Recorded at the same Village Vanguard sessions that resulted in Since We Met, this posthumous collection (first put out in 1981 and later reissued on CD) features pianist Bill Evans, bassist Eddie Gomez and drummer Marty Morell playing material that was passed over for release at the time due to some of the songs being overly familiar while others were early works-in-progress. But even though the results fall short of classic, they should interest Bill Evans collectors; highlights include remakes of "Re: Person I Knew," "Alfie," "T.T.T" and "34 Skidoo."
- Scott Yanow (All Music Guide)
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Recordings made in a club or concert hall aim to catch the performers in the act of performing, to preserve the warmth of a musician at work in his rough natural environment rather than the antiseptic perfection of the studio. But on listening to such albums it can be difficult to avoid some lingering suspicion that, after all, the players did know that the tape machines were running and it really was a formal record date.
This, however, has to be one of the most natural albums ever made. Because, even though we constantly kept tape rolling on those January 1974 evenings, this part of it was not a record date, while working to create the Fantasy album released as Since we Met (F-95O1), Bill Evans made a point of not limiting himself strictly to the pre-planned material. Partly in deference to the paying customers and partly to relax from the tensions of recording, his sets included quite a few ineligible tunes from recent albums and his standard repertoire. From these selections, Helen Keane (Bill's longtime producer and manager, with whom I had collaborated on Since we Met) has now brought this Intriguing album into being.
Thus, even though this is the second record to come from those Village Vanguard performances, it is most decidedly not a collection of rejects or out-takes. On the contrary, these are some of the most In takes imaginable: this firmly-meshed trio exploring, as was their custom, the further nuances of material they knew intimately and enjoyed greatly. And I find it especially moving that Helen has chosen to open Side 2 with a characteristic taste of introspective and rather private solo-piano musings just before the actual start of a set. what Bill happens to be toying with here are some thoughts on Herbie Hancock's "Dolphin Dance" - which eventually developed into the version he recorded in 1977 on the album I Will Say Goodbye (F-9593).
One final comment. The title song, "Re: Person I Knew," is a nice gesture from him to me that originally appeared on one of the several Evans albums I produced in the Sixties. (The phrase is an anagram created by rearranging all the letters in my name.) Its use as the title of this posthumously assembled album gives me a feeling that the expression is being returned to Bill. Which is totally appropriate: to me, as to Helen Keane and Eddie Gomez and Marty Morell and a lot of others, this was one of the most valuable artists - and persons - we ever knew.