Bill Evans was such a looming force as a trio pianist that people tend to overlook his achievements in a quintet context. A few sessions made the point throughout his career, though, like this 1976 date that was one of Evans's personal favorites. With longtime friend Philly Joe Jones plus new-to-Evans associates Harold Land, Kenny Burrell, and Ray Brown, the ensemble is stellar to say the least; and the players strike a comfortably creative groove on a program that includes originals by trumpeters Thad Jones and Kenny Wheeler, plus Burrell's blowing tune "Bass Face." And how fascinating to hear Ray Brown, the man who defined bass playing in the pre-Evans-trio style, finally making music with the pianist.
with Harold Land, Kenny Burrell, Ray Brown, Philly Joe Jones