It was a lumpy old transistor radio under my pillow that brought “The Voice of America” into my life,and with it , through a rash of static and down a billowing signal , came the gleaming and sophisticated “Sunday at the Village Vanguard” by the Bill Evans Trio , featuring twelve-fingered Scott La Faro on bass.
Those sounds seemed to distil the essence of early sixties New York , with the audience’s conversations and clinking glasses sometimes vying with the music for attention . A Very Jack Lemmon batchelor scenario,….a Yellow cab down to the Village for the coolest pianist on Earth and a large Bourbon with a Zippo’d Chesterfield,then , much , much later , back to the penthouse on the Park.
The Bill Evans Trio turned all my Oscar Peterson assumptions on their heads.Yes,this was newstuff , and yes , it was mainly slow and very intense , but I could hear those fabulous harmonies and that lovely , bell-like touch…it was accessible and a deeply desirable accessory.( Well,I was young….)
Some favourite Evans meltdowns….. “When I fall in Love “ from “Portrait in Jazz”.
“ My Foolish Heart “ from “Waltz for Debbie “
“ My Funny Valentine” from “Undercurrent” ( with Jim Hall )
“ I do it for your Love “ from “The Paris Concert , Edition One “