Bill Evans (1929-1980) and Stan Getz (1927-1991) were, after Evans's ex-employer Miles Davis, the great romantic improvisers of the postwar era. Evans's twilit, inner-directed piano and Getz's velvety, susurant tenor saxophone wrought nightly miracles from the song form they treasured, at once elucidating and elevating it. They were Sinatras who did not need words.
Evans and Getz had met but once in the recording studio. A decade later they were reunited on the European concert circuit; the sublime music herein is taken from engagements in Holland and Belgium during the summer of 1974.
Backed by the trio that the pianist kept together the longest (and is featured without Getz on "See-Saw" and "The Two Lonely People"), the tenor saxophonist flourishes. Three of the eight quartet selections ("Grandfather's Waltz," "But Beautiful," and "Funkallero," the latter of which showcases the principals at their outgoing best) stem from the 1964 studio date. But it is deeply felt ballads like "Lover Man" and especially the tenor/piano duet on pianist Jimmy Rowles's elegiac "The Peacocks," which receives what may well be the definitive reading, that make one wish that these interpretive geniuses had collaborated more often.