Bill Evans: Waltz for Debby (live version, 1961)
Waltz for Debby (take 2)
Bill Evans (piano)
The Complete Village Vanguard Recordings, 1961 (Riverside 3RCD-4443-2)
Recorded: New York, June 25, 1961
Rating: 100/100 (learn more)
Because of this historic evening of music, “Waltz for Debby” has become one of the most familiar tunes in jazz. Opening the fourth of five sets that June evening in 1961, Bill Evans states the beautiful theme in ¾ time as Scott LaFaro plucks his considered notes on the upright. After a minute, the pace picks up and Paul Motian moves his brushes to action. Another round through the head, and Evans is off, taking his solo well away from the melody but always within the harmonic framework. Motian doesn’t do much more than keeping time, but LaFaro listens intently to Evans and Evans to LaFaro – their ideas synch up so naturally. This is the evening, and perhaps the tune, that would influence generations of pianists.
Reviewer: Steve Greenlee