Here is the complete body of work recorded by Bill Evans as released by the Fantasy label during the seven-year period closely preceding Evans's untimely death in 1980.
The set contains 98 selections recorded by the influential jazz pianist between 1973 and 1979 in club, concert, or studio settings, plus a previously unreleased 1976 Paris concert recording. Also included is a fascinating hour-long interview with Evans at the piano, conducted by Marian McPartland and originally broadcast on National Public Radio in 1978.
In these solo, duo, trio, and quintet performances with Tony Bennett, Ray Brown, Kenny Burrell, Eddie Gomez, Philly Joe Jones, Lee Konitz, Harold Land, Warne Marsh, Marty Morell, and Eliot Zigmund, Bill Evans is revealed as a commanding artist at the peak of his powers.
Contains a 32-page illustrated booklet with essay by Gene Lees and notes on the sessions by Helen Keane.
BILL EVANS: THE COMPLETE FANTASY RECORDINGS contains material recorded for Fantasy between 1973 and 1979, closely preceding his untimely death in 1980. Over 10 and-a-half hours of club, concert and studio recordings, plus a previously unreleased 1976 Paris concert. Disc 9 is an hour-long interview done by Marian McPartland for National Public Radio in 1978 with Bill at the piano. This set comes with a 32 page booklet with an essay by Gene Lees, notes on the sessions by Helen Keane and photos of Evans during the 70s.
Personnel: Bill Evans (piano); Tony Bennett (vocals); Lee Konitz (alto saxophone); Warne Marsh, Harold Land (tenor saxophone); Kenny Burrell (guitar); Eddie Gomez, Ray Brown (bass); Marty Morrell, Philly Joe Jones, Eliot Zigmund (drums).
Producers: Helen Keane, Orrin Keepnews, Andre Francis, Dick Phipps.
Compilation producer: Helen Keane.
Engineers include: Kenchi Handa, Jim Stern, Michael De Lugg.
Includes liner notes by Gene Lees and Helen Keane.
Digitally remastered by Kirk Felton (Fantasy Studios, Berkeley, California).
The late Bill Evans was surely one of the finest jazz pianists ever. Few artists of any genre could match the level of quality-with-quantity of this legendary musician. Evans was not only the consummate jazz pianist, with incredible technique (classical pianist Glenn Gould admired him) and legendary lyricism, but a quiet innovator as well. There probably isn't a jazz pianist that values lyrical, swinging qualities that doesn't have a bit of Evans in him or her.
This nine-CD set collects all the recordings for the Fantasy label--a time period ranging from 1973 through 1978. The tracks feature Evans unaccompanied, in duo, trio and rarely-heard quintet formats, as well as the complete album he did in 1975 with Tony Bennet. This is a superb collection of some of the best piano jazz recorded not only in the '70s, but in the history of the music. Jazz fans and fans of good piano (any genre) should save up for this one.