is it too much to say that Evans "owns" My Foolish Heart?" I think not, just as he has applied his touch to produce other definitive version. His beautiful touch--soft, lyrical, sure but seeking, produce a floating, atmospheric sound that sets him apart from all other pianists.
Evans can do no wrong, and his performances here are famous, even definitive, especially on "Porgy and Bess," "My Foolish Heart," and the absolutely wonderful "Waltz for Debbie." (Fans of the latter might want to check out the vocal of this song on "The Tony Bennett/Bill Evans Album", with lyrics by jazz critic and writer, Gene Lees. Bennett and Evans perform also the lovely ballad "Some Other Time," played beautifully on this album.)
"Waltz for Debbie" also show how he can either float or swing you. I used to think of him as atmospheric and ruminative, but it's clear that Evans and the trio also produce energetic sounds that move you physically as well as emotionally. Evans soothes and surprises you at the same time. The trio (Scott Lafaro on bass and Paul Motian on drums) are perfectly sympatico-the sum is greater than the parts, which is saying quite a lot considering the individual talents here.. The trio is marvelously empathic, the drums and bass kicking it up when Evans does, following his lead, yet launching into their own discursions as well (hear what LaFaro does on "Waltz for Debbie," either take of "My Romance," and throughout). This is definitely not "free jazz," it is exquisite ensemble playing that coheres because of the individual contributions of each musician. Motian's delicate brushwork and shimmering cymbals add texture and color to every performance.
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31 of 31 people found the following review helpful By MikeG on April 8, 2004
Format: Audio CD
'Waltz for Debby' was one of only four (official) albums made by what Evans fans know as "the first trio" - the one with Scott La Faro and Paul Motian. With 'Sunday at the Village Vanguard' it presents the legendary sessions recorded by the trio at the New York club in June 1961 shortly before La Faro's death in a car accident. Devoted Evans fans would regard both albums as essential.
There's a 'complete' Village Vanguard 3-CD set available on the Japanese JVC Victor label. There are also two different CDs which offer selected tracks from the two original albums. In my opinion, the Italian 'Giants of Jazz' version titled 'Waltz for Debby/Village Vanguard' is a better selection than the Milestone label's `Live at the Village Vanguard', but it's difficult to get hold of and I don't know whether the re-mastering will be as good as on the originals. If you don't know either of the original albums and are cautious about investing in the "complete" edition, I would suggest that 'Waltz for Debby' is the one to buy first. (I should add that I know of three other Bill Evans CDs - two of them, confusingly, on the 'Giants of Jazz' label - which use 'Waltz for Debby' in the title. Don't mistake them for this one.)
The music itself finds Evans in his more introspective, glowingly lyrical form on the slow pieces: "My Foolish Heart", "Detour Ahead", "Some Other Time" and "I Loves You Porgy". The first and last of these are especially moving.
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29 of 30 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 18, 2002
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This is a genuine classic. But, be forewarned it may spoil you because the level of individual musicianship and the group interplay of the three musicians is at a level rarely equalled by other jazz (or any style) musicians. Its companion volume, "Sunday at the Village Vanguard," which focuses more on bassist Scott LaFaro, is its equal. Evans' touch, sense of rhythm, intelligence and his long, flowing melodic lines have been better documented by others than I can. And LaFaro's inventiveness and technique have, too. But, I find few people talk about Paul Motian on drums. His is some of the best drumming ever committed to cd. He is so much more than a timekeeper, he is a melodist and an equal member of the trio. He is endlessly creative, in tune with the other musicians, mindful of the ebb and flow of the music and plays in the context of the other's contributions and the song at hand. (Compare to the drumming on Rubalcaba's "The Blessing" which is often brilliant, but often too busy or loud for the context he's playing in.) Nobody uses brushes as well as Motian. (Though the style of music and drumming is very different, I find Motian the equal of Art Blakey in Monk's trio recordings--"Work" and "Nutty"-- in that the drummer is not subserviant to the gifted pianist, but makes him even better by his level of musicianship and inventiveness. Both Motian and Blakey prove that drumming can be about much more than rhythm but about music.) Many people talk about the fact that this is an ensemble in which all three members solo, play lead and push the envelope. The best proof of that is that I find myself listening differently to the same cut at different times. Sometimes I focus on Evans, sometimes on LaFaro and sometimes on Motian.Read more ›
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