Bill Evans – Evans in England

As far as vintages go, 1969 was one of the finest for pianist Bill Evans.

Having just formed his longest-lasting trio with bassist Eddie Gomez and drummer Marty Morell the year before, as well as temporarily kicking his heroin habit, ’69 marked Evans entering a new era of stability and exploratory creativity. And it’s this nascent self-discovery documented on a double album of Evans’ trio playing at London’s Ronnie Scott’s club that year.

Recorded by a French collector and Evans fan known only as “Jo,” the 18-track tape now has surfaced; the 84-year-old wanted it released to the public before his death. As live recordings go, Evans In England is particularly intimate; the basement confines of Ronnie’s absorbing the murmurations of the crowd, amplifying the twang of Gomez’s percussive plucking and booming to the hollow thuds of Morell’s kick drum. If you listen in, it’s as if you can hear the hushed chatter and foot-tapping from the tables beside you.

Read the review in Downbeat Magazine.

[This piece was published in the June 2019 Issue]