I ordered this largely blind, as there was little information initially (pre-release) on the Amazon site. Imagine my surprise when I discovered this 5CD set includes five landmark Evans albums, recorded at his peak as a performer, and a member of a truly legendary trio.
This set showcases Bill Evans development from 1956-61, a period which saw him record a clutch of iconic albums ('New Jazz Conceptions'; 'Everybody Digs Bill Evans'; 'Portrait in Jazz'; 'Explorations' and the legendary 'Sunday at the Village Vanguard'). The quality of musicianship here is outstanding, with the bass (principally by Scott LaFaro who died tragically a few days after the Village Vanguard recording), and drums so sympathetically attuned to Bill's keyboard explorations, it almost seems as if they are playing telepathically.
Classics such as 'Night & Day', 'Blue in Green', 'I Wish I Knew' and 'All of You' are imaginative workouts, and pieces of remarkable beauty. Some of my favourites are 'Young & Foolish','Peace Piece' and 'Haunted Heart', where there is a crystalline beauty and haunting loveliness, which lingers long after the last notes have died away.
Not Now Music are to be applauded for producing such a quality set, with a good clarity of sound. The cds feature original sleeve art, and there is an illustrative and very informative insert booklet with detailed notes by Peter Gamble, all housed within an attractive, and relatively sturdy box, and with cds which slip readily from their sleeves! Four of the albums here attract Penguin Jazz Guide's highest 4-star rating, and the other's not far behind. This superb collection can't possibly remain at this giveaway price for long, so act now!