Recorded live at the Village Vanguard on June 25, 1961, the same night as Sunday At The Village Vanguard, this set rounded out what became known as an early "full" portrait of Bill Evans. Waltz For Debby captures one of the most important and well-integrated piano trios in the history of jazz, working on a superbly inspired night. It is clear, listening to this record, that bassist Scott Lafaro had a very special rapport with Evans, and drummer Paul Motian's subtle, improvised accompaniments and eccentric, quirkily quiet swing was the perfect engine for this subtle, impressionistic pianist. Check out the lovely, gentle "My Foolish Heart", and the lively "Milestones" and, of course, "Waltz For Debby". Very little in the annals of piano-trio jazz ever reached the clarity of execution that Evans made his own with the recordings from this single date. With bassist Scott LaFaro and drummer Paul Motian, Evans reached a rapport that sounded whisper-intimate, rolling into gentle cascades and then rhythmically pouncing juts. On the keys, Evans sounds at once completely walled-off and nakedly open as he takes on "My Foolish Heart" and the title melody. The chords are voiced ever so oddly, as are the bass and drums. Coming as it did several months in the wake of the successful first episode in Evans's Vanguard, Waltz for Debby just made it all the more obvious what a wonder the world had in this trio and its leader.
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