Bill Evans – California Here I Come (1967)

Despite reinventing the jazz piano trio, Bill Evans was often accused of providing little more than sophisticated supper-club background music. He trades introspection for upbeat on this entertaining live set featuring the propulsive drumming of ‘Philly’ Joe Jones and Evans’ new young bassist Eddie Gomez. This trio swings and sparkles through a varied song-list that includes show tunes, some jazz standards and a few originals. Group improvisation is still paramount but the rigid song structures ensured there was little of the castles-in-the-clouds meandering that was prominent on many Bill Evans Trio recordings. Loyal fans of course will happily listen to Evans play an hour of scales, but for casual listeners there is much here to be engaged by.

 

 

 

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