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Tokyo Concert

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Album Review

The Bill Evans Trio's 1973 concert in Tokyo was his first recording for Fantasy and it produced yet another Grammy nomination for the presentation. With bassist Eddie Gomez and drummer Marty Morell, this straight reissue of the original LP mixes offbeat songs with overlooked gems, familiar standards, and surprisingly, only one Evans composition, the demanding "T.T.T.T. (Twelve Tone Tune Two)." Bobbie Gentry's "Mornin' Glory" was an unusual choice to open the performance and seems a bit conservative for Evans. The adrenaline picks up considerably with his mid-tempo waltzing take of Jerome Kern's "Up With the Lark" and a driving "My Romance." Evans also revisits the twisting Scott LaFaro tune "Gloria's Step," which showcases both Gomez and Morell. The closer, "On Green Dolphin Street," is given a slight bossa nova flavor and isn't nearly as aggressive as most of the pianist's live recordings of this popular standard. Although this CD doesn't rank among the Top Five live dates recorded by Bill Evans, it should be considered an essential part of his discography. It seems odd that no additional music turned up for this reissue, as the concert is just under an hour long; all nine tracks are included in the boxed set The Complete Fantasy Recordings.


Born: 16 August 1929 in Plainfield, NJ

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s

With the passage of time, Bill Evans has become an entire school unto himself for pianists and a singular mood unto himself for listeners. There is no more influential jazz-oriented pianist -- only McCoy Tyner exerts nearly as much pull among younger players and journeymen -- and Evans has left his mark on such noted players as Herbie Hancock, Keith Jarrett, Chick Corea, Brad Mehldau. Borrowing heavily from the impressionism of Debussy and Ravel, Evans brought a new, introverted, relaxed, lyrical,...
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