Personnel: Bill Evans (piano); Jim Hall (guitar); Cannonball Adderley (alto saxophone); Zoot Sims (tenor saxophone); Freddie Hubbard (trumpet); Paul Chambers, Percy Heath, Ron Carter , Sam Jones, Scott LaFaro, Teddy Kotick, Chuck Israels (double bass); Connie Kay, Larry Bunker, Paul Motian, Philly Joe Jones (drums).
Audio Remasterer: Kirk Felton.
Liner Note Author: Orrin Keepnews.
Recording information: Bell Sound Studios, New York, NY (09/27/1956-05/31/1963); Nola Penthouse Studio (09/27/1956-05/31/1963); Reeves Sound Studios, New York, NY (09/27/1956-05/31/1963); Shelly's Manne-Hole, Hollywood, CA (09/27/1956-05/31/1963); Sound Makers, Inc (09/27/1956-05/31/1963); Village Vanguard (09/27/1956-05/31/1963).
Photographer: Jan Persson.
There is something about Bill Evans that sets him apart from his peers. Perhaps it's his compositional grace, or maybe his gentle touch. Either way, since his death in 1980, his musical legacy has done nothing but grow. This compilation documents the pianist's Riverside years, which began in 1956 and ended in 1963. Compiled by producer Orrin Keepnews, this CD begins with selections from the pianist's first album NEW JAZZ CONCEPTIONS and continues through to BILL EVANS TRIO AT SHELLY'S MANNE-HOLE. "Our Delight" from NEW JAZZ CONCEPTIONS shows the early be-bop brilliance of Evans. At the time, he was still under the spell of Bud Powell. However, "Waltz for Debby," which premiered on the same album, hints at the impressionistic leanings Evans possessed even at such a young age. Later tracks such as "Everything Happens to Me" spotlight Evans's greatest strength: his ballad playing. His solo rendition of this jazz standard is not only harmonically rich, and contrapuntally logical, it is filled with tremendous warmth and raw emotion. Few musicians have the ability to bring out such tenderness on a piano. Indeed, this was Evans's unique gift.