Bill Evans - Live at Art d'Lugoff's Top of the Gate (2017)

Mandel, Coleman, Kern, Williams, Rodgers, Jolson, Wrubel, Bacharach, Evans, Ellington, Kosma, Churchill, Zindars, van Heusen

Bill Evans

You're about to be transported to October 23, 1968, to Greenwich Village in New York City. Jazz in the 1960's was one of the music's greatest eras, and thanks to a gentleman named George Klabin, we have this important document of one of its leading talents. George was only 22 years old at the time, full of passion and engineering skill, when he took advantage of an offer by Evan's longtime manager, Helen Keane, to record Bill's new trio. George aired these two fully recorded sets of music one time on his radio show on Columbia Universitys WKCR-FM and these tapes have been stored away all these years until now.

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Bill Evans

Evans was born in Plainfield, New Jersey and attended Southeastern Louisiana University. After a period in the Army, he returned to New York in 1955 and began working and recording with Tony Scott and George Russell. His subtly swinging, lucidly constructed solos with these leaders quickly attracted attention, and provided Evans with an opportunity to begin recording under his own name; but he was modest regarding his gifts, and for a time was reluctant to push himself into the limelight. All this changed after he spent several months during 1958 in Miles Davis's band, where he played alongside John Coltrane and Cannonball Adderley as well as the trumpeter and became a central figure in Davis's shift to modal improvisation.

The period with Davis allowed Evans to organize his own trio, which featured bassist Scott LaFaro and drummer Paul Motian by the end of 1959. These three players developed a new and more interactive approach to trio playing, one in which all instruments carried melodic responsibilities and functioned as equal voices. LaFaro's tragic death in a July 1961 highway accident ended the existence of this seminal unit; but not before it had recorded four albums, two in the studio and two at a Village Vanguard performance shortly before the bassist's death, that influenced several generations of pianists, bassists, and drummers.

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Bill Evans - Live at Art d'Lugoff's Top of the Gate (2017)

Mandel, Coleman, Kern, Williams, Rodgers, Jolson, Wrubel, Bacharach, Evans, Ellington, Kosma, Churchill, Zindars, van Heusen

Bill Evans

    AllMusic.com

"There have been many posthumous releases featuring various Bill Evans trios since the pianist's death in 1980, but Live at Art D'Lugoff's Top of the Gate is a cut above most of them for several reasons. First, it documents Evans' trio with bassist Eddie Gomez (who had been playing with him since 1966) and drummer Marty Morell in the early weeks of this band's existence. Secondly, the session engineer, George Klabin, got permission from Evans' manager Helen Keane to record the performances for his radio show, and though he didn't get an opportunity to do a soundcheck prior to the start of the gig, his excellent mike placement and adjustments on the fly capture the intimacy of the trio, without distortion and with very little chatter from the often noisy Manhattan crowds of the late '60s. Finally, the interpretations of several of the songs, all known to fans familiar with Evans' repertoire, in several cases represent an early live trio recording or one of the earliest recordings of certain songs. The fact that the trio was new matters little, the chemistry developed quickly between the three musicians as a unit and Evans is buoyed by Gomez's inventive bass lines (it's little wonder he remained with the pianist for over 11 years), and Morell's light touch on drums and subtle brushwork. Several of the numbers are repeated in both sets, including driving takes of "Yesterdays," melodically rich treatments of "'Round Midnight," and two buoyant renditions of "Emily." Evans' fans will delight in his introspective, somewhat disguised arrangement of "California, Here I Come," the dazzling workout of "Autumn Leaves," and the magical romp through "Someday My Prince Will Come." If the music isn't enough, the detailed liner notes as to how the recordings came to be made, along with commentary by Nat Hentoff, Gary Burton, Eddie Gomez, Marty Morell, and others, in addition to period photographs of the artists and the club's interior, make it a complete package, not some carelessly packaged collection of previously unknown performances. One can only hope that Resonance label owner George Klabin recorded many other shows at the Top of the Gate and is able to gain the rights to issue them. This two-album set will be considered essential by Bill Evans collectors. "

Ken Dryden[read full review]

Bill Evans - Live at Art d'Lugoff's Top of the Gate (2017)

Mandel, Coleman, Kern, Williams, Rodgers, Jolson, Wrubel, Bacharach, Evans, Ellington, Kosma, Churchill, Zindars, van Heusen

Bill Evans

Mastering Engineer:

René Laflamme – Analog Tape to DSD256 Transfer

Microphones: Neumann U67, Beyer, Sennheiser
Mixing Board: Ampex4 stereo mixer
Notes:

For the 2xHD transfer of this recording, the original 1/4", 15 IPS NAB Master Tape was played on a Nagra-T modified tape machine with high-end tube playback electronics, wired with OCC Silver Cable from the playback head direct to a Telefunken EF806 Tube. The Nagra-T has one of the best transports ever made, having four direct drive motors, two pinch rollers and a tape tension head.

We did an Analog Transfer to DSD256 (11.2mHz) using Merging Horus and HAPI A/D converters and a dCS Vivaldi Clock. Each format (DSD 2.8mHz, DSD 5.6 mHz and DSD 11.2 mHz) was created from that transfer.

Recording Engineer: George Klabin
Recording location: Top of the Gate - D'Lugoff - The The Village Gate New York
Recording Software: Crown two track tape
Recording Type & Bit Rate: Analog to DSD256

This album was recorded to Analog tape. It was then transferred to the DSD bit rate indicated above.

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2XHD1052: Bill Evans - Live at Art d'Lugoff's Top of the Gate
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Tracks.
1.
Emily (Take 1)
Mandel
00:04:44   Select quality & channels above
2.
Witchcraft
Coleman
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3.
Yesterdays (Take 1)
Kern
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4.
'Round Midnight (Take 1)
Williams
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5.
My Funny Valentine
Rodgers
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6.
California Here I Come
Jolson
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7.
Gone With The Wind
Wrubel
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8.
Alfie
Bacharach
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9.
Turn Out the stars
Evans
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10.
Yesterdays (Take 2)
Kern
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11.
Emily (Take 2)
Mandel
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12.
In a Sentimental Mood
Ellington
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13.
'Round Midnight (Take 2)
Williams
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14.
Autumn Leaves
Kosma
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15.
Someday My Prince Will Come
Churchill
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16.
Mother Of Earl
Zindars
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17.
Here's that Rainy Day
van Heusen
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