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Bill Evans Undercurrent

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  • Undercurrent Undercurrent Quick View

    $24.99
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    Undercurrent

    Undercurrent on Numbered Limited Edition LP from Mobile Fidelity Silver Label


    Introspective, Almost-Hallucinogenic 1962 Album a Pinnacle for Both Jazz Icons


    Guitarist Hall Aids Pianist Evans in Rebounding from Tragedy


    Diverse Set Encompasses Ballads, Waltzes, Hard-Swinging Bop


    Divine Sonics: LP Mastered on Mobile Fidelity's World-Renowned Mastering System and Pressed at RTI


    Bill Evans catapulted to the top of the jazz world in June 1961 after reeling off three straight masterpiece sessions at New York's Village Vanguard with his trio. Yet the emotional highs came to a screeching halt shortly thereafter when bassist Scott LaFaro died in a car accident. Devastated, Evans refrained from playing for nearly a year. If not for an inspirational collaboration of tremendous creative outpouring, one wonders what fate may have befallen Evans. Undercurrent, the outcome of two studio sessions with guitarist Jim Hall, is that project.


    Mastered on Mobile Fidelity's world-renowned mastering system and pressed at RTI, this Silver Label LP edition bursts forth with brilliant textures, you-are-there realism, and extraordinary tonalities. No other version outside of this analog copy brings you face-to-face with these two jazz giants' sonic communion, a kind of spiritual musical summit on which Evans' deft keyboard touches and Hall's reliably subtle phrasings seamlessly mesh and wonderfully dance, the compositions streaked with natural instrumental decay, full-frequency extensions, and poignant emotionalism that, on this LP, you can feel.


    While Evans managed to sit down for a few one-off takes between LaFaro's passing and these April-May 1962 dates, he largely remained on hiatus and abstained from recording. Whether it owes to the intimate pairing, he and Hall's brotherly chemistry, or the exquisite selection of program material, the results consistently come across as the equivalent of a private meditation-such is the level of introspective depth and quietly shaded interplay throughout. For Evans, the duet clearly functions as therapy, a healing episode in which his partner patiently lays back, shadowing moves and suggesting others, neither musician interested in the spotlight but each striving for (and achieving) transcendent beauty.


    In tackling standards such as Rodgers and Hart's "My Funny Valentine" and the Broadway classic "Darn That Dream," as well as the Hall original "Romain," the pair traverses complex harmonies with the astute elegance of a figure skater. At times, Evans and Hall go for broke on a hard-swinging romps, yet it's their implied melancholy and drifting, softly struck melodic refrains on waltzes and ballads that bestows Undercurrent with a nuanced romanticism and whispered atmosphere befitting the record's title.


    Indeed, even the album's cover-an iconic photograph by Toni Frissell-exhibits the surreal, almost-hallucinogenic properties of the fare contained within.


    This title is not eligible for discount.

    1. My Funny Valentine
    2. I Hear a Rhapsody
    3. Dream Gypsy
    4. Romain
    5. Skating in Central Park
    6. Darn That Dream
    Bill Evans & Jim Hall
    $24.99
    Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
  • Undercurrent (Pure Pleasure) (Awaiting Repress) Undercurrent (Pure Pleasure) (Awaiting Repress) Quick View

    $34.99
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    Undercurrent (Pure Pleasure) (Awaiting Repress)

    This is the first of two superb albums recorded by Bill Evans, and guitarist Jim Hall, and it was recorded over two sessions in April and May 1962. Arrangements simply for piano and guitar are rare in Jazz, and it is even more seldom that the results are truly inspiring and as musically worthwhile as in this case. It is usual for intuitive musical relationships to develop over a number of years, but here we find two musicians who clearly shared an immediate understanding.



    Both men are on absolute top form here - Bill Evans was on fire throughout the early and mid sixties, and after the tragic death of his previous musical partner, virtuoso bass player Scott Le Faro (at the age of 23), he was searching for new directions. Jim Hall is a guitarist of tremendous skill and powerful technique, with a highly developed rhythmic and harmonic sense that shines through on this album. What is so special about the performances here is an almost telepathic anticipation of where the music is heading - both musicians contribute equally, and there is a constant exchange of ideas, each reacting to the other with apparent ease, whatever the mood.



    This is a brilliant jazz album, of great depth and tremendous atmosphere, and both players express some exceptional ideas. Highly recommended.




    Musicians:



    • Bill Evans (piano)

    • Jim Hall (guitar)




    Recording: April & May 1962 at Sound Makers, New York, by Bill Schwartau



    About Pure Pleasure



    At the beginning of the 90s, in the early days of audiophile vinyl re-releases, the situation was fairly straightforward. Companies such as DCC, Mobile Fidelity, Classic Records and, of course, Pure Pleasure all maintained a mutual, unwritten ethical code: we would only use analogue tapes to manufacture records.



    During the course of the present vinyl hype, many others have jumped on the bandwagon in the hope of securing a corner of the market. Very often they are not so ethical and use every imaginable source to master from: CDs, LPs, digital files, MP3s - or employed existent tools from the 80s and 90s for manufacturing.



    A digital delay is gladly used when cutting a lacquer disc because tape machines with an analogue delay have become quite rare and are therefore expensive. When cutting the lacquer, the audio signal is delayed by one LP revolution against the signal, which controls the cutter head, and for this a digital delay is very often employed. Of course, the resultant sound signal is completely digital and thus only as good as this delay.



    We should like to emphasize that Pure Pleasure Records on principle only uses the original master tape as the basis for the entirely analogue cutting of lacquer discs. In addition, the pressing tool is newly manufactured as a matter of principle.



    We only employ existing tools for manufacturing if an improved result is not forthcoming, e.g. the title Elvis Is Back, which was mastered by Steve Hoffman and Kevin Gray, or several titles from our Philips Classics series, which in any case Willem Makkee cut from the original masters at the Emil Berliner Studios in the 90s. It goes without saying that we only used the mother and that new tools were made for our production.



    To put it in a nutshell: we can ensure you that our releases are free from any kind of digital effects and that the lacquer discs are newly cut.



    1. My Funny Valentine
    2. I Hear A Rhapsody
    3. Dream Gypsy
    4. Romain
    5. Skating In Central Park
    6. Darn That Dream
    Bill Evans & Jim Hall
    $34.99
    180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed AWAITING REPRESS Buy Now
  • Undercurrent Undercurrent Quick View

    $27.99
    Buy Now
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    Undercurrent

    Import


    Other than four piano solos from April 4, 1962, this set was pianist Bill Evans' first recordings after a hiatus caused by bassist Scott LaFaro's tragic death in a car accident. The first of two meetings on record in a duo format with guitarist Jim Hall, the collaborations are often exquisite. Both Evans and Hall had introspective and harmonically advanced styles along with roots in hard-swinging bebop. The six selections on the original LP have been expanded to ten for this reissue with the inclusion of two alternate takes and previously unheard versions of Stairway to the Stars and I'm Getting Sentimental Over You. There is more variety than expected on the fine set with some cookers, ballads, waltzes, and even some hints at classical music. Recommended.

    1. My Funny Valentine
    2. I Hear A Rhapsody
    3. Dream Gypsy
    4. Stairway to the Stars*
    5. Romain
    6. Skating In Central Park
    7. Darn That Dream
    8. Stairway To The Stars
    9. I'm Getting Sentimental Over You*


    *Bonus Track

    Bill Evans & Jim Hall
    $27.99
    180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
  • East Coasting (Pure Pleasure) East Coasting (Pure Pleasure) Quick View

    $34.99
    Buy Now
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    East Coasting (Pure Pleasure)

    Charles Mingus is usually known for his wild, soulful and avant-garde compositions. East Coasting is mellow by comparison, but it still cooks on a musical level. The Mingus touches are there; the trombone, drummer Danny Richmond and of course the dark emotional undercurrent looms large, too. The personnel are all Mingus regulars, except for pianist Bill Evans, who would not be described as 'soulful' in the traditional sense, but his introverted and sensitive style works well with Mingus's music. His playing on West Coast Ghost (the album's stand-out track) and Celia are two examples of Evans' ability to understand an artist's musical vision and play accordingly in his own beautifully original style.East Coasting sounds like the prototypical 1950s jazz recording. It's something one would hear in an attic converted to a bedroom where an artist or lonely soul might live. It's what a lot of people might believe Jazz would or should sound like. Highly recommended to Jazz lovers and perhaps more importantly to young people who have just been blown away by Kerouac's novel On The Road and have become interested in exploring Jazz. East Coasting will allow them to get a taste of lost creative America.



    Musicians:



    • Charles Mingus (bass)

    • Clarence Shaw (trumpet)

    • Jimmy Knepper (trombone)

    • Shafi Hadi (tenor saxophone, alto saxophone)

    • Bill Evans (piano)

    • Dannie Richmond (drums)




    Recording: August 1957 in New York City




    About Pure Pleasure



    At the beginning of the 90s, in the early days of audiophile vinyl re-releases, the situation was fairly straightforward. Companies such as DCC, Mobile Fidelity, Classic Records and, of course, Pure Pleasure all maintained a mutual, unwritten ethical code: we would only use analogue tapes to manufacture records.



    During the course of the present vinyl hype, many others have jumped on the bandwagon in the hope of securing a corner of the market. Very often they are not so ethical and use every imaginable source to master from: CDs, LPs, digital files, MP3s - or employed existent tools from the 80s and 90s for manufacturing.



    A digital delay is gladly used when cutting a lacquer disc because tape machines with an analogue delay have become quite rare and are therefore expensive. When cutting the lacquer, the audio signal is delayed by one LP revolution against the signal, which controls the cutter head, and for this a digital delay is very often employed. Of course, the resultant sound signal is completely digital and thus only as good as this delay.



    We should like to emphasize that Pure Pleasure Records on principle only uses the original master tape as the basis for the entirely analogue cutting of lacquer discs. In addition, the pressing tool is newly manufactured as a matter of principle.



    We only employ existing tools for manufacturing if an improved result is not forthcoming, e.g. the title Elvis Is Back, which was mastered by Steve Hoffman and Kevin Gray, or several titles from our Philips Classics series, which in any case Willem Makkee cut from the original masters at the Emil Berliner Studios in the 90s. It goes without saying that we only used the mother and that new tools were made for our production.



    To put it in a nutshell: we can ensure you that our releases are free from any kind of digital effects and that the lacquer discs are newly cut.

    1. Memories Of You
    2. East Coasting
    3. West Coast Ghost
    4. Celia
    5. Conversation
    6. Fifty-First Street Blues
    Charles Mingus
    $34.99
    180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
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