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Portrait In Jazz

34 customer reviews

Price: £13.55 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details
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Music

Image of album by Bill Evans

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Biography

Few musicians seemed less likely to make an impact on the New York jazz scene in the late Fifties than Bill Evans(1929-80), whose introspective solos and delicate touch were far removed from what was commonly considered "hard bop." Yet Evans was indeed heard, and quickly became one of the most influential musicians on any instrument of the last 40 years.

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Frequently Bought Together

  • Portrait In Jazz
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Product details

  • Audio CD (16 Nov. 1998)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Original Jazz Classics
  • ASIN: B0000248DZ
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 311,702 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Come Rain Or Come Shine
2. Autumn Leaves
3. Witchcraft
4. When I Fall In Love
5. Peri's Scope
6. What Is This Thing Called Love?
7. Spring Is Here
8. Someday My Prince Will Come
9. Blue In Green
10. Autumn Leaves (monoaural)
11. Blue In Green (take 2)

Product Description

20 Bit Remastered

Recorded 1959

Personnel:
Bill Evans - (piano), Scott Lafaro - (bass), Paul Motian - (drums)

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

40 of 42 people found the following review helpful By MikeG on 26 Feb. 2003
Format: Audio CD
Portrait in Jazz was the first of only four (official) albums made by what Evans fans know as "the first trio" - the one with Scott La Faro and Paul Motian - which introduced a new approach to the music of a jazz piano trio. Whereas the conventional trio tended to feature the pianist as a 'star soloist' with bass and percussion essentially as 'accompanists' with a fixed and limited role, Evans, La Faro and drummer Paul Motian aimed to develop more of a sense of equal and spontaneous interplay. Scott La Faro was the right man in the right place: his virtuoso technique and strong musical personality enabled him to play the more active, assertive (but compatible) role Evans wanted for the group. By the time this trio played its famous sessions at The Village Vanguard (Live at the Village Vanguard and Waltz for Debby) this 'collective improvisation' was well developed. Portrait in Jazz being the first album by the trio, there's a strong sense of discovery and enthusiasm which, I think, gives the music a greater freshness and vitality than the subsequent albums (even if in other ways they may be preferred by some listeners), and it's those qualities, along with the sensitive, alert musicianship of the trio which makes this surely one of the most absorbing and enjoyable of Evans's many albums.
Part of its appeal is also the excellent choice of material, but much of the interest lies in what Evans in particular does with it. Often this is mainly a matter of the unusual chord voicings and adjustments of rhythm and phrasing he gives to a familiar tune, which open up wider harmonic and rhythmic perspectives for improvising.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Ian Thumwood on 24 April 2005
Format: Audio CD
As a seventeen year old, I remember being introduced to Bill Evans by a friend who knew that I was interesting in learning to play jazz piano. Although the recordings in question were of a slightly later vintage that this CD, his playing was an epithany for me and opened my ears to more modern players such as Chick Corea, John Taylor, Richie Beirach and Keith Jarrett, all of whom must have owed a depth of gratitude to Evans.
"Portrait in Jazz" became a "must have" CD for me as one of my music books had a transcription on "Peri's Scope" - the most zestful of all the tracks on the disc. Elsewhere, it is the interpretations of standards such as the definative "Autumn Leaves", "Come rain or shine" and "What is this thing called love" that dominate. There is no more emotional performance on this record than "Spring is here."
Featuring his best-ever line up of Scott LaFaro on bass (who died shortly afterwards in a car crash) and the excellent drums of Paul Motian, still a vibrant player on today's scene, this is one of Bill Evan's finest performances. Recorded in the last few days of 1959, Evan's style represents a culmination in the development of jazz piano in that decade where the bass and drums were equal partners to the principle instrument. Forty-five years later the music remains as relevant as ever.
An essential purchase for fans of jazz piano and hopefully, as in my case, a portal through which to investigate the rich legacy he passed on.
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26 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Mr. A. W. Powsey on 21 Mar. 2009
Format: Audio CD
Bill has made so many brilliant albums but this is the best. I have been listening to him since 1960 and have so many of his cds but nothing beats this. Scot la Faro was killed not long after this album was made. He really did change the way jazz bass was played and his playing here is unequalled. Paul Motian, the ever sensitive drummer, ever tasteful..and Bill at his best..Autumn leaves, Come rain or come shine etc never bettered..I can still hum some of Bills improvisation.. it is so memorable.

If you are a modern jazz or indeed any fine music lover you must have this
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By os TOP 500 REVIEWER on 28 April 2012
Format: Audio CD
Few albums by any artist can be described as 'essential' or 'life affirming', but this wonderful trio date is very much of that order of merit. The legendary combination of Bill Evans(piano), Scot LaFaro (bass) and Paul Motian(drums)are beautifully captured in this set of mostly swinging standards.This is music of real charm and sophistication, thoughtfully executed but with plenty of brio and feeling into the bargain. It's no wonder then that this band have been the so celebrated and held up as an perfect example of musicality and sense of common purpose to all such similar trios since.

If you are like me, you'll find much to enjoy in this joyful musical celebration. Bill Evans simply is such a great exponent of the piano, that it's hard to believe that this is the work of human hands. His touch is so lyrical, his inventiveness endless and his ability work within a tune yet always bringing something new to view is just astonishing.But of course his band mates are no different. They augment the great pianist's efforts brilliantly- always supportive but always looking for opportunities to add their own distinctive touches to the music.This band channel their creativity into creating a music that allows each member a chance to shine but always in line with the melodic narrative rather then using the tune as a platform for indulgent noodling.Perhaps this in the end is the secret that makes 'Portrait in Jazz' such a worthwhile album.

I love this album,plain and simple.It is an unpretentious combination of tasty swing and the romantic.Play it anytime of day and I defy you not to feel instantly better. Everything here is great, but my favorites have to be the lovely 'When I Fall in Love','Blue in Green'and 'Spring is Here'. Just ravishing! Highly recommended.
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