TAS Super LP List! Special Merit: Informal
Numbered, Limited Edition! Pressed at RTI!
Introspective, Almost-Hallucinogenic 1962 Album a Pinnacle for Both Jazz Icons
Guitarist Hall Aids Pianist Evans in Rebounding from Tragedy
Diverse Set Encompasses Ballads, Waltzes, Hard-Swinging Bop
Divine Sonics: LP Mastered on Mobile Fidelitys World-Renowned Mastering System
Bill Evans catapulted to the top of the jazz world in June 1961 after reeling off three straight masterpiece sessions at New Yorks Village Vanguard with his trio. Yet the emotional highs came to a screeching halt shortly thereafter when bassist Scott LaFaro died in a car accident. Devastated, Evans refrained from playing for nearly a year. If not for an inspirational collaboration of tremendous creative outpouring, one wonders what fate may have befallen Evans. Undercurrent, the outcome of two studio sessions with guitarist Jim Hall, is that project.
Mastered on Mobile Fidelitys world-renowned mastering system and pressed at RTI, this Silver Label LP edition bursts forth with brilliant textures, you-are-there realism, and extraordinary tonalities. No other version outside of this analog copy brings you face-to-face with these two jazz giants sonic communion, a kind of spiritual musical summit on which Evans deft keyboard touches and Halls reliably subtle phrasings seamlessly mesh and wonderfully dance, the compositions streaked with natural instrumental decay, full-frequency extensions, and poignant emotionalism that, on this LP, you can feel.
While Evans managed to sit down for a few one-off takes between LaFaros passing and these April-May 1962 dates, he largely remained on hiatus and abstained from recording. Whether it owes to the intimate pairing, he and Halls brotherly chemistry, or the exquisite selection of program material, the results consistently come across as the equivalent of a private meditationsuch is the level of introspective depth and quietly shaded interplay throughout. For Evans, the duet clearly functions as therapy, a healing episode in which his partner patiently lays back, shadowing moves and suggesting others, neither musician interested in the spotlight but each striving for (and achieving) transcendent beauty.
In tackling standards such as Rodgers and Harts My Funny Valentine and the Broadway classic Darn That Dream, as well as the Hall original Romain, the pair traverses complex harmonies with the astute elegance of a figure skater. At times, Evans and Hall go for broke on a hard-swinging romps, yet its their implied melancholy and drifting, softly struck melodic refrains on waltzes and ballads that bestows Undercurrent with a nuanced romanticism and whispered atmosphere befitting the records title.
Indeed, even the albums coveran iconic photograph by Toni Frissellexhibits the surreal, almost-hallucinogenic properties of the fare contained within.
About Silver Series: From Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab, the MoFi Silver Label Vinyl Series features an eclectic mix of recordings. This series is mastered and cut on the famous Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab state-of-the-art Tim de Paravacini-designed mastering system. Vinyl is pressed at RTI on audiophile-grade standard vinyl and are numbered limited-editions. Future releases will continue to stretch stylistic boundaries, as the MoFi Silver Label continues to explore music from many different genres. Expand your musical horizons with the Silver Label!
Numbered, Limited Edition
MoFi Silver Label Vinyl Series
Mastered and Cut on the famous MoFi Sound Lab state-of-the-art Tim de Paravacini-designed mastering system
Pressed at RTI on Audiophile-Grade Standard Vinyl
1. My Funny Valentine
2. I Hear A Rhapsody
3. Dream Gypsy
5. Skating In Central Park
6. Darn That Dream