BILL EVANS LIVE at Art D'Lugoff's TOP OF THE GATE


Resonance Records, founded by producer and audio engineer George Klabin, is dedicated to preserving jazz and discovering the genre’s rising stars, and has been releasing quality music at a steady pace since 2008. This independent label is meticulous with all details of their releases from the recording and mix to the graphics and packaging. On the preservation front, Klabin has rewarded music fans with treasures from his own collection, dusting off rare tapes and giving them a digital rinse; previously releasing unheard material from Freddie Hubbard (“Pinnacle: Live From Keystone Corner”) and earlier this year, the first known recordings by guitarist Wes Montgomery (“Echoes Of Indiana Avenue.”)

Pianist Bill Evans is among the most well represented jazz artist in the marketplace with dozens of domestic and import recordings available. The latest gem from Resonance Records is a never-before-released two-set gig from Evans, bassist Eddie Gomez and drummer Marty Morell, recorded on October 23, 1968 in Greenwich Village at Top Of The Gate, a room upstairs from The Village Gate used for additional bookings to accommodate the robust jazz scene that existed back in the day. Astonishingly, when Evans played the two sets documented here, Thelonious Monk and Charles Lloyd were sharing a double bill downstairs.

Thanks to the then 22-year-old Klabin’s decision to mike each member of the trio, the recorded sound on this 2 CD set is warm and vivid, perhaps one of the best of Bill Evans’ live recordings. Wisely, the new mix and digital restoration maintains the natural analog sound of the performances, thanks to Klabin and co-restorer Fran Gala’s ears, giving the trio’s performance the contemporary sonic kiss they deserve. For audio purists, a limited edition 3-LP 180-gram vinyl box set will also be released.

The set list varies distinctly: “Emily,” Yesterdays,” and “’Round Midnight,” are played at each set and never the same way twice; elsewhere we get swooning renditions of “Gone With The Wind,” Alfie,” In A Sentimental Mood” and a gorgeous “Here’s That Rainy Day,” among others. The only Evans original, “Turn Out The Stars” is played at the end of the first set. None of the tunes goes much past the 7-minute mark proving that Evans was a master of concision, saying more with his solos and letting his trio carry the rest. There’s a stunning version of “Someday My Prince Will Come” during the second set with Evans full bore style in the house, whisking through notes as fast as he can swing, with Eddie Gomez as the ideal foil, both complementing Evans and soloing in counterpoint. Throughout both sets, the band is spirited and by turns, relaxed and intense. The sound of the audience is peripheral, but relatively unobtrusive (they get a little noisy during “Mother Of Earl.”) “Bill Evans Live” may be the best historical jazz release of the year and a sure-fire purchase if you’re even remotely a fan of Evans and his magical trio. (www.resonancerecords.org)

Disc One – Set 1
1. Emily (Mandel & Mercer)
2. Witchcraft (C. Coleman)
3. Yesterdays (J. Kern)
4. Round Midnight (T. Monk)
5. My Funny Valentine (Rogers & Hart)
6. California Here I Come (De Sylva, Jolson & Myers)
7. Gone With The Wind (Magidson & Wrubel)
8. Alfie (B. Bacharach)
9. Turn Out The Stars (B. Evans)

Disc Two – Set 2
1. Yesterdays (J. Kern)
2. Emily (Mandel & Mercer)
3. Round Midnight (T. Monk)
4. In A Sentimental Mood (D. Ellington)
5. Autumn Leaves (J. Kosma)
6. Someday My Prince Will Come (Churchill & Morey)
7. Mother Of Earl (E. Zindar)
8. Here’s That Rainy Day (Burke & Van Heusen)

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JAZZ IN SPACE: BILL EVANS LIVE at Art D'Lugoff's TOP OF THE GATE

Friday, June 1, 2012

BILL EVANS LIVE at Art D'Lugoff's TOP OF THE GATE


Resonance Records, founded by producer and audio engineer George Klabin, is dedicated to preserving jazz and discovering the genre’s rising stars, and has been releasing quality music at a steady pace since 2008. This independent label is meticulous with all details of their releases from the recording and mix to the graphics and packaging. On the preservation front, Klabin has rewarded music fans with treasures from his own collection, dusting off rare tapes and giving them a digital rinse; previously releasing unheard material from Freddie Hubbard (“Pinnacle: Live From Keystone Corner”) and earlier this year, the first known recordings by guitarist Wes Montgomery (“Echoes Of Indiana Avenue.”)

Pianist Bill Evans is among the most well represented jazz artist in the marketplace with dozens of domestic and import recordings available. The latest gem from Resonance Records is a never-before-released two-set gig from Evans, bassist Eddie Gomez and drummer Marty Morell, recorded on October 23, 1968 in Greenwich Village at Top Of The Gate, a room upstairs from The Village Gate used for additional bookings to accommodate the robust jazz scene that existed back in the day. Astonishingly, when Evans played the two sets documented here, Thelonious Monk and Charles Lloyd were sharing a double bill downstairs.

Thanks to the then 22-year-old Klabin’s decision to mike each member of the trio, the recorded sound on this 2 CD set is warm and vivid, perhaps one of the best of Bill Evans’ live recordings. Wisely, the new mix and digital restoration maintains the natural analog sound of the performances, thanks to Klabin and co-restorer Fran Gala’s ears, giving the trio’s performance the contemporary sonic kiss they deserve. For audio purists, a limited edition 3-LP 180-gram vinyl box set will also be released.

The set list varies distinctly: “Emily,” Yesterdays,” and “’Round Midnight,” are played at each set and never the same way twice; elsewhere we get swooning renditions of “Gone With The Wind,” Alfie,” In A Sentimental Mood” and a gorgeous “Here’s That Rainy Day,” among others. The only Evans original, “Turn Out The Stars” is played at the end of the first set. None of the tunes goes much past the 7-minute mark proving that Evans was a master of concision, saying more with his solos and letting his trio carry the rest. There’s a stunning version of “Someday My Prince Will Come” during the second set with Evans full bore style in the house, whisking through notes as fast as he can swing, with Eddie Gomez as the ideal foil, both complementing Evans and soloing in counterpoint. Throughout both sets, the band is spirited and by turns, relaxed and intense. The sound of the audience is peripheral, but relatively unobtrusive (they get a little noisy during “Mother Of Earl.”) “Bill Evans Live” may be the best historical jazz release of the year and a sure-fire purchase if you’re even remotely a fan of Evans and his magical trio. (www.resonancerecords.org)

Disc One – Set 1
1. Emily (Mandel & Mercer)
2. Witchcraft (C. Coleman)
3. Yesterdays (J. Kern)
4. Round Midnight (T. Monk)
5. My Funny Valentine (Rogers & Hart)
6. California Here I Come (De Sylva, Jolson & Myers)
7. Gone With The Wind (Magidson & Wrubel)
8. Alfie (B. Bacharach)
9. Turn Out The Stars (B. Evans)

Disc Two – Set 2
1. Yesterdays (J. Kern)
2. Emily (Mandel & Mercer)
3. Round Midnight (T. Monk)
4. In A Sentimental Mood (D. Ellington)
5. Autumn Leaves (J. Kosma)
6. Someday My Prince Will Come (Churchill & Morey)
7. Mother Of Earl (E. Zindar)
8. Here’s That Rainy Day (Burke & Van Heusen)

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