Sunday at the Village Vanguard (Bill Evans Trio)
MASTERED FROM THE ORIGINAL MASTER TAPES WITH MOBILE FIDELITY'S ONE-STEP PROCESS: THE ULTIMATE ANALOG VERSION OF BILL EVANS' 1961 JAZZ STAPLE
The gorgeous romanticism of Bill Evans' Sunday at the Village Vanguard cannot be overstated. Neither can the iconic record's place in history – nor what it signifies to generations upon generations of listeners hypnotized by the consummate playing, resplendent compositions, and seamless chemistry. Originally released in 1961, the live set remains the gold standard for symbiotic trio performance, empathy, and communication. Because of Orrin Keepnews' brilliant recording, it also survives as one of the best-sounding jazz albums extant – a fact confirmed by its appearance on multiple reissues over the past few decades. But it's never sounded better than this.
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Evans' masterwork reaches three-dimensional sonic and emotional heights never before attained by analog recordings on this opulent Mobile Fidelity UD1S box set complete with special jackets and a unique insert. Strictly numbered to 3000 copies, this ultra-hi-fi audiophile edition literally and figuratively brings you closer to the music of this Riverside staple that, along with the complementary Waltz for Debby, transformed Evans into a legend and became a blueprint for how jazz trios should work together. You'll enjoy deep-black backgrounds, pointillistic details, and staggering dynamics. Experienced via UD1S, Sunday at the Village Vanguard places Evans and his esteemed colleagues in your listening room. Every note, breath, and movement captured by the microphones are reproduced with exquisite accuracy and wowing clarity.
The deluxe packaging and gorgeous presentation of this Sunday at the Village Vanguard pressing befit its extremely select status. Housed in an opulent box, this UD1S edition contains special jackets and unique bonus artwork that further illuminate the splendor of the recording. No expense has been spared. Aurally and visually, this Sunday at the Village Vanguard is a curatorial artifact meant to be preserved, poured over, touched, and examined. It is made for discerning listeners that prize sound and creativity, and who desire to fully immerse themselves in the music â€“ and everything involved with the album, from the graphics to the textures.
Recorded just ten days before bassist Scott LaFaro perished in a car accident, Sunday at the Village Vanguard changed the way jazz trios were perceived by audiences and musicians alike. Up until Evans, LaFaro, and drummer Paul Motian proved otherwise, a trio configuration meant two sidemen served as rhythmic support to spotlight the virtuosity of a headline performer or primary soloist. Here, the three instrumentalists operate in complete unison and achieve supreme democratic balance. Expressing their intent via shared conversations, they alight on sublime pieces flush with thematic discovery, improvisational dialog, and raw feeling.
A quest for discovery informs the music as well as the playing. Evans' lyrical pianism met at every turn by LaFaro's chorded responses and harmonic counterpoints. Indeed, Sunday at the Village Vanguard remains LaFaro's standout moment, his soloing helping shape the melodies and striking a keen equilibrium between modality and traditionalism. Joining poignant renditions of Miles Davis, Cole Porter, and Gershwin numbers, two LaFaro originals â€“ "Jade Visions" and the opening "Gloria's Step" â€“ further demonstrate his genius. They furnish the album a supernatural aura that matches the jovial mood of the musicians. It's impossible to think this album could be improved in any way. Particularly now that this UD1S pressing brings the Village Vanguard into your room. Prepare to witness history. Again and again.