BILL EVANS - LIVE AT ART D'LUGOFF'S TOP OF THE GATE (NUMBERED LIMITED EDITION 180G 45RPM 3LP)Price: $69.99
Category: Music, Vinyl, 180g Vinyl, 45 RPM Vinyl, Box Sets.
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Bill Evans Live At Art D'Lugoff's Top Of The Gate on Numbered Limited Edition 180g 45RPM 3LP Box Set from Resonance Records
Never-Before Released Radio Broadcast: Newly Unearthed Discovery of Bill Evans Recorded in Greenwich Village, NYC on October 23, 1968
The Archival Jazz Find of 2012: Audiophiles and Jazz Aficionados, Prepare to Swoon
Exceptional Sonic Clarity and Intimacy Due to Microphone Placement and Exceptional Engineering: Two Sets Captured in Their Entirety
Hand-Numbered, Limited-Edition 180g 45RPM 3LP Box Set Mastered by Bernie Grundman and Pressed at RTI
Lift-Off 13" x 13" Box by Ross-Ellis; 1st-Edition Pressing Limited to 3000 Copies
Audiophiles and jazz aficionados, prepare to swoon. The archival jazz find of 2012 has arrived.
With Live at Art D'Lugoff's Top of the Gate, listeners get seated at a table at the front of the stage for a stellar performance by one of jazz's greatest trios. It's October 23, 1968 in Greenwich Village, and legendary pianist Bill Evans is joined by bassist Eddie Gomez and drummer Marty Morell for two top-notch sets, represented here in their entirety. Aired only once, on Columbia University radio station WKCR-FM, this concert hasn't been heard for more than 40 years and has never been released in any form.
"This gives people a good idea of what it must have been like to be in the room at the time and experience the music," says producer Zev Feldman. "We've done everything short of building a time machine."
Credit for the recording's remarkable clarity and intimacy rests entirely with George Klabin, then a 22-year-old recording engineer granted unprecedented access to the date by Evans' longtime manager, Helen Keane. Jazz fans can be forgiven for being skeptical after countless long-lost jazz recordings have hit the market only to sound as if they were transmitted over the telephone via a bad connection on a stormy night. Klabin, however, conscientiously positioned separate microphones on each member of the trio, yielding a pristine mix that's the next best thing to being there. This is, quite possibly, the best-engineered and most gorgeous-sounding live recording ever made of Evans.
"Being able to hear jazz up close, as I did in clubs, I was dismayed by what I heard on live recordings," Klabin recalls. "The sound was so often muddy and distant and not satisfying. I wanted to capture the intimacy."
The benefits of Klabin's approach can be heard from the first notes of Evans' delicate introduction to "Emily," which ring out with a hushed brilliance while the gentle murmur of diners can be heard unobtrusively in the background. "This release celebrates the memory of Bill Evans," Feldman says, "but it also celebrates the memory of Art D'Lugoff, who was a visionary and obviously one of New York's greatest music impresarios, and the Village Gate as well, which sadly is no longer with us either."
D'Lugoff opened the Village Gate in 1958, followed by the upstairs club, Top of The Gate, a few years later. The Greenwich Village establishments thrived for the next three-and-a-half decades, hosting not only the era's most influential figures in jazz but rising stars in folk music, world music, blues, and comedy, as well as off-Broadway shows. At the same time that Evans, Gomez, and Morell were treating the audience upstairs to this music, patrons downstairs were thrilling to the sounds of Thelonious Monk or Charles Lloyd, whose quartets shared the stage that week.
Despite that monumental double-bill, however, the evidence we now have proves that it would have been difficult to top the show being put on by the Evans trio. At this time, Gomez was two years into what would become an eleven-year stint in the trio, while Morell had joined the group literally the same week the show was documented. The trio had quickly found its footing, however, playing at the height of its powers. For proof, look no further than the extended drum/bass interaction on "Autumn Leaves."
Throughout the two sets, Evans showcases his gift for interpreting standards, playing only one original ("Turn Out the Stars") over the 17 tracks. "My Funny Valentine" moves effortlessly from tenderness to passion, while "Gone With the Wind" erupts at a breakneck pace, and "Here's That Rainy Day" concludes with heart-breaking emotion.
Students of Evans' music will be delighted to see that three pieces ("Emily," "Yesterdays," and "'Round Midnight") are represented in both the first and second sets, offering a rare opportunity to compare the soloists' diverging takes on the same tunes in a single evening. Also, as Feldman points out in his notes, several of the selections possess historic significance. Both "My Funny Valentine" and "Here's That Rainy Day" (and possibly "Mother of Earl") mark Evans' first documented trio performances of these songs, while "Here's That Rainy Day" may be the first time Evans recorded that piece.
In addition to offering this vital concert for the first time, Feldman and Klabin have labored to surround the music with important context, assembling a package rich with photographs, information and reminiscences. Both Gomez and Morell offer heartfelt reflections of their time with Evans, while Klabin explains his methods in enlightening detail and Raphael D'Lugoff looks back at growing up in his father's legendary venue. A younger D'Lugoff can be seen in a family photo alongside his father and sister Sharon, one of several historical documents included in the package, which also features memorabilia from the club and the actual contract for the week signed by Evans. D'Lugoff also provided a picture of the bustling street scene outside the Gate from the 1960s.
The liner notes also include an essay by pioneering jazz critic Nat Hentoff and an appreciation by the great vibist Gary Burton. These notes are lined with iconic photographs by Jan Persson, Raymond Ross, Herb Snitzer, Fred Seligo, and Tom Copi, whose striking cover image is graced by the original logo from the Top of the Gate sign.
The album is available here as a limited first-edition pressing of 3000 hand-numbered 180g 3LP vinyl box sets, pressed by Record Technology Incorporated (RTI), and includes a 4-panel booklet featuring the same content as the CD booklet. This edition was pressed at 45 RPM for optimum sound and mastered by Bernie Grundman.
For Feldman, the opportunity to work on not only a Bill Evans release but a recording from this particular era has been a dream come true. The producers' introduction to Evans' music came courtesy of the pianists' work with this particular group, featuring Gomez and Morell. "This is something very personal for me because it was one of the first groups of Bill's that I had a love for," Feldman says. "I'm just so grateful to George that he took the initiative to document these performances, and it's just incredible that it's been tucked away for all these years and has stood the test of time."
* A Newly Unearthed Discovery of Bill Evans Recorded in Greenwich Village, NYC on October 23, 1968
* Featuring Eddie Gomez (bass) and Marty Morell (drums)
* 2 Complete, Never-Before-Released Concerts
* All Previously Unheard Performances
* The Only Evans Recording Ever Released from The Village Gate
* Rare Tracks
* 3 x 180g vinyl LPs Pressed at 45RPM by Record Technology Incorporated (RTI)
* Deluxe Hand-Numbered Lift-Off 13"x13" Box by Ross-Ellis
* Mastered by Bernie Grundman
* Includes 4-Panel 12" x 12" Version of CD Booklet
Bill Evans Live At Art D'Lugoff's Top Of The Gate Track Listing:
1. Emily (Mandel & Mercer)
2. Witchcraft (C. Coleman)
3. Yesterdays (J. Kern)
4. Round Midnight (T. Monk)
5. My Funny Valentine (Rogers & Hart)
6. California Here I Come (De Sylva, Jolson & Myers)
1. Gone With The Wind (Magidson & Wrubel)
2. Alfie (B. Bacharach)
3. Turn Out The Stars (B. Evans)
4. Yesterdays (J. Kern)
5. Emily (Mandel & Mercer)
6. In A Sentimental Mood (D. Ellington)
1. Round Midnight (T. Monk)
2. Autumn Leaves (J. Kosma)
3. Someday My Prince Will Come (Churchill & Morey)
4. Mother Of Earl (E. Zindar)
5. Here's That Rainy Day (Burke & Van Heusen)
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