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Everybody Digs Bill Evans

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Album Review

Everybody Digs Bill Evans was a landmark recording for the young pianist and sported a unique album cover, featuring written-out endorsements from Miles Davis, George Shearing, Ahmad Jamal, and Cannonball Adderley. At a time approximate to when Evans was performing with the famous Kind of Blue band of Davis, Adderley, and John Coltrane, and actually departing the band, Evans continued to play the trio music he was ultimately best known for. With the unmatched pair of former Miles Davis drummer Philly Joe Jones and bassist Sam Jones (no relation), Evans was emerging not only as an ultra-sensitive player, but as an interpreter of standards second to none. The drummer is quite toned down to match the dynamics of the session, while the ever-reliable bassist lays back even more than usual, but at the expense of his soul. Of the covers, the solo "Lucky to Me" and the melancholy "What Is There to Say?" with the trio evoke the cool, smoldering emotionalism Evans was known for. He's even more starkly reserved on his solo version of "Young and Foolish." But Evans also knows how to play vigorous bop, tearing up the complicated "Oleo," and he modestly tackles the Gigi Gryce icon "Minority," though if you listen closely, the takes are slightly imprecise and a bit thin. Evans is hyperactive on a clattery calypso version of "Night and Day," with the melody almost an afterthought, powered by the precise drumming of Philly Joe Jones. Taking "Tenderly" in waltz time, Evans makes this familiar theme inimitably all his own. There are two more solos on the Keepnews Collection edition: the Asian-inspired interlude titled "Epilogue" and the demure and ultimately quiet "Peace Piece," a timeless, meditational, reverent, prayer-inspired composition that, in time, set a standard for chamber/classical European-tailored jazz. In an alternate/second-version bonus track, Evans superimposes this theme under the standard "Some Other Time," and it fits beautifully. Though not his very best effort overall, Evans garnered great attention, and rightfully so, from this important album of 1958. ~ Michael G. Nastos, Rovi

Customer Reviews

A masterpiece

A near perfect album, remastered to perfection. Warm and lush. Beautiful arrangements. You can feel the fingers on the bass... Don't hesitate to buy.

Classic Album

What motivates the iTunes reviewer to say the bassist, Sam Jones, performs "at the expense of his soul"? It's an idiotic comment, part of the hipper-than-thou sensibility that plagues jazz writing.

Don't let this nitwit dissuade you from hearing some great music.

A True Artist

Peace Piece is one of the most beautiful songs I have ever heard. An improvisation from straight the heart. He plays not a single misplaced note. The lonely and melancholic mood is just too much for words to describe. Phenomenal.

Biography

Born: August 16, 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,...
Full Bio

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