4

096: Bill Evans (solo), ‘Easy To Love’

After bassist Scott LaFaro died, Bill Evans gave up music and focused on his voracious heroin habit. It was a bleak time. Six months later, Evans made an aborted attempt to record a solo album, a eulogy to LaFaro. The resulting four cuts are uneven, unfinished, unpolished. But they are a man’s soul speaking directly, without mediation, without technical obstacles: Evans, his pain, and the music: “I have always preferred playing without an audience.”

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8

079: Miles Davis, ‘So What’ (“Kind of Blue”)

THE masterpiece, universally acknowledged . By rockers, by rappers, by jazzists, by aficionados and cognoscenti, by layfolk and by elevator riders. A monolith of lyric beauty and depth.
It is perfect.

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2

244: Bill Evans/Miles Davis, ‘On Green Dolphin Street’

Moledro — a feeling of resonant connection with an artist.
Some disparate notions about Bill Evans, all of them moledros.

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2

060: The Bill Evans Trio, ‘Gloria’s Step’ from “Live at The Village Vanguard”

I’ve decided.
If I could take just one single piece of music to my desert island, it would be this.

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2

209: The Real Group: ‘Monica Vals’ (‘Waltz for Debby’)

When they say ‘The voice is the only instrument made by God’, they’re thinking of Margareta Bengston of The Real Group singing Bill Evans’ ‘Waltz for Debby’. Four minutes in heaven.

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19

124: Bill Evans, ‘Nardis’

In 1980, Bill Evans knew he was dying from his life-long drug habit. In a harrowing burst of creative energy, he raged against ‘the dying of the light’ night after night in these relentless, probing, solo piano introductions to ‘Nardis’.

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