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Customer reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
36
4.8 out of 5 stars
Undercurrent
Format: MP3 Download|Change
Price:£6.99


on 6 April 2015
Always been a fan of both Evans and Hall since the '60s. To hear them together here is just pure delight. They complement each so brilliantly that you don't miss a rhythm section. Listening to take 2 of Valentine each takes his turn to provide the bass line ....Evans' underlying playing is complete mastery and when he takes the lead Hall somehow makes the guitar sound like a bass and drums! How did he do that? As a bassist and guitarist I'm just mesmerised by the sound he achieves.
I simply can't stop playing this disc and have made a copy for the car and also put it on my iPad, sitting, walking or driving I'm thrilled by it and always hear something new. For me it's up there with the Hall, Baker, Desmond recordings, my all time favourite before Undercurrent.
Evans is long gone and Hall much more recently but thankfully they made this iconic recording and wrapped it in a timeless vacuum that transcends all those years since its brilliant creation.
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on 8 September 2017
Just dreamy fabulous cd even if your not a jazz fan great background for a dinner party.
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on 26 April 2017
Great work!
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on 22 October 2017
Bill Evans is one of my go to jazz artists. So wonderful to listen to.
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on 17 February 2014
A classic!
Play and reflect as the beauty and spatial arrangements of the musical notes transport you to nirvana.
Umh
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on 15 August 2017
Two giants interpret greats from the American Songbook.
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on 26 January 2003
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.
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on 5 August 2007
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.
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on 31 December 2005
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.
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on 3 February 2002
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.
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