PIANO PLAYER spans Bill Evans' career as both bandleader and sideman with Miles Davis and George Russell.
Personnel: Bill Evans (piano); Miles Davis (trumpet); Dave Pike (vibraphone); Eddie Gomez, Paul Chambers, Herbie Lewis (bass); Jimmy Cobb, Walter Perkins, Marty Morell (drums).
The George Russell Orchestra: George Russell (arranger, conductor); John LaPorta (alto saxophone); Hal McKusick (tenor saxophone); Art Farmer, Louis Mucci (trumpet); Jimmy Knepper (trombone); Jim Buffington (French horn); Robert Di Domenica (flute); Manuel Zegler (bassoon); Margaret Rose (harp); Teddy Charles (vibraphone); Barry Galbraith (guitar); Joe Benjamin (bass); Teddy Summer (drums).
Producers: Teo Macero, George Avakian, Irving Townsend, Mike Berniker, Helen Keane.
Compilation producer: Orrin Keepnews.
Recorded in New York, New York between June 10, 1957 and May 17, 1971. Includes liner notes by Eddie Gomez and Orrin Keepnews.
Digitally remastered using 20-bit technology by Mark Wilder (Sony Music Studios, New York, New York).
This is part of Columbia/Legacy's 20-bit digitally remastered Collector's Choice Series.
Although this 1998 CD may at first glance seem to be a reissue, all but three of the 11 selections had never been released before. The highly influential pianist Bill Evans is heard in five different settings. An unissued (and slightly earlier rendition) of the third section of George Russell's "All About Rosie" (a showcase for Evans with Russell's 14-piece orchestra) starts off the release. Next are the three previously issued but somewhat obscure numbers: a live rendition of "My Funny Valentine" with Miles Davis in 1958 (played by just a quartet) and two songs from a 1962 set headed by vibraphonist Dave Pike. For Piano Player, producer Orrin Keepnews discovered and released six long-lost selections from 1970: duets by Evans (who also plays a little bit of electric piano) and bassist Eddie Gomez that are strong enough to make one wonder why the projects was originally abandoned. Wrapping up the intriguing set is a trio number (with Evans, Gomez, and drummer Marty Morell) that is an alternate take left over from The Bill Evans Album. The pianist's fans will definitely want this consistently enjoyable CD. ~ Scott Yanow