(5 / 5)
The never-before-heard live recording by the Bill Evans Trio featuring bassist Eddie Gomez and drummer Jack DeJohnette recorded in front of an invited audience in the studio of Netherlands Radio Union in Hilversum, outside Amsterdam, on June 22nd, 1968.
No one even know of the existence of the recording until last year (2016). This is Resonance’s first follow-up release to the widely celebrated Bill Evans Trio album, Some Other Time: The Lost Session from the Black Forest.
This nine track set, recorded in June 1968, just two days after Some Other Time, provides a fitting counterpoint to that remarkable album. Where Some Other Time, recorded at the legendary MPS studios in Villingen, Germany, is imbued with an introspective, vernal beauty, Another Time was recorded as a live concert, and is a recording notable for its exceptional recording quality utilising the then state of the art recording techniques of the NRU.
Producer Zev Feldman and Executive Producer, George Klabin, regard Another Time as perhaps one of Evans’s best-sounding live recording ever. The sound quality is probably as good as his famed album “The Montreux Concert”, released by Verve in 1968.
The configuration of this special edition of the Bill Evans Trio — featuring Jack DeJohnette newly introduced as a co-equal counterpart to Evans and the redoubtable Eddie Gomez — was not widely recorded before Some Other Time.
Indeed, before Resonance released Some Other Time, only one previous aural document existed memorializing this version of the trio, which had a life-span of only six months: a live recording made at the Montreux Festival, a concert that was held roughly a week before Some Other Time and Another Time were recorded.
On revisiting this concert after nearly 49 years, Eddie Gomez noted that he “loved the way Bill plays the melodies. His exposition of melodies is really fabulous and very touching . . . I like the way he plays ‘Very Early’ and ‘Who Can I Turn To?’ and ‘Turn Out the Stars.’
Those are just beautiful melodies and the way he plays them, he sings them out. Very few pianists can sing like that. So I like those songs just for the way he plays the melody. That always touches me and it’s very emotional to hear him play those songs.”
The history of this release is unusual. In October of 2016, Zev Feldman received an email from jazz blogger Marc Myers, who explained that he had received a note from a Dutch reader who had heard a previously unknown Bill Evans concert recording made in the Netherlands.
Myers put Feldman in contact with the reader. Upon receiving the recording from the reader, Feldman listened closely to it with George Klabin and knew right away this was something special. Feldman proceeded to reach out to one of his “boots on the ground,” a Dutch jazz writer, to investigate further. Based on intelligence than came back, Feldman felt compelled to travel to the Netherlands to move things along.
Feldman and the team set to work to fast track this project starting, as usual, with obtaining all necessary rights. But they were thrown a curve ball when they discovered that another company also had the music and had plans to issue it. But they had not yet obtained the rights from the rights-holders. Impossible now, after Resonance already had them.
A high-resolution transfer from the original tape was out into action super fast, before any possible unauthorized illicit release could see the light of day.
As producer Feldman explains, “We were literally racing against the clock to put this out before it became bootlegged. We’ve never rushed a project through all the channels as fast as this one. It was a very stressful exercise, and emotions were running high.
“I was locked up in hotel rooms day and night, going back and forth with my European colleagues and my Resonance team in LA. It’s all about respecting and protecting the intellectual property, and honouring the musicians and the others involved in creating this recording – in this case protecting the legacy of Bill Evans and rights of Eddie Gomez and Jack DeJohnette”.
The deluxe CD package includes an extensive book, presented in a ‘Digipak’, with a striking black and white cover image by legendary British photographer David Redfern. Also featured in the package are rare photos by other top photographers, and essays by producer Feldman and others. Plus interviews with Bill Evans Trio members Eddie Gomez and Jack DeJohnette and an interview with noted jazz pianist Steve Kuhn.
Bill Evans died in 1980, after a battle with drug addiction and other health issues. He was 51. After this Dutch recording, DeJohnette was recruited by Miles Davis.
Bill Evans is reported as stating that his passion for Europe was a result of three factors: “the quality of the pianos there, the ambience of the venues and the audience’s studious, enveloping vibe”.
You can hear the joy, the freedom and the swing in his playing across this album; and his two cohorts exude a cohesiveness and a real palpable chemistry between themselves and their boss. A real gem of a find. What else is out there, I wonder?
- You’re Gonna Hear from Me (4:30)
- Very Early (5:14)
- Who Can I Turn To? (5:36)
- Alfie (5:29)
- Embraceable You (5:05)
- Emily (4:22)
- Nardis (8:34)
- Turn Out the Stars (4:53)
- Five (2:26)
By Christopher Weston
(2 / 5) ‘OK Zone’
(3 / 5) ‘Decent Zone’
(4 / 5) ‘Super Zone’
(5 / 5) ‘Awesome Zone’