Other Labels

A rather complete survey of authentic recordings as well as historic reissues. The year next to the label refers to the date of the recording session. Several labels, like Lonehill and Gambit, release reissues or compilations of Bill Evans albums that are incomplete or without accurately labeling the recordings. Moreover it is unknown if they settle for the royalties with the Evans estate.

There is a lesser-known recording of the “first” trio with bassist Scott LaFaro and drummer Paul Motian called Live at Birdland. These sessions in march and april 1960 were recorded directly from broadcast at the famous club. Unfortunately the sound quality is poor. The same tracks are on the two obscure LP’s Hooray For Bill Evans and A Rare Original.

Worth mentioning are the three releases Bill Evans Live In Paris Vol. 1, 2 and 3. They were taped Feb.6 and later Dec.17, 1972 at Maison de la Radio in Paris and broadcasted by the French National Radio Broadcasting Service (ORTF) in Paris. The bassist and drummer are Eddie Gomez and Marty Morell. It is a live performance with very good acoustics and excellent sound quality. The Bill Evans Trio is captured in excellent form with a big and dark piano tone and an attentive audience. Only the drums show a little distortion. Eddie Gomez plays superb his double bass with some wonderful solos, sometimes bowing arco. The third volume is much more aggressive and has the most adventuresome playing of the three Paris CDs issued by France’s Concert. This radio broadcast was recorded from a December 1972 return to Paris (following Evans’ appearance with Phil Woods on the same stage, which apparently wasn’t recorded). The trio plays a much more varied set that better demonstrated their abilities. All three members of the group are at the top of their form, with a boiling and prolonged “Nardis” and finally an inspired encore of “Waltz for Debby”. In 2006 the Spanish label Gambit reissued only the February 6, 1972 Paris Concerts Vol. 1 and 2 as a two CD set. In addition this edition also contains a fifteen-minute reissue of Nardis from the June 1972 Ljubljana Festival in Yugoslavia recorded in trio format with Eddie Gomez and the exciting British drummer Tony Oxley on the Enja label. This is the only track that survived from Evans’ Ljubljana performance.

On The Complete Tony Bennett/Bill Evans Recordings Tony Bennett joined together with Bill Evans for two albums of sublime duets recorded in 1975 and 1976. The two LPs with numerous alternate takes and bonus tracks are combined on a 2-CD set, released on Concord Music Group Fantasy Records. Featuring sessions originally produced by Evans’ longtime manager Helen Keane. Bennett recalls that they didn’t even discuss song choices before the session: “I would name a tune, and Bill would say, ‘That’s good, let’s do that.’ We’d find a key and then the two of us would work it out. For about 45 minutes, we’d work out the arrangement, he’d say, ‘Do you wanna modulate here? How many choruses do you want?’ And then we would play it through and work out all the changes and all that. We spent three days doing that, until we had nine songs in the can.”

The three albums Live At Balboa Jazzclub have been digitally remastered in a two CD set in 2008 by Gambit, featuring a superb performance by the last edition of the Bill Evans Trio. Less than a year before his death, Bill Evans traveled to Madrid, Spain, to play three nights at a small venue called the Balboa Jazz Club. One of those magic nights was recorded and appears here in its entirety. The music from the December 12, 1979 Balboa concert was privately recorded and the sound quality leaves much to be desired. However, the music has been reprocessed and sounds better here than on any previous release.

Living Time is Bill Evans’ second and final Columbia album after The Bill Evans Album. The album was recorded in 1971 with composer-arranger George Russell; Evans had been on a couple of Russell’s more significant albums of the late ’50s, like the album Jazz in the Space Age (1960). The music on this album unfortunately is not all that interesting. George Russell’s episodic work Living Time, which has eight “events”, features crowded ensembles as played by Evans’ trio plus 19 musicians, including two additional keyboardists. Despite the major names in the “backup group”, including Jimmy Giuffre, Sam Rivers and Joe Henderson, the focus throughout is on Evans, changing between acoustic and electric keyboards. The music is rather boring and surprisingly forgettable. Leonard Feather: “Inevitably, attempts were made to persuade Bill to commercialize his style, especially during his periode with Columbia Records, where one executive referred to him as “an old-fashioned pianist.” Of course, he never gave in, and if his career didn’t reach the heights of the economic ladder, his conscience was clear and his income nevertheless consistent”. (Contemporary Keyboard, December 1980). Click on the promo advertisement of the Columbia label in Down Beat to enlarge.

Very worthwhile are the three recently discovered albums by Bill Evans from 1968, released by Resonance Records.

For a detailed discography of Bill Evans recordings refer to The Bill Evans Webpages created by Jan Stevens: “Bill Evans – The Complete Catalogue Of Recordings 1954 through 1980″.

Bill Evans & Eddie Costa
Lonehill 1958

Ivery Hunters
Blue Note 1959

Bill Evans & Lee Konitz
Lonehill 1959

Five Four 1959

Hooray For Bill Evans
Session 1960

A Rare Original
Alto 1960

Birdland Sessions
Fresh Sound 1960

Blue Note 1962

Atlantic 1964

AMJ 1965

Two Super Trios
Unique Jazz 1965-1972

Live In Stockholm
Lonehill 1965

Live in Paris
Lonehill 1965

Live In Europe
Lonehill 1965

Quiet Now
Affinity 1969

Waltz For Debby
Lonehill 1969

Montreux ll
CBS 1970

The Album
CBS 1971

Blue In Green
Charly records 1972

Charly Records 1972

Live In Paris 1
Esoldun 1972

Live In Paris 2
Esoldun 1972

Live In Paris 3
Esoldun 1972

Living Time
CBS 1972

MPS 1974

Live In Ottawa
Gambit 1974

Live In Switzerland
Gambit 1975

Koln Concert
Gambit 1976

Together Again
Concord 1977

Live in Buenos Aires 1
West Wind 1979

Live In Buenos Aires 2
West Wind 1979

Live In Rome
Gambit 1979

Live At Balboa Jazzclub 1
Jazz Lab Records 1979

Live At Balboa Jazzclub 2
Jazz Lab Records 1979

Live At Balboa Jazzclub 3
Jazz Lab Records 1979

Turn Out The Stars
(Ronnie Scott) Dreyfus 1980

Letter To Evan
(Ronnie Scott) Dreyfus 1980

Live At Ronnie Scott 1&2
reissue Gambit 1980

Last European Concert
MSI Music 1980

Live In London
Harkit 1965

Tony Bennett/Bill Evans
Concord/Fantasy 1975/1976

Live in Paris 1&2
reissue Gambit 1972

Live At The Festival
Enja 1972

Live in Paris 1974
Gambit reissue 1974

Lund 1975 Helsinki 1970

Bill Evans & Tony Scott
reissue Lonehill 1956-1959

Autumn Leaves
Vintage Records 1969

Live at LuLu Whites
Gambit 1979

Legendary Sessions reissue
101 Distribution 1958

Piano Four Hands
Jazz Lips 1979

Bill Evans Trio & Guests
2 CD Jazzlips 1978

Bill Evans Trio Dig it!
Fontana 1958/1965 LP

Buenos Aires 1973 vol1
Yellow Note 1973

Buenos Aires 1973 vol2
Yellow Note 1973

Buenos Aires 1973 vol3
Yellow Note 1973

Eastman Theatre 1977
RLR records 2011

The Very Last Performance 1980
Domino Records, 2010

The Session Radio Shows 1973, 1975, 1979
T2/Out of Blue 2011 (2CD)

Live at Vara Studio, Hilversum, Holland, 1969
Jazz Traffic 2011

Live at Casale Monferrato 1979, 2 CD
Codec Records 2012

Momentum, 1972
2 CD
Limetree, 2012

Live At Top Of The Gate
1968 2 CD
Resonance Records, 2012

With Herb Geller
1972 2 CD
Turning Point, 2012

The 1972 Ljubljana Concert
Balcan Records, 2013

Bill Evans – At Carnegie Hall 1972
Valmont records, 2013

Live At The Penthouse-Seattle 1966
JAZZ DO IT, 2014

Bill Evans Newport 1967 and 1976
Oceanic Records, 2014

Some Other Time 1968
Resonance Records 2016 2CD

On a Monday Evening 1976
Concord, 2017

Another Time 1968
Resonance Records