This tune always brought out a different side of Bill Evans. Even Evans seemed to realize it. He would pull out "Funkallero" when he needed a gritty jam-session tune, suitable for horn players. He took pride in how tenorist Zoot Sims was inspired by these changes on this version, and Evans relied on "Funkallero" on several occasions when the pianist joined forces with Stan Getz
. Sims's solo is masterful, but Evans follows in a driving, hard-bop groove that may surprise you. If you think that Bill Evans was only worth hearing on dreamy ballads, check out this track.
In this rare studio encounter between two of the era's most lyrical and romantic improvisers, we find an uncharacteristically aggressive Stan Getz. Perhaps the infectious restlessness of the rhythm section of bassist Ron Carter and the energetic Elvin Jones on drums is the accelerant that lights Getz's fire. Evans is less introspective than usual, but defers to the powerhouse performances of Jones and Getz, who spur each other on to new heights of excitement. While Evans may have been a bit uncomfortable with the seemingly inexhaustible energy of the dynamic Jones, the pianist's tune makes a perfect vehicle for Jones and Getz to strut their stuff. In particular, Jones's solo in the song's waning minute is pure napalm. And certainly the drummer stirred something in Getz's soul. The scorching inventiveness from Getz's steroidal infused saxophone, elevated to a new level of spontaneity and drive, is what makes the session so special. This piece is like gasoline in a can on a hot summer day – incendiary.
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