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Bill Evans (Piano): California Here I Come

Album Notes

Though Bill Evans's work with his Paul Motian/Scott LaFaro group is rightfully celebrated, many of his later ensembles have been unjustly overlooked. One such unit is his trio with bassist Eddie Gomez and the great Philly Joe Jones on drums. CALIFORNIA HERE I COME, recorded live at the Village Vanguard in 1967, was first released in 1982 as a double album, and was reissued (on a single CD) by Verve in 2004.

As with Evans's other trios, a subtle, dynamic, and infallible interplay is paramount. Evans's playing is as nuanced, fluid, and masterful as ever. However, there is another element with this group--an exuberance rarely heard in Evans's work. Gomez and Jones (the latter an old-school master who blends light beat-keeping with sharp, intense polyrhythms) push Evans to new heights of expression on originals ("Turn Out the Stars") and on numerous standards ("Stella by Starlight" and "'Round Midnight" are highlights). That Evans matches the depth of his usual lyricism with high-spirited, ferocious swing makes this set a necessary addition to any fan's collection.


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