Customer Reviews


14 Reviews
5 star:
 (12)
4 star:
 (2)
3 star:    (0)
2 star:    (0)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 
‹ Previous | 1 2 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

73 of 73 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Inspired Duo, 26 Jan 2003
By 
This review is from: Undercurrent (Audio CD)
The partnership of Evans and Hall as an unaccompanied duo was an inspired one which produced two albums - this first one and the follow-up, Intermodulation. The two artists had much in common. For example, both were concerned to produce music which had beauty, and even refinement, of sound with no lack of musical substance. Both liked to play quietly, with an emphasis on subtlety and understatement, although they could also 'swing' infectiously at almost any tempo. Both also had years of experience as sidemen or accompanists in other people's groups and this made them particularly sensitive listeners, able to respond to and interact creatively with other soloists.

You can hear that kind of sensitivity and subtle interplay throughout this album, most obviously on the slower pieces but also on the fastest track, the original take of 'My Funny Valentine'. Listen especially to the way in which Hall's guitar fills in behind Evans's statement of the theme and then provides a driving rhythm under the pianist's improvisation.

My favourite track is Hall's 'Romain', a moody, rather sombre theme which inspires the most intense and emotive playing on the album. It has some particularly haunting interplay between the players and displays the 'singing' qualities they could draw out of their instruments, especially at the magical point where Hall's solo leads into Evans's. It's good to have the bonus of an alternate take of this number on the CD edition.

Undercurrent was always a rather special album; but it is superior as a CD, first because of its enhanced sound quality and the quiet background which this intimate, concentrated music needs, secondly because the bonus tracks on the CD provide the 'added value' of quality as well as quantity. The programme originally consisted, rather oddly, of five slow tempo tracks with one fast one. The addition of the mid-tempo swinger, 'Getting Sentimental Over You' and an alternate take of 'My Funny Valentine' creates a better balanced album, although an extra slow ballad from the session, 'Stairway to the Stars', is well worth having too.

It's an album which you can play, if you like, as a piece of chilled out background music which won't disturb the cat; but there's a lot going on under its polished surface to make it music to listen to, and to return to again and again.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


28 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb, sensitive rendering of some beautiful tunes., 31 Dec 2005
By 
Mr. Dominic L. Brown (Newcastle-upon-Tyne, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Undercurrent (Audio CD)
This is the first of two superb albums recorded by legendary jazz pianist Bill Evans, and one of my favorite jazz guitarists Jim Hall, and it was recorded over two sessions in April and May 1962. Arrangements simply for piano and guitar are rare in Jazz, and it is even more seldom that the results are truly inspiring and as musically worthwhile as in this case. It is usual for intuitive musical relationships to develop over a number of years, but here we find two musicians who clearly shared an immediate understanding.
Both men are on absolute top form here - Bill Evans was on fire throughout the early and mid sixties, and after the tragic death of his previous musical partner, virtuoso bass player Scott Le Faro (at the age of 23), he was searching for new directions. Jim Hall is a guitarist of tremendous skill and powerful technique, with a highly developed rhythmic and harmonic sense that shines through on this album. What is so special about the performances here is an almost telepathic anticipation of where the music is heading - both musicians
contribute equally, and there is a constant exchange of ideas, each reacting to the other with apparent ease, whatever the mood.
This is a brilliant jazz album, of great depth and tremendous atmosphere, and both players express some exceptional ideas. Highly recommended, and if this is your first experience of either of these incredible musicians, be warned! - It won't be your last. Do yourself a big favour and buy it today.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb, sensitive rendering of some beautiful tunes, 5 Aug 2007
By 
Mr. Dominic L. Brown (Newcastle-upon-Tyne, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Undercurrent (Audio CD)
This is the first of two superb albums recorded by legendary jazz pianist Bill Evans, and one of my favorite jazz guitarists Jim Hall, and it was recorded over two sessions in April and May 1962. Arrangements simply for piano and guitar are rare in Jazz, and it is even more seldom that the results are truly inspiring and as musically worthwhile as in this case. It is usual for intuitive musical relationships to develop over a number of years, but here we find two musicians who clearly shared an immediate understanding.

Both men are on absolute top form here - Bill Evans was on fire throughout the early and mid sixties, and after the tragic death of his previous musical partner, virtuoso bass player Scott Le Faro (at the age of 23), he was searching for new directions. Jim Hall is a guitarist of tremendous skill and powerful technique, with a highly developed rhythmic and harmonic sense that shines through on this album. What is so special about the performances here is an almost telepathic anticipation of where the music is heading - both musicians contribute equally, and there is a constant exchange of ideas, each reacting to the other with apparent ease, whatever the mood.

This is a brilliant jazz album, of great depth and tremendous atmosphere, and both players express some exceptional ideas. Highly recommended, and if this is your first experience of either of these incredible musicians, be warned! - It won't be your last. Do yourself a big favour and buy it today.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Still fresh and just as driving. after all these years, 3 Feb 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Undercurrent (Audio CD)
I bought this record 41 years ago, at Oliver's Record Store, Ashington, Northumberland. I was 16 and I'd gone for a Presley, which wasn't in stock, so as I liked the Undercurrent cover and as my paper-round money was buring a hole in my pocket, this became the first jazz I ever bought. And, sentiment aside, hundreds of jazz records/CDs later, putting on Evans/Hall's version of 'Funny Valentine'still gives just about the best lift, music-wise, a soul could wish for. It's not at all romantic, but a breathless, hammered chase between the piano and the guitar and believe me you'll have this imprinted on your mind as the definitive version, above all others, after a couple of plays.
The other tracks are melodic, dreamy, late night smooch stuff - and none the worse for that ... but valentine's the adrenaline kick and the one you'll return to.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "I Hear A Rhapsody", 21 Sep 2007
By 
Mr. B. A. D. Plowman "Brendan" (UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Undercurrent (Audio CD)
At the time of writing, my knowledge of jazz is sporadic at best. I am slowly building up my jazz collection, which includes classics from Coltrane, Miles Davis, Mingus, Adderley and others. I think I can safely say, though, that UNDERCURRENT is the current "hot ticket" out of all my jazz discs.

The execution of these tunes couldn't be more minimal - just Evans' piano and Hall's guitar vibing off each other. The results could not be more perfect. Hall picks away effortlessly at his strings, making the guitar murmur softly one moment then chug away rhythmically the next. Evans' piano is lyrical and sublime - I've never heard such charismatic ivory tickling! I was chilling to this disc the other day, nodding my head to this oh-so-natural music and wishing I had half of Evans' talent.

My favourite pieces at the moment are Evans' own composition "Romain", which is an extraordinarily melancholy piece of NY bedsit music. I also love "Skating In Central Park" which sways along with gently caressed piano chords and a delightfully subdued guitar lead. This album never misses a beat though, to be honest. Even though it only features two instruments for the whole duration, it never ever becomes one-dimensional or repetetive. There's always a surprise round the corner!

This music is perfect to unwind to after a tough day. It is perfect to have on in the kitchen while cookin' up a feast. It is perfect to listen to in the company of a loved one. It is perfect to foot-tap to while supping on glass of scotch.

Did I mention that it's perfect?
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant album, 7 April 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Undercurrent (Audio CD)
A totally brilliant album. Sublime playing and musicality. I don't really know what to add, except to say, if you like jazz, and don't have this album, then buy it! Buy it! A British player too!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Serenity!, 17 Feb 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Undercurrent (Audio CD)
A classic!
Play and reflect as the beauty and spatial arrangements of the musical notes transport you to nirvana.
Umh
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Great Listening of a bygone era -Bill Evans was in a league of his own., 9 Feb 2014
By 
Mrs. S. R. BARDEN-BRACE "Butterfly" (Cambridge, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Undercurrent (Audio CD)
Brings back memories of a fantastic jazz pianist. The timing, improvisation and smooth jazz this man played are immortalised on this CD.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars glad to have this, 27 April 2013
By 
P Knitty "P Knitty" (UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Undercurrent (Audio CD)
Beautiful, wonderful. I love Bill Evans and this is a great album. I will never tire of listening to it . I am so pleased to have it in my collection.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Archetypal Evans..., 8 Feb 2011
By 
Mr. J. H. Wheeler "Easy Street" (Cheshire, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Undercurrent (Audio CD)
It gets all the stars because is is a great modern jazz album performed as only the late, lamented Mr Evans could arrange and do. If you love jazz, you need this easy -to-listen-to, let's relax with a drink and have some ear candy. Jim Hall, by the way, is worth buying the album for even if Evans didn't play!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 2 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

Undercurrent
Undercurrent by Bill Evans And Jim Hall
Buy MP3 Album£7.99
Add to wishlist See buying options
Only search this product's reviews