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Re: Bill Evans by Dave Askren Trio

Approaching the repertoire of as singular and respected an artist as Bill Evans is something that even the most adept pianists do only with a degree of trepidation. To reimagine Evans' distinctive piano voicings as arrangements for guitar, an instrument whose physical structure and harmonic differences from the piano would be enough to deter most players from the task. That guitarist Dave Askren was willing to tackle the challenge is worthy of a tip of the hat. That he succeeds so admirably is worthy of wild applause.

Askren eschewed unusual tunings or other tricks in his approach to these 11 Evans associated tunes, which made the job even more demanding, but while it's unreasonable to expect him to duplicate Evans' arrangements on a different instrument, he does a remarkable job of maintaining the essence of Evans' style while maintaining an individual identity as a player and arranger. He gets a big assist in that effort from drummer Steve Sykes and bassist Mike Flick, who are sensitive and supportive musicians in their own rights.

Along with some of the best loved numbers from the pianist's trio book, Askren offers a version of Gershwin's "Who Cares?," from a 1961 version Evans recorded with Cannonball Adderley, and a breezy version of "Freddy Freeloader," which Evans recorded with Miles Davis on the classic album, "Kind Of Blue."

"Re: Bill Evans" is a the kind of tribute album that is deserving of its own high regard.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Dave Askren Trio
  • CD Title: Re: Bill Evans
  • Genre: Straight-Ahead / Classic
  • Year Released: 2002
  • Record Label: String Jazz
  • Tracks: Re: Person I Knew, Spring Is Here, Everything I Love, My Foolish Heart, Midnight Mood, Who Cares?, Time Remembered, Freddie Freeloader, It Might As Well Be Spring, When Sunny Gets Blue, If You Could See Me Now
  • Musicians: Dave Askren (guitar), Mike Flick (bass), Steve Sykes (drums)
  • Rating: Four Stars
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