Bill Evans & Jim Hall: My Funny Valentine


My Funny Valentine


Bill Evans (piano) and Jim Hall (guitar)


Undercurrent (Blue Note 38228)

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Bill Evans (piano), Jim Hall (guitar).

Recorded: New York, May 14, 1962


Rating: 95/100 (learn more)

Stripped of any sentimentality, this fast aggressive version of the Rodgers & Hart classic shows Bill Evans and Jim Hall—two of the best-matched musicians in the history of jazz—engaged in a sprightly give and take. As they intensely listen to one another, there seems little either can play without the other finding a pithy and entirely appropriate answer. To cite just one example, near the end of the solos, Evans plays a fiercely rhythmic three-against-four pattern and Hall picks it up instantly; it turns out to be the climax of the recording. On the alternate take included on this CD, Evans merely hints at the pattern and not much happens. We don't know how many unissued and undocumented takes may have transpired between those we have, but there's little doubt that the two musicians had intensified their listening by the time the master was made.

Reviewer: Thomas Cunniffe

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