Tag Archives: piano trio

Bill Evans/Everybody Digs Bill Evans

Writing about a recording such as Everybody Digs Bill Evans can seem like an exercise in futility. Even at this early point in his recording and performing career, Evans seems to have everything in place—technique, sensitive lyricism, a way of interpreting standard material that borders on impressionism; overall, a musical conception that changed the way jazz piano was thought of, listened to, and played.

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Bill Evans/Sunday at the Village Vanguard

The Bill Evans trio had been playing together for nearly two years by the time these dates for Sunday at the Village Vanguard were recorded, but the group was under-recorded because Evans, ever the perfectionist, was reluctant to commit “final” performances of these compositions to vinyl. Fortunately, a date on June 25, 1961, is documented pretty much in its entirety on this album and the follow-up disc Waltz for Debby.

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GoGo Penguin’s Transmission From a Humdrum Star

GoGo Penguin, the piano trio from Manchester UK that has received a great deal of attention since its debut in 2012, utilizes the services of sound engineer Joe Reiser. Reiser began working with (joined?) the group with the release of their second album 2.0, along with bassist Nick Blacka, another essential element who joined at the same time. Reiser produced both 2.0 and the group’s recent album, Humdrum Star, sharing production with Brendan Williams. Reiser is generally acknowledged as the band’s fourth member, and integral to the band’s live sound as well as to their recording process.

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Sun Goddess

How the paths of Ramsey Lewis and Maurice White led to the recording of this quiet storm classic

Ramsey Lewis recorded this track in 1974 with Maurice White & members of Earth Wind  & Fire

by Marshall Bowden

Ramsey Lewis was one of the more popular jazz musicians of the 1950s and 1960s, bridging the gap between gospel, blues, soul, and jazz. The Lewis of this period is best known for his gospel and blues-inflected pop tunes with a heavy backbeat, such as “The ‘In’ Crowd”, “A Hard Day’s Night”, and “Hang On Sloopy”.

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Keith Jarrett Trio: Setting Standards

by Marshall Bowden

Where It All Began

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Back in 1983, three musicians assembled at New York’s Power Station studio to record some jazz piano trio sides. Specifically, the trio was planning on exploring the standard jazz repertoire composed by the likes of George Gershwin, Richard Rodgers, Cole Porter and their equals.

Not a radical concept, but certainly an unexpected one given the musicians involved. Keith Jarrett had accomplished many things in his career up to 1983, but he was certainly not known as an interpreter of the Great American Songbook. He first came to the public’s attention in 1966 as a member of Charles Lloyd’s quartet, of which he was a member through 1968. During 1971-71 he worked with Miles Davis onstage and on recordings, playing electric piano and organ. He followed up with a duet recording with Jack DeJohnette, Ruta & Daitya, the last time he worked with electric keyboards. Continue reading Keith Jarrett Trio: Setting Standards