Saturday, April 2, 2011

Michael Fremer Album Review

Bill Evans at The Montreux Jazz Festival

Bill Evans

Verve/Speakers Corner V6-8762 180g LP
Produced by: Helen Keane
Engineered by: Pierre Grandjean and John-Claude Martin
Mixed by: Bob Schwartz
Mastered by: Maarten De Boer at UMG Berliner



Bill Evans 1968 Backed By Gomez and DeJohnette
by Michael Fremer
April 01, 2011

You could argue the advisability of naming a sophomore effort Everybody Digs Bill Evans but today it’s clear that everybody in fact does, or still does depending on your feelings about that second album’s title.

Evans is still revered by jazz fans generally and jazz fans who are audiophiles in particular, judging by all of the vinyl reissue action.

An enduring live set from The Montreux Jazz Festival recorded June 15th, 1968 has Evans joined in the short-lived trio with bassist Eddie Gomez and drummer Jack DeJohnette. Gomez was with Evans for a decade plus, but Miles Davis wanted DeJohnette.

This is the only recording of DeJohnette playing with Evans and Gomez. The early years of Evan’s post Riverside period were tumultuous with frequency personnel changes as Evans dealt with his drug addiction.

How long ago was 1968? Consider Gene Lee’s liner notes that reference “Lolita” novelist Vladimir Nabakov, Charlie Chaplain and James Mason, all of whom “live” nearby.

This album finds Evans in a more exuberant, less introspective mood. Evan his balladry on “I Love You Porgy” (which inexplicably places Evan’s piano on the opposite side of the stage from where he plays for the rest of the set) starts moving towards a celebratory tone not usually associated with the tender tune.

The almost hour long set includes two Evans originals—“One For Helen” dedicated to his long time manager Helen Keane and “Walkin’ Up” (misnamed “Walking’ Up” on this reissue’s label). Other than a rendering of Miles’ “Nardis” that was a live concert staple for Evans, the rest consists of re-workings of well-known standards, which was an Evans specialty.

Gomez plays aggressively from center stage with greater percussive thrust than did Scott LaFaro and DeJohnette’s playing is endlessly inventive—particularly his brush and cymbal work— without being distracting.

The recording quality is quite good: closely miked and not an attempt to put you at the concert unless you were sitting onstage a few feet from the musicians. DeJohnette’s drum kit occupies the right channel (except on his superb solo on "Nardis" where the engineer wisely gives him more space), Gomez is center stage and Evan’s piano is to his right and spreads convincingly from center-right stage outward.

Original pressings sound messy, boxy and indistinct compared to this Speakers Corner reissue and an earlier, out of print one at 33 1/3 from Classic Records. They don’t sound identical but close enough (Classic no doubt had the original tape, Speakers Corner worked from a copy so the sound isn't quite as dynamic or "present" but it's still very good and far superior to the original pressing), with excellent instrumental timbres, particularly Evans' piano (though it doesn't sound like he was given the grandest grand) and both are well-pressed. Classic’s multi-LP 45rpm edition is something else again, but good luck finding one of those.

Not at the top of the Evans catalog but worthwhile nonetheless particularly since it’s the only recording of this trio with Jack DeJohnette.

Thanks to Michael over at  for the exclusive rights to reprint this material. Stop by for more reviews and features.

©2011 & Michael Fremer - - All rights reserved

Reprinted by Exclusive Permission

Vinyl Record News & Music Notes

before everyone yells, yes, i know this is a vinyl record blog, but i support what they are doing. i mean, whole towns are gone, everyone should help out the japanese any way possible:

Global Music Effort Songs for Japan Available as Two CD Set on April 4

Digital Release Rockets To #1 on iTunes in 18 countries

Over 250,000 Copies Sold In First Week; Raises More Than US $2 Million For Japanese Red Cross Society

NEW YORK, April 1, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Songs For Japan, a star-studded album collection benefitting Japan earthquake and Pacific tsunami relief, has been rushed into production as a double CD to be available worldwide April 4 with an official US domestic release on Tuesday, April 5.

Released as a digital album on iTunes on Friday, March 25, Songs For Japan rocketed to #1 on iTunes in 18 countries including the United States, France, Germany, Australia, Sweden and Japan and is debuting in the Top 10 on the Billboard 200, based solely on a three-day window of domestic digital sales. Worldwide, music fans have purchased more than 250,000 digital copies of the album in the first week of sales.

Next week, an advance donation of US $2 million – reflecting proceeds from the digital album's global sales – will be made to the Japanese Red Cross Society  to support its disaster relief efforts. The artists participating on Songs for Japan, the music labels and music publishers have waived their royalties and proceeds to ensure that the JRCS receives as much support as possible from this initiative. iTunes is also donating its proceeds from the album's worldwide sales to the benefit of the JRCS, and is prominently featuring the project throughout its stores worldwide.

A music industry wide charity initiative, Songs For Japan is an unprecedented compilation of 37 major hits and classic tracks including 21 Billboard Hot 100 hits and five #1's from more than 30 of the biggest names in contemporary music.

The two-disc Songs for Japan collection features an all-star lineup:

1. John Lennon "Imagine"
2. U2 "Walk On"
3. Bob Dylan "Shelter From The Storm"
4. Red Hot Chili Peppers "Around The World"
5. Lady Gaga "Born This Way"
6. Beyonce "Irreplaceable"
7. Bruno Mars "Talking To The Moon"
8. Katy Perry "Firework"
9. Rihanna "Only Girl (In The World)"
10. Justin Timberlake "Like I Love You"
11. Madonna "Miles Away"
12. Eminem "Love The Way You Lie"
13. Bruce Springsteen "Human Touch"
14. Josh Groban "Awake"
15. Keith Urban "Better Life"
16. Black Eyed Peas "One Tribe"
17. Pink "Sober"
18. Cee Lo Green "It's Ok"
19. Lady Antebellum "I Run To You"
20. Bon Jovi "What Do You Got"
21. Foo Fighters "My Hero"
22. REM "Man On The Moon"
23. Nicki Minaj "Save Me"
24. Sade "By Your Side"
25. Michael Buble "Hold On"
26. Justin Bieber "Pray"
27. Adele "Make You Feel My Love"
28. Enya "If I Could Be Where You Are"
29. Elton John "Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me"
30. John Mayer "Waiting On The World To Change"
31. Queen "Teo Torriate (Let Us Cling Together)"
32. Kings Of Leon "Use Somebody"
33. Sting "Fragile"
34. Leona Lewis "Better In Time"
35. Ne-Yo "One In A Million"
36. Shakira "Whenever Wherever"
37. Norah Jones "Sunrise"

SOURCE Legacy Recordings


found this story over at amusing:

Hanson Cover Slipknot And More Musical April Fools' Pranks

Experimental Insane Clown Posse LP also announced on a day brimming with bizarre headlines.


AMEBIX To Release 'Knights Of The Black Sun' Single

Cult British underground heavyweights AMEBIX reemerge from the darkness to announce the release of a new single, their first new material for almost 24 years. The song is entitled "Knights Of The Black Sun" and will be made available on June 3. A limited-edition 12-inch vinyl single will be issued on Amebix Records, in conjunction with Profane Existence. The digital download will be available through Amebix Records/Easyaction.

Read the rest at


guess these old guys need to do something with their time!

CARMINE And VINNY APPICE To Take Part In First-Ever 'Drum Wars' Battle

Main Street Armory, 900 Main Street in Rochester, NY, is set to host the first Drum Wars battle featuring legendary drummers Carmine and Vinny Appice on Friday, April 22. Brothers and "rivals" Carmine and Vinny Appice are set to battle it out by performing classic hard rock, pop and metal hits that were popular during their long drumming careers.

Tickets are available through Ticketfly for $15 advance and $20 the day of the show.

To highlight the event, The House of Guitars is sponsoring a Drum Wars competition to give fledgling cream-of-the-crop musicians the opportunity to perform with the famous brothers at the Main Street Armory show on April 22.

Read the rest at

For more information, visit .



1.Chris Brown : F.A.M.E.
2.Jennifer Hudson : I Remember Me
3.Adele : 21
4.The Strokes : Angles
5.Kirk Franklin : Hello Fear
6.Various : Songs For Japan
7.Panic At The Disco : Vices and Virtues
8.Mumford and Sons : Sigh No More
9.Bobby V : Fly On The Wall
10.Lupe Fiasco : Lasers

1.Katy Perry feat. Kanye West : E.T.
2.Rihanna : S&M
3.Cee Lo Green : Fuck You
4.Lady Gaga : Born This Way
5.Black Eyed Peas : Just Can't Get Enough
6.Wiz Khalifa : No Sleep
7.Chris Brown feat. Lil Wayne and Busta Rhymes : Look At Me Now
8.Pink : Fucking Perfect
9.Jeremih feat. 50 Cent : Down On Me
10.Jennifer Lopez : On The Floor


1.Adele : 21
2.Adele : 19
3.The Strokes : Angles
4.Jessie J. : Who You Are
5.Ronan Keating & Burt Bacharach : When Ronan Met Burt
6.The Overtones : Good Ol' Fashioned Love
7.Rihanna : Loud
8.Nicole Scherzinger : Killer Love
9.Elbow : Build A Rocket Boys
10.Chris Brown : F.A.M.E.

1.Adele : Someone Like You
2.Nicole Scherzinger : Don't Hold Your Breath
3.Black Eyed Peas : Just Can't Get Enough
4.Gold Forever : The Wanted
5.Jessie J feat. B.o.B. : Price Tag
6.Rihanna : S&M
7.Wiz Khalifa : Black and Yellow
8.Dr Dre feat. Eminem & Skylar Grey : I Need A Doctor
9.Adele : Rolling In the Deep
10.Lady Gaga : Born This Way


1.Take That : Progress
2.Rihanna : Loud
3.Bruce Springsteen : The Promise
4.Shakira : Sale El Sol
5.Pink : Greatest Hits ... So Far
6.Bon Jovi : Greatest Hits
7.James Blunt : Some Kind Of Trouble
8.Susan Boyle : The Gift
9.Kings Of Leon : Come Around Sundown
10.JLS : Outta This World

1.Adele : Rolling In the Deep
2.Bruno Mars : Grenade
3.Lady Gaga : Born This Way
4.Jennifer Lopez feat. Pitbull : On The Floor
5.Rihanna : S&M
6.Black Eyed Peas : Just Can't Get Enough
7.Taio Cruz : Higher
8.Martin Solveig : Hello
9.Jessie J. feat. B.o.B. : Price Tag
10.David Guetta feat. Rihanna : Who's That Chick


and in music history for the day:

In 1956, Johnny Cash recorded “I Walk the Line” at Sun Studio. It would spend six weeks at #1 on the U.S. country jukebox charts that summer.

In 1964, The Beach Boys recorded their single, “I Get Around,” which became their first U.S. #1 over the summer.

In 1966, Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass become the first act to have four LP's in the Top 10 of the Billboard album chart.  No wonder those albums are in every goodwill bin, there's too many of them (and i have them all!)

Steve Winwood, Jim Capaldi, Chris Wood and Dave Mason formed Traffic in 1967.

On this day in 1967 - The Beatles finished recording the album "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band."

In 1969, Bruce Springsteen’s group, Child, made their live debut at the Pandemonium Club, Wanamassa, New Jersey.

Janis Joplin was at #1 on the U.S. album charts in 1971 with Pearl.

Also in 1971, Ringo Starr releases "It Don't Come Easy", which will climb to #4 in the US and the UK.

In 1977, Fleetwood Mac's "Rumors" album went to #1 on the Billboard chart where it stayed for 31 weeks. Worldwide, the LP would sell over 25 million copies.

In 1987, one of the greatest jazz drummers of all time, Buddy Rich died from complications caused by a brain tumor, aged 69. Rich worked with many acts, including Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong, Dizzy Gillespie, Oscar Peterson and Tommy Dorsey’s band.

And in 2004, Paul Atkinson, guitarist for The Zombies, lost his battle with liver and kidney disease. He was 58. The band's biggest hits included "She's Not There", "Tell Her No" and "Time Of The Season".