During the seven year span at Riverside that launched his career, Bill Evans only twice recorded outside his customary trio format. In the summer of 1962, when he went into the studio in quintet settings involving some of the major jazz artists of the period, with Freddie Hubbard, Zoot Sims, Jim Hall, Ron Carter and Philly Joe Jones. The results are combined in Loose Blues and The Interplay Sessions. The albums Jazz House and Gonna Hear From Me are recorded at the Jazzhus Montmartre in Copenhagen in 1969 with Eddie Gomez on bass and Marty Morell on drums. The album But Beautiful with Stan Getz was recorded in 1974 in Laren, The Netherlands. The two albums Solo Sessions are recorded on the same day, January 10, 1963, one and a half year after Scott LaFaro’s tragic death. Bill Evans is alone in a studio, and simply plays some of the greatest tunes he ever recorded. The two-LP set Peace Piece and other Pieces reissues pianist Bill Evans’s 1958 trio set with bassist Sam Jones and drummer Philly Joe Jones originally titled Everybody Digs Bill Evans plus a full previously unreleased 1959 session with bassist Paul Chambers and Philly Joe; in addition there is one piece (Loose Bloose) from a long-lost quintet date with Zoot Sims on alto and guitarist Jim Hall. Although not quite essential, there is a great deal of worthy and timeless music on this two-fer. Getting Sentimental is a peculiar album of an interim trio. After Eddie Gomez and Eliot Zigmund had left Bill Evans in 1977, he was without a trio for the first time in more than ten years. In the context of an audition bassist Michael Moore got the position in the renewed trio with Philly Joe Jones on drums. The new line-up lasted only six months, after which Marc Johnson and Joe LaBarbara entered the trio. This album is recorded live at the Village Vanguard in 1978 by Mike Harris from the earlier The Secret Sessions 8 CDs box. Technically it is not a good recording, the piano sounds distant and flat, Philly Joe Jones sounds too loud, a deadened bass and there are apparent drop outs. Homecoming marks the return of the prodigal musical son Bill Evans to his alma mater, the Southeastern Louisiana University, on November 6, 1979, some 29 years after he graduated with honors. The concert took place in the same auditorium where Evans has given his senior recital. A concert with Marc Johnson playing bass and Joe LaBarbera drums. “I don’t try to go into what kind of special night this is for me,” he told the audience. “Suffice to say that at least two of the four years I spent here were two of the happiest years of my life, and I ow a great deal to Southeastern and the faculty.”
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″.
Green Dolphin Street
Solo Session 1
Solo Session 2
Gonna Hear From Me
Half Moon Bay
Blue In Green
Peace Piece and other Pieces
Marty Morell (1968-1975)
Drummer Marty Morell (1944) attended the Manhattan School of Music. He had the distinction of being a member of the Bill Evans Trio longer than any other drummer: seven years. He is a quiet and subtle but consistently inventive player. Prior to joining Evans, Morell worked with the Al Cohn, Zoot Sims, Steve Kuhn and Gary McFarland. Morell played, recorded and toured the world with Bill Evans and Eddie Gomez from 1968-1975.
Eddie Gomez (1966-1977)
Bassist Eddie Gomez (1944), born in Puerto Rico, emigrated at a young age to the United States and graduated from Juilliard in 1963. He is perhaps most notable for his work done with the Bill Evans trio from 1966 to 1977. He would spend a total of eleven years with the Bill Evans Trio, which included performances throughout the United States, Europe and Asia, as well as dozens of recordings. He performaned with Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie, Gerry Mulligan, Marian McPartland, Paul Bley, Wayne Shorter, Steve Gadd, Jeremy Steig, Herbie Hancock, Tony Williams, Al Foster and Chick Corea.
Joe LaBarbera (1978-1980)
Drummer Joe LaBarbera (1948) was formally educated at the Berklee College of Music in Boston. He spent two years freelancing with a number of notable musicians,including Jim Hall, Phil Woods, Art Farmer, Gary Burton, Art Pepper, John Scofield, Bob Brookmeyer and Toots Thielemans. In 1978 Joe was asked to join Bill Evans in what was to become a landmark trio. He is best known for his recordings and live performances with this trio in the final years of Evans’s career.
Marc Johnson (1978-1980)
Bassist Marc Johnson (1953) studied at the University of North Texas. The 25-year old Johnson was asked by Bill Evans in 1978, and remained in Evans’s trio until the pianist’s death in 1980. Later on he has played extensively with John Abercrombie, Peter Erskine, Eliane Elias (to whom he is married), Enrico Pieranunzi, Stan Getz, Joe Lovano, Michael Brecker, Paul Motian, Jack DeJohnette and Gary Burton.