- Released: June 28, 2011
- Label: Universal Japan
Down Beat - 9/97, p.544 stars (out of 5)
- "...well worth having.... CONVERSATIONS has the interior monologue sensibility suggested by its title..."
Solo performer: Bill Evans (piano).
Recorded at Webster Hall, New York, New York in December 1963. Includes original release liner notes by Gene Lees & Bill Evans and new liner notes by Phil Bailey.
Digitally remastered using 20-bit technology.
CONVERSATIONS WITH MYSELF is an ambitious and appealing experiment. Featuring three separate, overdubbed piano tracks, Evans has aimed to create a trio consisting only of himself-- a single-player ensemble producing work with a dense, interactive texture. The general format includes two pianos trading the lead and accompaniment lines, with the third responding to and commenting upon the other two parts. There is a range of material represented, from jazz standards (including three Monk numbers), 50's show tunes ("Hey, There," "A Sleepin' Bee") and the love theme from "Spartacus."
Evans's own dark, moving composition, "N.Y.C.'s No Lark," is quite beautiful, with intersecting lines which glide and swell around one another, at times with rhythmic antagonism, at others with gentleness and grace. This is countered by the uptempo brightness of tracks like "Just You, Just Me" and the rollicking, percussive banter of "How About You?" Evans's playing is sharply focused throughout, the complex effect of multiple lines giving many tracks an almost classical feel, even when the chord structures and phrasing are distinctly jazz. The overall product, however, is intriguing and immanently listenable. In CONVERSATIONS WITH MYSELF Evans has achieved that rare creation: music that is at once challenging and accessible.