Live at the Top of the Gate
The non-profit jazz label Resonance Records is releasing a stellar recording by one of jazz’s greatest trios. On October 23, 1968, in Greenwich Village, legendary pianist Bill Evans was joined by bassist Eddie Gomez and drummer Marty Morell for two top-notch sets, represented here in their entirety. Aired only once, on Columbia University radio station WKCR-FM, this concert hasn’t been heard for more than forty years and has never been released in any form.
The contest is over (congrats to Hugh), but you can purchase the limited-edition 3-LP box set (180 gram vinyl pressed on 12-inch LPs at 45 RPM by RTI; deluxe hand-numbered box by Ross-Ellis, mastered by Bernie Grundman) here.
Check out some of the best responses we got from our readers about why they love Bill Evans:
Oh man, Bill Evans. I have only one LP of his, “Further Conversation With Myself”, but it’s a masterpiece. (His albums usually are a bit pricey) I remember being blown away by the genius and simplicity of the album. The concept was well executed and well thought out! I have much respect for Bill Evans, and would absolutely love to have some more of his music on vinyl.
Bill’s version of ‘jazz’ changed my life. The spaces, the intervals, the mood. It resonates with my vibrancy. It shakes my nervous system. This is a good thing.
It helps me to be more human.
I don’t know much about Bill Evans. My father, however, is a big fan. He talks all the time about having seen the man play years and years ago. I grew up hearing Bill Evans a lot, though I couldn’t tell you much about it beyond the strong association with my father. Last month, I got my father a record player, five years after he had lost his, along with all of his records, to flood damage. So, while I can’t tell you how much I love Bill Evans, I can tell you that my dad really loves his music, and winning this contest would make for a pretty incredible Fathers Day gift!
I love Bill Evans! Sunday at the Village Vanguard/Waltz for Debby will always be go-to albums for me, and knowing that Scott LaFaro would die just weeks after that set makes those recordings all the more important.Conversations with Myself is an amazing feat of improvisation and imagination. I also love 1974′s Intuition with Eddie Gomez; “Face Without a Name” is utterly haunting. I’d love to hear Evans and Gomez several years earlier in their musical relationship. Thanks.
how much do i love bill evans?
hard to say, but let’s put it this way:
whenever i need inspiriational music, full of detail and passion – i take bill evans.
the very first track i heard from bill evans was nardis..
a brilliant and sophisticated piece of jazz history by the man on the piano himself – bill evans.
from the first moment of listening to bill evans – he got me.
I’m a huge fan of Bill Evans. Picked up the EP release from this set on record store day in April, and want to get the full set.
He was the cream in the coffee. Master at his craft in delicacy but strong intention. A devoted preacher with a difficult faith – the empowering status of melody over rhythm
Bill Evans is one of the most emotive instrumentalists of all time and
has influenced an entire of players, myself included!
His rendition of “My Foolish Heart” in particular gets me every
time…man that touch!!
Thanks for the cool contest opportunity! Nothing like Bill on vinyl!
why do i love bill evans?
as a milestone to the 60ies era of jazz, bill evans never fails to bring up the sweetest feelings in me through his sophisticated and detailed ways with the piano.
so much love & passion for his instrument – definitely one of the greatest in jazz that ever was and will be.
if you don’t love him, you just don’t know him.
“He plays the piano the way it should be played.”
- Miles Davis
I’m a big fan of your magazine, and of Bill Evans! I love his versatility. You can put him on to zone out or to concentrate on the licks and style. Dude played on Kind of Blue, fer chrissake! New Evans recordings are treasures– and on virgin wax, no less. I’m used to the battered OPs.
My love for Bill Evans’ music has is just about to turn 25.
I had ‘discovered’ him while working in a jazz music store, way back in 87. I did not know anything about jazz, and like a typically late teen, was into arena rock and ‘rubbish’ 80s pop ;)
That has changed almost immediately, as the first album I was ‘ordered’ to listen to by the shop owner was Miles’ ‘Kind OF Blue’. I was blown away (excuse the pun) by Miles, but even more so but the magnificent lyricism of Evans. I had been converted to Jazz overnight.
Since then, I have tried my best to get hold of any recording of Evans’ – good periods and bad. Evans always brings light into my heart, a ray of sunlight to pierce the darkest of hours.
Bill has journeyed with me through my wild 20s and wilder 30s. Bill has seen me hit bottom and bounce back. Evans has always been there, and will alwasy stay there with me.
And now Bill is helping instill this love of humanity with my own 2 sons.
At 2.5 and 3 months, they are becoming fans of Evans. Yes, they are still too young to comprehend the music, but they do love it. It is never to early to start with the greats, and Bills ‘You must believe in spring’ has become a bedtime favorite.
Can you imagine a better way of slipping into the night? I cannot.
See link and I dare you not to shed a tear~
Bill Evans is in a musical universe all of his own. His playing transports the listener to a place contemplative and yet with feeling and groove. I thank the stars that he inhabited our world while he did and that his musical creations remain with us.
After Paul Motian’s recent passing, I went back to the Bill Evans recordings…. those trio sessions are amazing.
Looking forward to hearing these Resonance recordings.
I love Mr. Evans because he looks like my dad. And I learned to play the bass by playing his tunes. And this:
He taught me about the Universal Musical Mind.
I enter this contest not to win this LP box set for myself, but for my brother. He is the reason I love music, including jazz. He introduced me to Bill Evans before I entered high school. He is why I played the piano, collect records, and read Wax Poetics. He is a massive audiophile with a personal vinyl collection numbering somewhere over 10,000.
Growing up he would wake me up early in the morning by playing the piano located next to my bedroom and would later convince me to accompany him while he practiced soloing. He entered the high school jazz band at age 12 and subsequently founded their first ever jazz combo which went on to compete and play gigs. He did this at a small public high school where music classes were held in a condemned biology room and the music program had virtually no budget whatsoever.
We have spent countless hours sitting in his car with a stack of CDs or on his bed with a portable record player listening to all the new music he’d encountered since the last time we saw each other. He will call me or text me pictures of his latest treasures with the same verve as Ralphie getting a Red Ryder BB gun for Christmas. He finds great joy in sharing music with everyone who will listen and savors the opportunity to expose people to his aurally enlightened world.
“Waltz For Debby” was the soundtrack for the first time I fell in love.
I’ve been a fan of Bill Evans work for the past 20 yrs and own several of his albums (Everybody Digs Bill Evans, Explorations, Bill Evans at Town Hall, Autumn Leaves, and But Beautiful) .. his composition “Peace Piece” from his album Everybody Digs Bill Evans stands is one of my favorite compositions of all time.. for its simpleness & beauty.. I liked it so much I played it at my wedding.
I have only been listening to Bill Evans’ music for the last 7 or 8 years, when a friend turned me on to him. Ever since though, I have been devouring his releases rabidly, delighting in his digital deftness. I only own a few of his records on vinyl because the used copies are usually really beat up or very expensive. I have purchased some of the reissues but it seems I can never find what I’m looking for in a record store. Hopefully, that means others love the music just as much and have beaten me to it. I try to share his music with anyone I know who has not had the opportunity to know it, kind of as a “pay it forward” for my friend blessing me with the chance. His playing just transports me out of body, and out of mind, allowing me to leave behind the worries of my days if only for a while. Essential listening for me, and i know there’s still more to discover. And I look forward to it.
I am from the midwest and have never been to NYC. When my folks used to have house parties my dad would always play his Bill Evans records and talk about his days in college when he would go see him in the early sixties. Now I have kids and am looking forward to introducing them to Bill Evans, hoping his music will paint the imagery of NYC for them, like it did for me when I was their age.
Man, I love Bill Evans. He’s the soundtrack to my Sunday mornings. Thanks for sponsoring the contest. Sounds like a terrific release.
startling patterns, blends & compositions-thats what I love about Mr.Bill Evans, a kaleidoscope of tones. Fortunately, gives me the goosebumps, everytime……..
thanks for this opportunity! Bill Evans was the first jazz pianist I ever got into. I borrowed my music teachers binder full of CDs and burned everything he owned including a Bill Evans recording called “Trio ’65″. I used to come home from high school and listen to that album over and over and over while i worked until i could sing every single piano. I recently taught a course at Vassar College to my peers inwhich we examined the evolution of Miles Davis’ music. I opened the course with ‘Blue in Green’ off Kind of Blue and we explored the way Bill Evans establishes a textural and harmonic atmosphere that defined that record. No one plays the piano like Bill Evans; he may truly be the crossover point between Western classical traditions and jazz harmony that evolved in the mid 1950s. I would love to own this collection! Thanks
Oh gosh I love Bill Evans’ music and have as long as I can remember, which is pretty long actually.
Why is that? Well I love his song choices, for one thing, and his seraphic touch, and his intense lyricism, especially on the slowest ballads like “My Foolish Heart” and his “Time Remembered” and also covers like “I Love you Porgy.” My favorite Bill Evans is of the early sixties on Riverside Records. But I can’t wait to hear these 1968 performances.
I love the great pianist Bill Evans, b/c he simply makes my soul feel good.
last week i played bill evans version of “some other time” for a 95 year friend of its composer, lenny bernstein.
Bill Evans is right behind Monk in my book for greatest pianist ever… not just in jazz. He plays so clean but with undeniable soul. I’d LOVE this set… the teaser on the Resonance Records site is woefully slim on the selections, but the track listing looks terrific. My turntable is salivating too…
I enjoyed Bill so much I named my son after him
This phenomenally skilled and intelligently lyrical pianist made Swedish jazz singer Monica Zetterlund an even bigger star than she already was when they recorded the LP “Waltz for Debby” together, an album that will always remain on my Top 10.
Bill Evans is in, my opinion, one of the greatest American jazz pianist. When I initially took my first musical plunge into the world of jazz I leaned heavily on the greats; Miles, Monk, Coltrane, etc. I was pleasantly surprised when I ran across the name Bill Evans. The first album I remember purchasing was Alone. Here’s that Rain Day a beautiful piece that I can play at any time of the day and it puts a smile on my face.
i love putting on some bill evans, opening a bottle of wine and sitting down to a nice relaxing evening!
My first exposure to Bill Evans was, like most people, Kind of Blue. Through that work I explored the works of Paul Chambers, Wynton Kelly and Bill Evans.
Through Kind of Blue I found Conversations With Myself, which I believe to be a masterful work. It’s great for working, it’s great for dinner, it’s great during a commute, and it’s a perennial Sunday morning vinyl favorite.
Researching Bill Evans and his trios is a never-ending quest as it seems like there is always another performance or album coming out of the wood work. Scott LaFaro’s death is a tragedy and it’s impact on Evans has fascinated me for years.
When I started to dig into Jazz, there was only a few number of record stores that had Jazz records in my country – South Korea -, and their collections weren’t very various. Bill Evans had been the one and only pianist for me for a long time. I’ve learned how to read, feel, compose, play music from Evans, and now I am a self-taught musician – more correctly, taught by legendary jazz musicians, especially Bill Evans!
a friend of mine passed on his copy of Bill Evans “Live at the Village Vanguard” and I have been hooked ever since. Looking forward to hearing these releases, one way or the other.
I absolutely love Bill Evans. His music is the epitome of beauty for me. So expressive… when I play his music I close my eyes and listen deeply, the only way to listen to him really. I don’t want to miss the all beautiful spaces between the notes.
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