Bill Evans: Elsa




Bill Evans (piano)


Explorations (Riverside RCD-9351-2)

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Bill Evans (piano), Scott LaFaro (bass), Paul Motian (drums).

Composed by Earl Zindars


Recorded: New York, February 2, 1961


Rating: 100/100 (learn more)

During the final studio session by a short-lived but long-loved trio, Evans and LaFaro were reportedly so miffed at one another they weren't speaking. At least, not verbally. Musically, however, they (and Motian) were sublimely in sync, and nowhere more so than on drummer Earl Zindars's lovely waltz tribute to his wife, "Elsa." Beautifully recorded by soundman Bill Stoddard, Evans's piano simply sings, from delicate single-note passages to masterfully subdued block chords. With LaFaro mercifully keeping his monstrous technique in check, and Motian providing his customary sensitive support, the piece belongs to Evans, and his performance belongs to the ages.

Reviewer: Alan Kurtz

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  • 1 Jan Stevens // Dec 15, 2007 at 09:53 PM
    Alan's comments are spot on about this track. Interestingly, the version Bill did with Cannonball Adderley on the album "Know What I Mean" is just as good, if not even more inspired. On that track, Evans' solo is note-for-note logical, heartfelt and just about perfect.