The Complete Gus Wildi Recordings (3 LPs on 2 CDs)
Bill Evans (p), with Jimmy Knepper, Gene Quill (as), Charles Mingus, Paul Chambers, Teddy Kotick (b), Dannie Richmond, Jimmy Cobb (d), Frank Minion (vcl)
Previously available only on limited Japanese editions. Over 154 minutes of music, including 10 bonus tracks!
This colossal 2hour release captures some of the unique pianists lesser-known work. The first of the four dates included on this edition was recorded with Jimmy Kneppers quintet in New York in September 1957. Alto saxophonist Gene Quill, bassist Teddy Kotick and drummer Dannie Richmond round out the group.
The second date is a very rare 1959 session with Evans accompanying singer Frank Minion. Featuring the full rhythm section of Miles legendary sextet Evans, Paul Chambers and Jimmy Cobb the quartet performs homage to the legendary album Kind Of Blue with excellent versions of So What and Flamenco Sketches and with original lyrics by Minion. The band also performs Monks modern standard Round Midnight.
The third session recorded in August 1957 features Evans with the Charles Mingus sextet. The date is legendary in that Evans found out about it six hours prior to recording and sight-read everything to perfection. Not an easy task with Mingus compositions!
The bonus tracks included complete Charles Mingus and Jimmy Kneppers association with Gus Wildi. This means that not only does this astounding compilation contain Bill Evans complete recordings with Wildi, but Mingus and Kneppers as well!
01. You Stepped Out of a Dream
02. Love Letters
03. Ogling Ogre
04. How High the Moon
05. Idol of the Flies
06. Avid Admirer
07. So What
08. Flamenco Sketches
09. 'Round Midnight
10. Memories of you
11. East Costing
01. Fifty-first Street Blues
02. East Costing (alt. take)
03. Memories of you (alt. take)
04. Scenes in the City (bonus track)
05. Nouroog (bonus track)
06. New York Sketchbook (bonus track)
07. Duke's Choice (bonus track)
08. Slippers (bonus track)
09. Bounce (bonus track)
10. Slippers (bonus track - alt.take)
11. Gee Baby, Ain't I Good to You (bonus track)
12. Close as Pages in a Book (bonus track)
13. Irresistible You (bonus track)
Everything Ive learned, Ive learned with feeling being the generating force. Ive never approached the piano as a thing in itself, but as a gateway to music.
Knepper's originals have a flavor and dash to them that is refreshing. Bill Evans romps every chance he gets. Recommended.
-Dom Cerulli, Down Beat (Original 1957 Record Review)