Bill Evans Trio – Portrait In Jazz
CD Album, Reissue, Remastered
Original Jazz Classics/Riverside Records
It all seems so effortless, but Bill Evans is a man who controls the heart of the song via his fingertips. On “Autumn Leaves” him and his bass player Scott LaFaro and drummer Paul Motian play with the melody as if it was a beach ball being thrown back and forth. Also the song is so sad sounding but Evans plays sort of a speed jazz version which tears into the melody and finds it playful.
There is something very tense and nervy about his playing and the arrangements. Thelonlous Monk is a musician that skirts around the melody, like he's cutting it from a cloth, but Evans just jumps in and tears it apart and sort of re-builds the song up again. What I like about jazz in general is how a musician looks at the music as if it was architecture. The artist is looking at the structure, and re-arranges the music to suit their purpose.
Portrait in Jazz is very much the classic jazz album with the classic jazz trio set-up. But beyond that it is quite remarkable to hear the musicians interact on this album, because one would think its the piano, and the bass and drums are supporting that instrument. But alas, I think each instrument here is playing with not against or supporting the piano. Powerful music.