Evans, Bill Trio: Moon Beams LP
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Bill Evans was left reeling by the accidental death of his brilliant bassist Scott LaFaro in mid-1961 and didn't feel ready to record with his new bassist until nearly a year later. When he did go into the studio in May and June of 1962 with Chuck Israels and drummer Paul Motian, the "second trio" produced material for two albums that were to be among Evans's most popular.
Moon Beams includes ballad material from the sessions. The rest of the music from the sessions is in How My Heart Sings! In Moon Beams, Evans did some of his most introspective playing, his sense of loss apparent but relieved by Israels's power and empathy. "Polka Dots and Moonbeams," "If You Could See Me Now," and the others represent Evans at his best, his lyricism underlaid with rhythmic firmness even in the extraordinarily slow "In Love in Vain."
"Crystal notes, quiet fire, flow of rhythm, depth of harmony, adoration of melody. Evans melded all of that to create beauty in this recording, despite the distractions of grief, illness, and a powerful need for drugs that shared with music dominion over his life." - jazz journalist and author Doug Ramsey