One of Evans’ most famous collaborations was The Tony Bennett/ Bill Evans Album (1975). “Young And Foolish” is a great example of these two giants working together.
For some of us, the purest distillation of Evans’ amazing talent is his unaccompanied piano pieces. “Peace Piece” may be the most famous of these, it is certainly an incredible track. Then there is the medley of “Spartacus” and Miles Davis’ “Nardis.” The 8:40 solo cut is something I could listen to all day long. The man was a genius.
Despite his losses over the years, and a habit he struggled with all his life, Bill Evans remained as sharp as ever right up to the end. This is exemplified in no uncertain terms on pieces such as “Eiderdown” and the title track from his final Fantasy LP I Will Say Goodbye (1977).
Although it took a while for Evans to receive full acknowledgement as the basic architect of Miles Davis’ Kind Of Blue - one listen to that album makes it fairly obvious who was leading the band. It is that type of quiet, yet insistent leadership that makes his solo work so compelling as well. It would be hard to imagine a better introduction to the genius of Bill Evans than this two-CD set.