Bud Shank (as), Mike Wofford (p), Bob Magnusson (b), Joe LaBarbera (d), Bill Evans (compositions)
Reference: FSRCD 5012
Bar code: 8427328650120
A Fresh Sound classic set available once again by popular request
"This album came about after Shanks wife Linda found an untitled folder of charts in the music room of their home in Port Townsend, Washington. They had been sent by Bill Evans to Bud in preparation for a Shank/Evans duo recording session planned by Dick Bock, founder of Pacific Jazz Records. Unfortunately, it never occurred, but 16 years after Evanss death, Bud made this joyous and sincere tribute to one of my favourite pianist/composers.
Backed by the scintillating accompaniment of the still underrated Wofford, and the immaculate support of Magnusson and LaBarbera, Shank offers blistering interpretations of such Evans compositions as Peris Scope, Funkallero, the lesser-known My Bells, and his most famous (and melodic) tune, Waltz For Debby. Shanks own composition, Evanescent, is a moving and beautiful piece, with his alto at its purest. Shank said that his aim was to suggest an alto players impression of Bill Evanss life, the joy and the sadness. The gentler side of Shank is also displayed on A Tune For A Lyric, Blue In Green and No Cover, No Minimum. Elsewhere, his tone -as on Funkallero- takes on a more aggressive, disjointed and searing sound, recalling latterday Art Pepper. Wofford offers his own tribute with the anagrammatic Bills Vane, an impression of Evanss chordal and rhythmical techniques and devices. Shank contributes his most acerbic and blazing playing to this remarkable performance.
Several tracks are too long to sustain interest, but despite some longueurs, this is a highly professional and enjoyable record. Liner notes by Linda Shank, Doug Ramsey and Dick Bank put the session and Buds distinguished career in biographical context."
—John White (February, 2015)
Jazz Journal Magazine
"Although they had parallel careers, altoist Bud Shank and pianist Bill Evans only met once in 1980, when they played a concert opposite each other. Shank and Evans were supposed to record a duet album of the pianist's compositions for Pacific Jazz in the early '60s, but even though Shank was sent the tunes they were to perform, the project never materialized. In recent times, the discovery of the music resulted in this memorable CD. Joined by what he calls his favorite rhythm section (pianist Mike Wofford, bassist Bob Magnusson, and drummer Joe La Barbera), Shank performs eight of Evans' originals, plus Wofford's "Bill's Vane" and his own "Evanescent."
The altoist has grown as a soloist through the decades, and the harmonically sophisticated and often complex music inspires him to consistently satisfying improvisations. Although Bill Evans was never that famous as a composer (other than his hit "Waltz for Debby," which is included here), his tricky and unpredictable originals are well worth exploring. Among the highlights of the set are "Peri's Scope," "Funkallero," "My Bells," and "No Cover, No Minimum." This easily recommended concept album works quite well, putting the focus on Bud Shank's continued excellence as a soloist and on the underrated compositional talents of Bill Evans."
Scott Yanow —All Music Guide