sat 04/04/2020

CD: Chick Corea, Eddie Gomez, Paul Motian - Further Explorations | reviews, news & interviews

CD: Chick Corea, Eddie Gomez, Paul Motian - Further Explorations

CD: Chick Corea, Eddie Gomez, Paul Motian - Further Explorations

A brilliant homage to the music of Bill Evans

Corea, Gomez, Motian: united by a shared love for the music of Bill Evans

Recorded live at New York's Blue Note during a two-week residency, this double CD celebrating the music and legacy of the jazz pianist and composer, Bill Evans (1929-80), stirs the soul even as it breaks your heart a little.

Recorded live at New York's Blue Note during a two-week residency, this double CD celebrating the music and legacy of the jazz pianist and composer, Bill Evans (1929-80), stirs the soul even as it breaks your heart a little. Drummer Paul Motian, a member of the first Bill Evans Trio with Scott LaFaro on bass - widely recognised as one of the most influential piano trios in jazz - passed away in November last year.

Disc one sees piano maestro Chick Corea, together with Motian and another Evans alumnus, bassist Eddie Gomez, dusting down two Evans originals, “Peri’s Scope” from Portrait in Jazz and the translucent ballad “Laurie", from We Will Meet Again. Two cuts from the classic Sunday at the Village Vanguard (“Gloria's Step” and “Alice in Wonderland”) and Thelonious Monk’s “Little Rootie Tootie” are all standouts, but the real surprise is “Song No. 1”, a piece that Evans had apparently worked on for years but never recorded, which Corea transcribed especially for Further Explorations.

Disc two features two more Evans originals, a bracingly full-bodied reading of “Very Early” and a rhapsodic “Turn Out the Stars” (Gomez's introductory bowed solo is stunning), plus originals by all three players, of which Corea’s “Another Tango” offers some nicely contrasting, Piazzolla-like piquancy. Memorably recorded by Evans in duet with Tony Bennett, it's great to see Jimmy Van Heusen and Johnny Burke’s “But Beautiful” included here.

The trio's technical command hardly needs stating. What's remarkable is the way in which they evoke, and expand on, the concept of simultaneous improvisation which marked out the original Evans trio. You can only marvel at the way in which they subtly balance the sophisticated harmonic thinking, transcendent lyricism and sense of discovery so characteristic of Evans's music.

Watch a clip of the trio performing at the Blue Note, NYC

They evoke, and expand on, the concept of simultaneous improvisation which marked out the original Evans trio

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