Top positive review
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A classic album which set new standards for jazz piano trios
on 13 November 2001
This is one of two albums taken from the same concert, (the other being 'Sunday at the Village Vanguard')in 1961, featuring Evans with his most famous trio with Scott Lafaro and Paul Motian. It is a remarkable set, particularly the selections featured on this album, and the music is made all the more poignant by the fact that Lafaro died a matter of days later in a road accident.
As a bass player, Lafaro was more than just a background accompaniment to provide a platform for Evans' improvisations; this was a revolutionary group in that pianist and bassist improvised together and the results here are extraordinary. Evans' own playing is both beautiful and adventurous, almost mesmerising at times in his flowing melody lines, but Lafaro is with him every step of the way responding to ideas with an almost harp like quality to his playing at times. The two clearly had an almost telepathic understanding. It is hard to pick highlights as all six tracks are excellent, but I will mention four. 'My Foolish Heart'is an aching starkly tender piece featuring some lovely interplay between Evans and Lafaro; 'Waltz for Debby' features concerto like playing from Evans; 'Milestones' offers a very different but equally effective interpretation of the Miles Davis classic; and 'Some Other Time' is quite simply exquisite.
Despite the technical excellence and significance of this work, it is not at all difficult to listen to. Evans is as always lyrical and melodic, without ever being in danger of blandness or mere sentimentality. So whether you are a jazz pianist, a Bill Evans fan, a music student or just a fan of beautiful music, then this comes highly recommended.