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Playlist: Riverside Records

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Leafing through the catalogue of Riverside, a label founded by Orrin Keepnews in 1953, you wander through the modernity of jazz in the 50s and meet the great innovators of their time: Thelonious Monk, Bill Evans, Sonny Rollins, Chet Baker and Wes Montgomery. The New York label, which ceased its activities in 1964, is still one of the most inventive in the hi...

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Riverside Records

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Title Artist Album Duration
1
Waltz for Debby (Take 2) (Album Version)
Bill Evans The Definitive Bill Evans on Riverside and Fantasy 00:07:01

Bill Evans, ComposerLyricist - The Bill Evans Trio, MainArtist

℗ 2010 Concord Music Group Inc.

2
Pannonica (Re-take 2)
Thelonious Monk Monk. 00:09:02

Charlie Rouse, Tenor Saxophone - Larry Gales, Bass - Teo Macero, Producer - Thelonious Monk, Composer - Thelonious Monk, Piano - Thelonious Monk, Lyricist - Thelonious Monk, Performer - Ben Riley, Drums

(P) 2002 Sony Music Entertainment Inc.

3
'Round Midnight (Album Version)
Wes Montgomery Pretty Blue [2-fer] 00:04:55

Wes Montgomery Trio, Wes Montgomery Trio

℗ 1987 Fantasy, Inc.

Sonny Rollins, interprète - Sonny Clark, interprète - Percy Chambers, interprète - Roy Haynes, interprète - Percy Heath, interprète - Wayne, compositeur - libbey, compositeur

2010 Tsk Music

5
In Orbit
Thelonious Monk The Complete Riverside Recordings 00:04:39

Thelonious Monk, MainArtist - Clark Terry, ComposerLyricist - Orrin Keepnews, Producer - Clark Terry Quartet, MainArtist

℗ 1986 Fantasy, Inc.

6
Caravan (Hd Remastered Edition)
Kenny Drew Trio Kenny Drew Trio (Hd Remastered Edition) 00:04:56

Kenny Drew Trio, Performer - Kenny Drew, Composer, Writer

Resurfaced Records

Oscar Pettiford, Double Bass, AssociatedPerformer - Kenny Dorham, MainArtist - Hank Jones, Piano, AssociatedPerformer - Gene De Paul, Composer - Don Raye, ComposerLyricist - Sonny Rollins, Tenor Saxophone, FeaturedArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Max Roach, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Patricia Johnston, ComposerLyricist

℗ 1957 Fantasy, Inc.

8
The Fuzz (Instrumental)
East Coast All-Stars Blues For Tomorrow 00:06:10

George Wallington, MainArtist - Idrees Sulieman, MainArtist - Bobby Jaspar, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist

℗ 1957 Riverside Records

9
'Round Midnight (Remastered)
Gerry Mulligan My Sweet Home 00:08:29

Gerry Mulligan, Performer - Thelonious Sphere Monk, Composer - Charles Melvin Williams, Composer - Bernard Hanighen, Composer

That's What Records

10
Brother, Where Are You? (Remastered)
Abbey Lincoln The Remasters (All Tracks Remastered) 00:03:07

Abbey Lincoln, Artist, MainArtist - Oscar Brown, Composer, Author - D.R, OriginalPublisher

2020 Millenium Digital Remaster 2020 J. Joes J. Edizioni Musicali

11
Out of the Past
Benny Golson Best Jazz Players (Remastered) 00:06:23

Benny Golson, Performer, Composer

Ornithology Rec

12
Imagination
Jean (Toots) Thielemans Man Bites Harmonica! 00:04:31

Burke, Composer - Van Heusen, Composer - Jean Thielemans, Artist, MainArtist

Milestones Records Milestones Records

13
The Freedom Suite
Various Interprets Best of Jazz Saxophone Vol.2 - 50 Songs 00:19:26

Sonny Rollins, interprète - Sonny Rollins, compositeur

Tsk Music Tsk Music

14
Woody'n You (Instrumental)
Johnny Griffin The Best Of Johnny Griffin 00:06:12

Dizzy Gillespie, ComposerLyricist - Johnny Griffin Sextet, MainArtist

℗ 1958 Riverside Records

15
You're My Thrill (Live)
Pepper Adams Quintet 10 to 4 At the 5-Spot (Live, Mono Version) 00:05:06

Pepper Adams Quintet, Performer - Clare , Composer - Gorney, Composer

1961 - BNF Collection 2013

16
How High The Moon (Album Version)
Chet Baker Essential Standards 00:03:37

Chet Baker, MainArtist - Nancy Hamilton, Author - Morgan Lewis, Composer - Orrin Keepnews, Producer

℗ 2007 Fantasy, Inc.

17
Blue Concept
Nat Adderley Quintet Much Brass (HD Remastered) 00:07:38

Wynton Kelly, MainArtist - Gryce, Composer, Lyricist - Nat Adderley Sextet, MainArtist

2018 Reborn Recordings 2018 Reborn Recordings

18
Stablemates (Remastered)
Philly Joe Jones Best Jazz Players (Remastered) 00:05:55

Philly Joe Jones, Performer - Benny Golson, Composer

Ornithology Rec

19
Goin' Home (Album Version)
Yusef Lateef The Three Faces Of Yusef Lateef 00:05:02

Antonín Dvorák, Composer - Yusef Lateef, MainArtist - William Fischer Arms, Author

℗ 1992 Fantasy, Inc.

20
Thelonious (Live At Town Hall / 1959)
Thelonious Monk The Complete Riverside Recordings 00:03:03

Thelonious Monk, Composer - Orrin Keepnews, Producer - The Thelonious Monk Orchestra, MainArtist

℗ 1959 Fantasy, Inc.

21
Deeds, Not Words
Max Roach Deeds, Not Words (Original Jazz Sound) 00:04:32

Max Roach, Performer - Booker Little, Performer - George Coleman, Performer - Ray Draper, Performer - Art Davis, Performer - Lee, Composer

2010 Tsk Music

22
Goodbye
Various Artists Jazz Pies, Vol. 2 00:06:15

Cannonball Adderley, Primary

2015 White Christmas Records

Coleman Hawkins, Performer - J.J Johnson, Performer - Idrees Sulieman, Performer - Hank Jones, Performer - Barry Galbraith, Performer - Oscar Pettiford, Performer - Jo Jones, Performer - Jones, Composer

2012 Tsk Music

24
The Way You Look Tonight
Chet Baker Sad Walk 00:06:23

Chet Baker, Performer

2008 Le Chant du Monde

25
Nardis (Album Version)
Various Artists The Riverside Records Story 00:04:39

Miles Davis, ComposerLyricist - George Russell, MainArtist

℗ 2007 Riverside Records/Fantasy, Inc.

26
The More I See You
Chet Baker Chet Baker: 100 Masterpieces 00:03:02

Warren, Lyricist - Gordon, Composer - Chet Baker, MainArtist

Tsk Music Tsk Music

27
Strut Time
Benny Golson Best Jazz Players (Remastered) 00:06:04

Benny Golson, Performer, Composer

Ornithology Rec

28
Israel (Album Version)
Bill Evans Riverside Profiles: Bill Evans 00:06:08

Bill Evans, Piano, AssociatedPerformer - PAUL MOTIAN, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - John Carisi, ComposerLyricist - Orrin Keepnews, Producer - Bill Evans Trio, MainArtist - Scott LaFaro, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Bill Stoddard, Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 1961 Riverside, Inc.

Milt Jackson, Performer - Wes Montgomery, Performer - Jackson, Composer

7thwonders

30
Jade Visions (Take 2)
Bill Evans 1956-1961: The CompleteDe Luxe Collection 00:03:45

Bill Evans Trio, Performer

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About Playlist

Leafing through the catalogue of Riverside, a label founded by Orrin Keepnews in 1953, you wander through the modernity of jazz in the 50s and meet the great innovators of their time: Thelonious Monk, Bill Evans, Sonny Rollins, Chet Baker and Wes Montgomery. The New York label, which ceased its activities in 1964, is still one of the most inventive in the history of jazz today.

Bill Evans in 10 Albums

by Marc Zisman

Without him, Keith Jarrett, Brad Mehldau and a few thousand other jazz pianists would play differently. Forty years after his death, the legacy of Bill Evans hasn’t lost any of its influence. On the contrary, it is difficult to sort through his bottomless discography without finding even an incidental recording that doesn’t tower above 90% of the competition. Here are 10 of his albums, subjectively selected…

Conversations with Myself (Verve, 1963)
For his second album for Verve, Bill Evans’ two accomplices were… Bill Evans and Bill Evans. Conversations with Myself, as the title indicates, captures an exciting experience in re-recording. The pianist doesn’t just stack three overdubbed piano tracks upon each other but re-thinks his music in three very distinct ways. Each track is a state of mind from a full-fledged artist. Behind that schizophrenic façade, Evans conjures completely accomplished recordings. Within this gigantic mirror effect, the lyricism of his piano takes on an even more infinite dimension, as in the theme for director Stanley Kubrick’s Spartacus composed by Alex North. In a few seconds, the listener forgets the novelty/gadget aspect to concentrate on the complex and beautiful melodic interlacing. Bill Evans would repeat the experience twice: in 1967 with Further Conversations with Myself and in 1978 with New Conversations on which he played a Fender Rhodes.

 

At the Montreux Jazz Festival (Verve, 1968)
While Bill Evans always forged long-term bonds with his bassists, his relationships with drummers was always, shall we say… complex? When he appeared at the Montreux Jazz Festival on June 15, 1968 with Eddie Gómez, the Puerto Rican bassist who would spend more than a decade by his side, he had no idea that the 25-year-old musician behind the traps, who’d made his name in the Charles Lloyd’s group, was about to transform the incipient live album into a pure masterpiece. Jack DeJohnette was ready to shake up Evans’ art with playing that was muscular and above all, relevant. These are daring musical phrases that still swing mightily, their zenith being the nuclear solo in Nardis. Playing the pianist’s favourite repertoire – Some Day My Prince Will Come and A Sleepin’ Bee DeJohnette unfolds an unprecedented freshness that inspires Bill Evans and pushes him to play beyond his own boundaries. Small wonder that the young drummer also knew the piano well, having played it as his first instrument… And let’s not forget Eddie Gómez who, in his Embraceable You solo, reminds us that he is a musical daredevil, a bulwark against the temptations of prettiness or sentimentality, as Evans himself would say…

 

Intuition (Fantasy, 1975)
While the trio remained his favourite configuration, Bill Evans always liked to shake things up. Solo, sextet, big band/orchestra (the stunning Living Time conducted by George Russell) and duo, as on this superb album recorded in November 1974 in California with Eddie Gómez, undoubtedly the double bassist with whom he enjoyed the closest harmonic convergence after the late LaFaro. Still resistant to most “modernist” inclinations (in the midst of the jazz-rock/jazz-fusion boom), the musician nonetheless has fun with his Fender Rhodes. “Electric piano is an instrument I consider a bit like the celesta or glockenspiel”, he explained in an interview with Jazz Magazine when the album was released. “From time to time, it feels good, it’s refreshing, it diversifies the sound. For certain things, like fast pieces, it’s perfect… But I remain very attached to the acoustic. For me, playing nothing but electric piano would be a disaster. There are just a lot of things that don’t work. But it’s useful for adding a bit of contrast.” And Intuition certainly does bring a certain contrast to a musical palette that remains characteristically “Evans”. Sound engineer Don Cody used a very precise filter, the Maestro Phaser, to achieve a singular Rhodes sound that perfectly pairs with the acoustic piano. With no drummer, the two men venture even further in their melodic explorations, managing as always to avoid the pitfalls of sentimentality. “Playing with only a bassist opens up new possibilities, it widens the space of the sound.” And when that bass is as inspiring and adventurous as Gómez’, the sky’s the limit! Fans of this fabulous duo can enjoy them further on the albums Eloquence (1975) and Montreux III (1976). 

You Must Believe in Spring (Warner Bros., 1981)
And if you could only keep one album… Recorded in August 1977 at Capitol studios in Los Angeles, the poignant You Must Believe in Spring, released 5 months after Bill Evans’ death, is a new pinnacle of pure musical beauty – distilled in sadness. The indispensable Eddie Gómez is obviously in the house, but steps lightly here, less voluble than usual. Drummer Eliot Zigmund, whom he met a year earlier, is equally impressionistic in his delicate use of the sticks and brushes. It’s an unprecedentedly melodic rhythm section that seems to have been designed exclusively to play with Evans… The posthumous album was finalized by Helen Keane, the pianist’s manager and producer, deliberately giving the album a melancholy, even dark tone. Death lurks in every song chosen. B Minor Waltz is dedicated to Ellaine Schultz, the pianist’s ex, who committed suicide by throwing herself under a subway train in 1973. We Will Meet Again is a tribute to Harry Evans, his brother and also a pianist, who committed suicide in 1979 (after the recording sessions). Finally, the theme to Robert Altman’s film M.A.S.H., written by Johnny Mandel, is subtitled Suicide is Painless. Through it all, Bill Evans and his rhythm section glorify and elevate the melancholy on what is without doubt his most moving record.
The Paris Concert: Edition One + Edition Two (Elektra/Musician, 1983 & 1984)
He is just 50 and yet bears all the weary stigma of an old man. When he stopped over in Paris, at Espace Cardin, on November 26, 1979, Bill Evans had still not recovered from his brother’s suicide a few months earlier. His body, ravaged by heroin and cocaine, was held upright by music alone. With a young rhythm section of double bassist Marc Johnson and drummer Joe LaBarbera, he nonetheless achieves a paranormal grace, as if liberated from his daily suffering. This live set, released in two parts in 1983 and 1984, perfectly captures this unexpected resurrection. Did some intuitive sense that the end was near empower Bill Evans to rediscover the verve of his legendary Village Vanguard trio? Johnson brings him the youthful exuberance of Scott LaFaro and, in some improvisations, pushes him to more and more creativity. His piano in the 17 minutes of Nardis, a Miles standard he played throughout his life, is quite unprecedented. The feeling is similar in Quiet Now by Denny Zeitlin, with LaBarbera’s endlessly subtle work. In short, the Paris Concert perfectly encapsulates the idea that, when facing death, your entire life flashes before your eyes.

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