Bill Evans: Treasures

The pianist is heard in solo, trio and orchestral formats in previously unreleased recordings held by Danish producer Ole Matthiessen


In a highly pertinent contribution to the extensive notes accompanying this release pianist Matt Shipp highlights how Evans’s music functioned on a conceptual level. This set of unearthed treasures, made in Denmark, 1965-69, emphasises the point, and over the course of solo, trio and orchestral recordings it becomes clear yet again that the Evans methodology was shot through with rigour and focus, the like of which is all too rare.

Come Rain Or Come Shine opens proceedings, and it soon becomes clear that had things turned out differently then Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen and Alan Dawson would have been equal to the demands of the Evans way of interplay. The same line-up’s reading of I Should Care, taken at a faster than usual tempo, affords Evans the chance to show off his skills in relation to the beat, which he both acknowledges and works off of.

The combination of Palle Mikkelborg’s arrangements, the Royal Danish Symphony Orchestra and the Danish Radio Big Band is present only on six tracks on the first disc, and whilst such forces are both complementary of and slightly enhancing for the music of the Evans, Gomez and Morell trio, I’d find it hard to regret their absence, if only because they take up space that the trio could just as easily fill unaccompanied. That said, the forces gel wonderfully on Time Remembered, resulting in a deeply resonant performance.

The second disc consists of six solo performances and ten trio. Of the former, Re: Person I Knew is reflective; the segue into ’Round Midnight comes out of the blue, reminding us that we’re in the presence of a sharp musical mind; the Evans, Gomez and Morell trio reading of Elsa has about it the air of every positive element of the extensive Evans catalogue.

CD1: Come Rain Or Come Shine; Someday My Prince Will Come; Beautiful Love; I Should Care; Very Early; Time Remembered; Who Can I Turn To; Waltz For Debby; Intro into Waltz For Debby; Time Remembered; My Bells; Treasures; Waltz For Debby (Reprise); Walkin’ Up (66.52)
CD2: Re: Person I Knew; ’Round Midnight; My Funny Valentine; Time Remembered; Come Rain Or Come Shine; Epilogue; Elsa; Stella By Starlight; Detour Ahead; in A Sentimental Mood; Time Remembered; Nardis; Autumn Leaves; Emily; Quiet Now; Nardis (71.26)
Evans (p); Niels-Henning Orsted Pedersen, Eddie Gomez (b); Alan Dawson, Alex Riel, Marty Morell (d); The Royal Danish Symphony Orchestra; Danish Radio Big Band featuring Palle Mikkelborg (t, arr, cond) Allan Botschinsky, Idrees Sulieman (t); Torolf Molgaard (tb); Jesper Thilo, Sahib Shihab (reeds). CD1, 1-3: Copenhagen Jazz Festival, Tivolis Koncertsal, Copenhagen, 31 October 1965. CD1, 4-8: Slotsmarksskolen, Holbaek, 28 November 1965. CD1, 9-14: TV-Byen, Copenhagen, November 1969. CD2, 1-6: Danmarks Radio, Radiohuset, Copenhagen, late November 1965. CD2, 7-12: Danmarks Radio, Copenhagen, late October 1966. CD2, 13-16: Stakladen, Aarhus, Denmark, 21 November 1969.
Elemental Music 5990444