quarta-feira, 16 de setembro de 2020

Bill Evans - Explorations

AllMusic Review by   [-]

When this album was recorded in February of 1961, it had been more than year since the Portrait in Jazz was issued, the disc that won the critics over. By the time of this issue, Evans had released four albums in six years, a pace unheard of during that time. Most musicians were issuing two, three, and even four records a year during the same era. Many speculate on Evans' personal problems at the time, but the truth of the matter lies in the recordings themselves, and Explorations proves that the artist was worth waiting for no matter what else was going on out there. Evans, with Paul Motian and Scott LaFaro, was onto something as a trio, exploring the undersides of melodic and rhythmic constructions that had never been considered by most. For one thing, Evans resurrects a number of tunes that had been considered hopelessly played out, and literally reinvents them -- "How Deep Is the Ocean" and "Sweet and Lovely." His harmonic richness that extends the melodic and color palette of these numbers literally revived them from obscurity and brought them back into the canon. He also introduced "Haunted Heart" into the jazz repertoire, with a wonderfully impressionistic melodic structure, offered space, and depth by the understatement of Motian and extension by LaFaro's canny use of intervals. Also noteworthy is Miles Davis' "Nardis," which Evans first played on a Cannonball Adderley set a couple of years before. The rhythmic workout by the Motian and LaFaro places Evans' own playing in a new context, with shorter lines, chopping up the meter, and a series of arpeggios that open the ground for revelatory solo in counterpoint by LaFaroExplorations is an extraordinary example of the reach and breadth of this trio at its peak.

"Israel" "Haunted Heart" "Beautiful Love" [Take 2] "Elsa" "Nardis" "How Deep Is the Ocean?" "I Wish I Knew" (Harry Warren) "Sweet and Lovely" "The Boy Next Door" "Beautiful Love" [Take 1] "How Deep Is the Ocean?" [Take 2] "I Wish I Knew" [Take 2]

Bill Evans (p)
Scott LaFaro (b)
Paul Motian (dr)

Explorations is an album by jazz pianist Bill Evans that was originally released on Riverside label in 1961.
The album won the Billboard Jazz Critics Best Piano LP poll for 1961. Released: End of March 1961 Recorded: February 2, 1961 Label: Riverside Producer: Orrin Keepnews
Explorations was the second album Evans recorded with his trio of Scott LaFaro on bass and Paul Motian on drums. Evans considered it one of his favorites from this period. Producer Orrin Keepnews in the liner notes talks about the two extra pieces released on CD, "Beautiful Love (take 1)" and "The Boy Next Door"; the first version of "Beautiful Love" to be included in the original LP was a second take, in fact as Keepnews specifies, "it is not the usual case of a second attempt that immediately followed the first. Early in this date, he played this number once; we both approved, and he moved on to something else. Much later, he decided to try a second 'Beautiful Love', which he later preferred." "The Boy Next Door" was instead set aside, at the time, because of the limited space of LP support. The album was remastered and reissued by Original Jazz Classics in 2011 with two previously unissued alternate takes.

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