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A major jazz meeting! Outstanding drummer Shelly Mann and brilliant jazz pianist Bill Evans combine with the sensitive bass playing of Monty Budwig in a program of superb improvisation.
This album came about through a fortuitous convergence of circumstances. Shelly Manne & His Men were appearing at New York's Village Vanguard, sharing the bill with the Bill Evans Trio. Getting Riverside's permission to let the pianist participate, Creed Taylor set up a session at Rudy Van Gelder's studio with Evans and Manne sharing top billing. Manne's bass player, Monty Budwig, made up the trio. This was a busman's holiday for Evans, who was freed from the musical parameters he had set for his then-current trio.
The result is that his playing seemed lighter, freer, and more relaxed than it had for a while. The album kicks off with a jaunty version of Irving Berlin's "The Washington Twist" from the unsuccessful Mr. President with Budwig sharing the honors with Evans as much as Manne. Manne spends most of his time driving Evans into more diminished and sharper playing than was usually Evans' wont. Another relatively unfamiliar Berlin work, "Let's Go Back to the Waltz," gives full reign to Evans' lyricism. The longest tune on the set is an audacious, almost lampooned version of "With a Song in My Heart" with light chordal phrasing that pretty much characterized much of the tone coming from this session. Listening to these three, it's clear that everyone was having a good time and simply enjoying being relieved of their duties with their regular combos, even if for just one day.
Recorded in New York City, NY - August 14, 1962.
...these are all truly classic Verve titles that you simply don't want to miss...most importantly, the sound of these reissues is nothing short of astounding. Particularly the early Billie and Ella mono records are incredible treasures of sonic beauty. I'd definitely ask Santa for the whole set, or, if you want to cherry pick, the most classic titles. Whatever you decide, you owe yourself at least a half dozen!
- Mastered by George Marino at Sterling Sound
- Cut from the Absolute Original Analog Master Tapes
- 180g 45rpm 2LP
- Pressed at Quality Record Pressings
- Gatefold Jacket
- The Washington Twist
- Danny Boy
- Let's Go Back to the Waltz
- With a Song in My Heart
- I Believe in You