Bill Evans Trio: Waltz For Debby

Here remastered and on coloured vinyl, this 1961 live set showed the integrated style of the pianist's trio at an impressive high


This is a reissue of the second LP to be issued from the 25 June 1961 Vanguard concert by Evans’ trio. The first, called simply Sunday At The Village Vanguard, featured selections picked by Evans as the best of Scott LaFaro, following the latter’s death in a car crash two weeks after the recording and intended as a tribute to him.

This second LP of material is more balanced and varied so for that reason is arguably the best of the best. At any rate this music finds Evans and what became known as his classic trio at their finest in live performance at a jazz club. This was the first fully integrated piano, bass and drums trio – in contrast to trios featuring piano soloist with bass and drum accompaniment. Listen to the interaction of the three musicians on the uptempo Milestones. The full integration of the trio that began with their earlier 1959 studio record reached an impressive high with these and the first-LP selections.

The music here has been reviewed so many times over the years that I do not need to go into detail on each track. I will just say that the almost uncanny, intuitive playing – with first Evans and then LaFaro taking the lead as the other man supports him – is on offer throughout this programme. The contribution of Paul Motian though should not be overlooked because he linked up with both and kept the time steadily even when Scott’s bass went off on a spectacular musical tangent. For other highlights, try listening closely to Evans’ delicate, chime like notes on My Foolish Heart and Some Other Time.

With the addition of Porgy, not issued on the original Riverside LP, this is a good version to buy. The remastered vinyl sound is excellent, and it has coloured vinyl, for people that like coloured vinyl. And if it wasn’t for the woman with a high-pitched laugh and somebody with a cough in the audience this would be a near-perfect jazz record. 

My Foolish Heart; Waltz For Debby; Detour Ahead; My Romance; Some Other Time; Milestones; I Loves you Porgy (44.15)
Evans (p); Scott LaFaro (b); Paul Motion (d). Village Vanguard, NYC, 25 June 1961.
Waxtime 950621