Of pianist Bill Evans' many live albums, At Town Hall ... Vol. 1 has always been among his most delicate and elegant, writes Marc Myers for JazzWax.
Evans' playing is taut and graceful, with lovely long improvisational lines and a snappy, fluid attack on the keyboard. The mix of standards and two originals — one was a suite in memory of his' father, who died just three days earlier — also were neatly selected and assembled.
Despite playing New York club dates for 10 years, the Town Hall recording on February 21, 1966 was Evans' first New York concert appearance. Evans played the first half of the Town Hall concert with just bassist Chuck Israels and drummer Arnie Wise, and the second half with an orchestra. The orchestra performed four Al Cohn-arranged tunes: "Willow Weep for Me" and "What Kind of Fool Am I" as well as Evans' originals "Funkallero" and "Waltz for Debby."
Seeking to offer definitive audiophile grade versions of some of the most historic and best jazz records ever recorded, Verve Label Group and Universal Music Enterprises' audiophile Acoustic Sounds vinyl reissue series utilizes the skills of top mastering engineers and the unsurpassed production craft of Quality Record Pressings. All titles are mastered from the original analog tapes, pressed on 180-gram vinyl and packaged by Stoughton Printing Co. in high-quality gatefold sleeves with tip-on jackets.
This LP is a superior effort by Bill Evans and his trio in early 1966. The last recording by longtime bassist Chuck Israels (who had joined the Trio in 1962) with Evans (the tastefully supportive drummer Arnold Wise completes the group), this live set features the group mostly performing lyrical and thoughtful standards. Highlights include 'I Should Care,' 'Who Can I Turn To,' and 'My Foolish Heart.' The most memorable piece, however, is the 13-and-a-half-minute 'Solo: In Memory of His Father,' an extensive unaccompanied exploration by Evans that partly uses a theme that became 'Turn Out the Stars.'
- Acoustic Sounds Series Reissue from Verve/Universal Music Enterprises
- 180g Vinyl LP
- Mastered by Ryan K. Smith at Sterling Sound from Original Analog Tapes
- Pressed at Quality Record Pressings
- Stoughton Printing Gatefold Old-Style Tip-On Jacket
- I Should Care
- Spring Is Here
- Who Can I Turn To
- Make Someone Happy
- Solo - In Memory of His Father, Harry L. Evans, 1891-1966 > Prologue > Improvisation on Two Themes: Story Line - Turn Out The Stars > Epilogue