THE COMPLETE BILL EVANS ON VERVE is an 18-disc, 269-track box set featuring every track that Bill Evans recorded for Verve between 1962 and 1969, including 98 previously-unreleased tracks. It includes a 160-page, full-color book. THE COMPLETE BILL EVANS ON VERVE was nominated for a 1998 Grammy Award for Best Recording Package - Boxed and for Best Historical Album. The 18 CDs in this exhaustive set provide a comprehensive picture of Bill Evans from 1962 to 1969, a period when the pianist was both consolidating his fame and sometimes taking his music into untested waters, from unaccompanied piano to symphony orchestra. His work with multitracked solo piano, originally released as Conversations with Myself and the later Further Conversations with Myself, was the most remarkable new format for his introspective music. It gave Evans a way to be all the pianists he could be at once–combining densely chordal, harmonically oblique parts with surprising, rhythmic punctuation and darting, exploratory runs.
There wasn't any musical generation gap between young Chicago guitarist Specter and his much older front man Barkin' Bill Smith. Specter's love for the electrified 1950s styles of Magic Sam, T-Bone Walker, and B.B. King blended well with Smith's deep, almost crooning baritone pipes on what was the debut album for both men. Lots of breezy swing informs the retro-styled set.
Cardboard sleeve (mini LP) reissue from Bill Evans featuring the high-fidelity SHM-CD format (compatible with standard CD players) and the latest 24bit/96kHz digital remastering. Part of a 5-album Bill Evans SHM-CD cardboard sleeve reissue series featuring albums "I Will Say Goodbye," "Alone (Again)," "Intuition," "Re: Person I Knew," and "Jazzhouse." The Village Vanguard and Bill Evans have been linked in jazz history since the pianist's first trio recorded Sunday at the Village Vanguard and Waltz for Debby at the club in 1961. Evans returned often, and was later asked by owner Max Gordon to select the house piano. These eight tracks were recorded during the 1974 visit that also produced Since We Met, and offer an accurate sampling of his club sets of the time–a mix of old favorites and newer material, including five Evans originals and a budding interpretation of a Herbie Hancock tune.
Max Roach's post-Clifford Brown ensembles became more experimental down the road, but this 1960 band, with the brothers Tommy and Stanley Turrentine, and Julian Priester, was short-lived, very satisfying, and one of the most memorable combos the drummer led. Continuing to concentrate on hard bop themes, the band is hardly quiet as the title would suggest. It perhaps could be said that this band was a sleeper in not being as recognized as the superior collective talent would indicate. Perhaps the obscure bassist Bob Boswell has something to do with it, or that the front line would find their niches in jazz well past their membership in this fine combo…
It might not appear like an obvious hotbed of contemporary music, but amid the rolling cornfields of western Michigan, at Grand Valley State University in Allendale, Bill Ryan has been masterfully cultivating the GVSU New Music Ensemble. And with RETURN, the group's fourth album, Ryan is reaping what he has sewn since founding the ensemble in 2006: All 15 works were composed by his former students.
From Miles Davis' Doo-Bop to albums by Greg Osby and Steve Coleman, much of the "jazz/rap fusion" released has been more hip-hop than jazz – essentially, hip-hop with jazz overtones. Bill Evans, however, has featured rappers in much the way a hard bopper would feature a singer – on "Reality" and the poignant, reggae-influenced "La Di Da," rapper Ahmed Best successfully interacts with an actual, spontaneous, improvisatory band instead of merely pre-recorded tracks. Best's rapping style – a cerebral approach akin to De La Soul and A Tribe Called Quest instead of more hardcore rappers like Tupac Shakur and Ice-T – is well-suited to this challenging and complex jazz-fusion setting.
Church musicians, especially of the Anglican/Episcopal persuasion, should be happy that there's at least one person out there writing first-rate, functional, and very accessible (in the best sense) anthems and service music–music that dedicated, competent choirs and organists can perform to a high standard. Some listeners may recognize Grayston Ives (nom de plume of Bill Ives) for his years (in the 1980s) with the King's Singers where he both sang and contributed as an arranger.