Jazz

Waltzing In Memory

01 OCT 10 CHRIS SLAWECKI

The Bill Evans Trio's Waltz For Debby, now available as an Original Jazz Classics Remasters, was Riverside's follow-up to the pianist's treasured Sunday At The Village Vanguard, recorded with bassist Scott LaFaro and drummer Paul Motian during that same June 1961 date.

Waltz For Debby might be the perfect piano trio album, or at the very least one of them. This new remastering illuminates not only the rhythm section, but the rhythmic fire that burned within Evans' austere passion. LaFaro's bass refreshingly bubbles in the title track, chases Evans' ruminations in "Detour Ahead" into adventurous sidetracks, and helps drive "Milestones" (by Evans' most famous employer) into a polished and singularly bright sheen.

The profound and enduring beauty of "My Foolish Heart" and "Some Other Time" -- played with profound sensitivity and grace, sadly and madly beautiful -- can't be explained or described in words. Even so, I sincerely hope those words lead you to listen for yourself. You could spend a lifetime exploring his re-visioning of "I Loves You, Porgy," too. Evans would later revisit "Some Other Time" and "My Foolish Heart" with vocals on his brilliant duet set The Tony Bennett/Bill Evans Album (Fantasy, 1975). "My Romance" and the title track go back to New Jazz Conceptions (OJC), Evans' 1956 debut as a leader.

Scott LeFaro was killed in an automobile accident ten days after Waltz For Debby was recorded, and it's nearly impossible to listen to this music absent the aching wonder about what other beauty might have been.

in this playlist.