The Ivory Hunters
Bill Evans, Bob Brookmeyer (p), Percy Heath (b), Connie Kay (d) / Bill Evans (p), Bob Brookmeyer, Eddie Bert, Billy Byers (tb), Lee Konitz (as), Ernie Royal, Phil Sunkel (tp), Sonny Dallas (b), Roy Haynes (d), Jimmy Giuffre (arr)
This release contains the complete album The Ivory Hunters, which presents a quartet with the unusual combination of two pianos, bass and drums. Thanks to the magic of stereo recording (which had just been developed) Bill Evans plays the pianos on the right channel, while Bob Brookmeyer lays down his trombone to join Evans on piano on the left channel.
As a bonus to this interesting session, a complete session that also features both Evans and Brookmeyer (the latter now on trombone) as part of a group arranged by Jiimy Giuffre, plus three terrific tunes by Evans at Newport 57, one of which, I Love You, is in a trio format.
01. Honeysuckle Rose (5:55)
02. As Time Goes By (6:56)
03. The Way You Look Tonight (7:39)
04. It Could Happen To You (7:26)
05. The Man I Love (5:57)
06. I Got Rhythm (8:31)
07. Everything Ive Got (Belongs To You) (4:48) (*) Bonus Track
08. You Dont Know What Love Is (4:19) (*) Bonus Track
09. I Dont Know About You (4:00) (*) Bonus Track
10. Im Getting Sentimental Over You (3:58) (*) Bonus Track
11. Dancing In The Dark (6:14) (*) Bonus Track
12. I Love You (4:09) (*) Bonus Track
13. S Wonderful (5:51) (*) Bonus Track
Total time: 75:46 min.
Tracks #1-6 originally issued as "The Ivory Hunters - Double Barrelled Piano" (United Artists UA S-5044).
Tracks #1-6: Bill Evans (p righ channel), Bob Brookmeyer (p left channel), Percy Heath (b) and Connie Kay (d). Recorded in New York City, on March 12, 1959.
Tracks #7-10: Bill Evans (p), Bob Brookmeyer, Eddie Bert, Billy Byers (tb), Lee Konitz (as), Ernie Royal, Marky Markowitz, Phil Sunkel (tp), Sonny Dallas (b) and Roy Haynes (d). Jimmy Giuffre (arr, cond). Recorded in New York City, on October 29, 1959.
Tracks #11-13: Bill Evans (p), Don Elliott (mellophone on 11; vibes on 13; bongos on 11 & 13), Ernie Furtado (b) and Al Beldini (d). Recorded live at the Newport Jazz Festival, Newport, Rhode Island, on July 6, 1957.
-The Ivory Hunters
"When Bill Evans agreed to do a two piano date with Bob Brookmeyer, eyebrows surely must have raised. Pairing a rising superstar of modern jazz with a gentleman known for playing valve trombone and arranging charts might have been deemed by some as a daunting task. Fortunately for the keyboardists, this was a good idea and a marvelous concept, where the two could use the concept of counterpoint and improvisation to an enjoyable means, much like a great chess match. For the listener, you are easily able to hear the difference between ostensible leader Evans in the right channel of the stereo separation, and the accompanist Brookmeyer in the left. The opener "Honeysuckle Rose" gives a basic idea of what to expect, as Evans leads out, Brookmeyer counters his moves, and they trade riffs in an inventive bridge. "The Way You Look Tonight" is similar as Brookmeyer is more playful in his chiming chords and second melody line. The energy level is very good here, as well as on the democratic, funky contemporary intro to the easy swing of "It Could Happen to You" and "I Got Rhythm," jam-packed with fun plus risk-taking. There's a different give and take during "The Man I Love," and they turn the lamp down low on a delicate version of "As Time Goes By" as the pianists trade leads, and bassist Percy Heath adopts a more pronounced role. It is Heath and drummer Connie Kay, on loan from the Modern Jazz Quartet, who precisely and firmly cement rhythmic elements, allowing the pianists to use space, harmony, wit and wisdom to full effect. Some have called this an effort based more on gimmick and showmanship, but if you agree to listen closely, the depth and substance of Evans and Brookmeyer reveals a lot of soul, invention, and musicians simply having a real good time. It would be nice to hear any alternate takes from this marvelous date."
Michael G. Nastos -All Music Guide