Magazine article The New Yorker

Waltz for Bill

Magazine article The New Yorker

Waltz for Bill

Article excerpt

With the unexpected death of the drummer Paul Motian, last November, "Further Explorations" (Concord), an album intended to be an homage to the pianist Bill Evans, has become a double tribute. Motian, an integral member of Evans's landmark trio of the early sixties, joined the pianist Chick Corea and the bassist Eddie Gomez (a longtime Evans associate whose tenure never coincided with Motian's) for a stint at the Blue Note in May of 2010, the results of which are captured on this bracing double-disk set.

Signature tunes from the Evans canon are here, but so are originals by the members of the trio, along with popular and jazz standards unrecorded by him and open-form pieces of an exploratory nature not generally associated with the pianist. A deeply felt celebration of an iconic figure, the album nonetheless pulses with its own heart.

Jazz pianists of Corea's generation (he turned seventy in June) welcomed Evans's influence, but Corea has proved himself his own man. He's taken the best of Evans (the gorgeous keyboard touch, the harmonic acuity, the heightened sensitivity to melody) and run with it, adding his own playfulness and rhythmic vigor. …

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