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The Complete Village Vanguard Recordings, 1961
LP (12" album, 33 rpm), Box Set
Frequently bought together
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Ranked time after time as one of the best live jazz recording sessions in history, and yielding two of Evans' most classic albums (Waltz for Debby, Sunday at the Village Vanguard), The Complete Village Vanguard Recordings, 1961 represents the pinnacle of spontaneous musical communication: three men breathing as one on a tiny bandstand. This box set is the ultimate collectable item for any jazz fan. Pressed on 180-gram vinyl, this four-LP set comes with a 12-page booklet, complete with new liner notes by reissue producer Bill Belmont, as well as the original liner notes by the producer of the original recordings,Orrin Keepnews. Reproductions of session notes and photographer Steve Schapiro's proof sheets from the performances add vintage context to the packaging. Also included in the box is a stunning metallic and black poster of the famous cover Evans, in profile, deep in concentration at his piano. Everything Bill Evans, Scott LaFaro, and Paul Motian had been working on for the previous 18 months led to this moment on June 25, 1961. The little-known pianist and his trio performed afternoon and evening sets that Sunday to a small audience that unknowingly sat through what would become a very famous and final set by the trio as a whole. The 25-year old LeFaro died tragically in a car accident just ten days later. The performances on these LPs demonstrate a new and more interactive approach to playing as a trio, one in which all instruments carry melodic responsibilities and function as equal voices. Contrapuntal dialogues take place between Evans's poetic piano and LaFaro's bass, with Motian's sustained riveted ride cymbal providing a carpet of stars. These recordings provide something of a sonic time capsule: sequenced in the original order of the five sets; the audience's murmurings and applause peppered throughout; even an interrupted take is left intact. This box set is the definitive keepsake for audiophiles, Bill Evans fans and jazz collectors, alike, and, in its limited run, will go quickly.
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Please, at some point, release this session as AAA. I LOVE the concept of keeping things unedited and in the programming of the actual gig! I like that they decided to leave in the sound of the club, complete with the person that has the head cold in the front row. That's where the previous all-analog 45rpm releases fall short, IMHO. Man, if it were only AAA it would be a home run!
That said, I'm still happy that they took the financial risk to release the box. I'll buy it again when the AAA version comes out in 10 years ;-)
This was a great purchase, but be forewarned, the track sequence can be a problem , it comes in the form of 3 MP3 album downloads. The correct sequence is shown on the album sample page on Amazon. You may have to edit some track #s to get it in the correct chronological order. Once you have that sorted, the entire collection can be burned onto two Audio Cds.
Do yourself a favor, get this one...