Bill Evans - Interplay


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Almost every one of the eleven albums featuring Bill Evans that were issued during his pivotal early years (1956-1964) with Riverside Records were trio performances. Of the two exceptions, one was strictly speaking not an Evans record (Know What I Mean?, a quartet album that featured Bill but was under the leadership of Cannonball Adderley). The other is Interplay. Adding trumpet and guitar to create an unusual quintet alignment, concentrating on standard tunes, and with brighter tempos than are generally associated with his playing, it is a uniquely valuable addition to the catalog of perhaps the most important pianist in modern jazz.

Interplay stands as some of Bill Evans' most enigmatic and unusual music in makeup as well as execution. Evans has a more blues-based approach to playing: harder, edgier, and in full flow, fueled in no small part by Jim Hall, who is at his very best here, swinging hard whether it be a ballad or an up-tempo number. Freddie Hubbard's playing, on the other hand, was never so restrained as it was here. Using a mute most of the time, his lyricism is revealed to jazz listeners for the first time.

Heavyweight vinyl produced by Original Jazz Classics for Riverside Records in 2015.

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