Original Jazz Classic Series Reissue of Bill Evans Trio Sunday at the Village Vanguard on 180g Vinyl LP. Cut from the Original Master Tapes (AAA) by Kevin Gray at Cohearent Audio and Pressed at RTI
Craft Recordings announces the relaunch of Original Jazz Classics – the acclaimed reissue series that faithfully presented more than 850 memorable jazz albums over three decades. This reissue of the Bill Evans Trio's landmark recording Sunday at the Village Vanguard has been cut from the original master tapes (AAA) by Kevin Gray at Cohearent Audio, pressed on 180-gram vinyl LP at RTI and is housed in a replica of its original tip-on jacket.
First launched in 1982 under Fantasy Records, the imprint served as a home for the label's impressive jazz catalog – which had grown to include thousands of celebrated titles from Prestige, Galaxy, Milestone, Riverside, Debut, Contemporary, Jazzland, and Pablo. Fantasy also had its own place in jazz history, beginning in 1949 with its very first signing, Dave Brubeck. The Bay Area label was also home to the likes of Cal Tjader, Gerry Mulligan, and Vince Guaraldi. In the '80s and '90s, Original Jazz Classics became the go-to imprint for jazz reissues on vinyl, CD and cassette. Its extensive catalog not only boasted some of the most important albums ever recorded, but also long-out-of-print favorites – all of which featured original cover art and liner notes, as well as superior audio. Original OJC vinyl pressings are still praised and much sought after by jazz fans and audiophiles alike, who have gone to great lengths to document and share how to find the best-sounding pressings. However, with the relaunch of Original Jazz Classics, there is no need to search any longer.
One of the most influential artists in the history of jazz, Bill Evans was known for his conversational interplay within his trios, his lyrical compositions and his matchless approach to the piano. In 1959, after a year with Miles Davis' sextet, Evans embarked on a new chapter with bassist Scott LaFaro and drummer Paul Motian – a unit that would redefine the notion of the piano trio. Over the next two years, the group recorded four foundational titles together, beginning with Portrait in Jazz and Explorations. Their final two albums, 1961's Sunday at the Village Vanguard and 1962's Waltz for Debby were both captured live on June 25, 1961, at New York City's legendary Village Vanguard club. Tragically, that would be the last time that the trio would play together, as LaFaro was killed in a car accident days later.
Sunday at the Village Vanguard was intended to be a tribute to LaFaro's talents – bookended by two of the bassist's compositions ("Gloria's Step" and "Jade Visions") and showcasing his best solos from that summer day. What resulted is arguably one of the greatest live jazz recordings of all time. The trio's exquisite unity is on display throughout the album, which also includes several crowd-pleasing standards (Cole Porter's "All of You, " George Gershwin's "My Man's Gone Now" and Sammy Fain's theme to Alice in Wonderland) plus a rendition of Miles Davis' "Solar."
Speaking to both albums, AllMusic explains, "[Evans'] intention was always to develop a complete interactive trio experience. At the time, this was an unheard of notion, since piano trios were largely designed to showcase the prowess of the front line soloist with rhythmic accompaniment." All About Jazz adds, "Evans perfected his democratic vision of trio cooperation, where all members performed with perfect empathy and telepathy.... Evans, LaFaro, and Motian slide over and under one another in a sumptuously alchemic solution, resulting in a single homogenous musical thought expressed in one voice from three distinctive philosophies."
Bill Evans, piano
Scott LaFaro, bass
Paul Motian, drums
- 180g vinyl LP from Craft Recordings
- Original Jazz Classics Series
- (AAA) Lacquers cut from the original tapes Kevin Gray at Cohearent Audio
- Pressed at RTI
- Presented in Tip-On jacket with obi
- Gloria's Step
- My Man's Gone Now
- Alice In Wonderland
- All Of You
- Jade Visions