JJ 02/61: Bill Evans – Everybody Digs Bill Evans

Sixty years ago JJ editor Sinclair Traill felt that a more positive rhythm would help make Evans a more completely satisfying jazz pianist. First published in Jazz Journal February 1961


This is a record that grows on you with each successive hearing. Except on the up-tempo tunes, when Evans swings quite freely, he is not an easy pianist to sort out at one listening.

He obviously has tremendous harmonic perception and a remarkably inventive turn of mind, but he rummages around so much on such ballads as “Young and Foolish” and “What Is There to Say” that one wonders if he has not lost his way in his explorations.

On some tracks one feels a more positive rhythm would help make him into a more completely satisfying jazz pianist, but his melodic structures always hold the interest.

“Night and Day” and “Oleo” are my two favourite tracks, with his own “Peace Piece” following them very closely. This is a thoughtful, harmonious composition that takes one back to those shadowy piano pieces as played by Bix Beiderbecke.

Minority; Young And Foolish; Lucky To Be Me; Night And Day; Epilogue (22½ min.) – Tenderly; Peace Piece; What Is There To Say?; Oleo; Epilogue (19½ min.)
Sam Jones (bass) and Philly Joe Jones (drums) provide an unobtrusive and sym­pathetic background. They do not play on “Lucky To Be Me”, “Peace Piece” and “Epilogue”.
(Riverside RLP 12-291. 12inLP. 39s. 9d.)