So, here’s my major worry and concern about Resonance Records. This year alone they’ve released exemplary sessions by Stan Getz, Joao Gilberto, Larry Young and Sarah Vaughan. AND IT’S NOT EVEN SUMMER!! Last year we had those wonderful Wes Montgomery compilations. Shouldn’t I be riotous with joy? Yes and know. But, especially after listening to this 2cd set of a long lost 1968 studio session of Bill Evans with Eddie Gomez and Jack DeJohnette, the worrier in me starts asking myself, “When are they going to run out of discoveries like these?”
This release is subsequent to Evans’ solo album and Montreux concert recording that made a big splash at the festival with this team. After this studio session, Marty Morell replaced the departed DeJohnette, so this is all there is, and it’s a lot.
There are trios, duos and solo recordings here. The three bounce lovingly on sprightly swinging takes of “You Go To My Head” “You’re Gonna Hear From Me.” Individually, DeJohnette is able to be playful and feisty as on “Walkin’ Up,” but most of the time he is as suave as Fred Astaire on the floor as he glides along on “In A Sentimental Mood” and “Turn Out The Stars.” Gomez does some wonderful work in the spotlight on the trio read of “Very Early” while during the duos with Evans he mostly adds sprigs of support and intermittent solos on “It Could Happen To You” and a tender “I’ll Remember April.”
As for Evans himself, he is in a swinging and rococo mood here. He’s cheerful and spry on trio tracks like ” What Kind Of Fool Am I” and “Bangles, Baubles and Beads” while luxuriously titian blue on the duets such as “These Foolish Things,” “It Could Happen To You” and a drumless take of “Baubles…” The take of “Lover Man” is a classic example of listening to Evans’ thought process, and while taking in the gloriously desultory “It’s All Right With Me” you can’t believe that it abruptly ends for some unexplained reason. “NO!” I shouted to the speakers!
The great thing about Evans, as with Montgomery and Getz, is that no matter how many times you’ve heard their songs before, each rendition is different enough to make you want more. It’s albums like this that make you think that Resonance is going to have a year like Barry Bonds did in 2001, where everything he touched turned to gold. But these guys are doing it without juice! There’s also a 40 page booklet with hp photos and interview by the two teammates that give extra insight to the gig. Grab this one while you can!