Sunday at the Village Vanguard by Bill Evans

It’s Sunday, so this music.

If there are musicians that could be described as geniuses, then Bill Evans is surely one of them. But his virtuosity at the piano may not be apparent when he plays in big bands, like Miles Davis’s sextet.

But in this setting, playing live with Scott LaFaro on bass and Paul Motian on drums–which even he described as his best ever trio–his subtle touch on the piano and the chemistry among the individual band members produced one of the finest jazz recordings of all time.

(By some coincidence, after checking I just learned that this album was recorded exactly 62 years ago today, on June 25, 1961.)

The Penguin Guide to Jazz awarded Sunday at the Village Vanguard and its sister album Waltz for Debbie (tracks culled from the same live session) their coveted crown.

It would be the last time the trio performed together; Scott LaFaro would die in a car accident eleven days later–and Bill Evans would descend into one of the lowest points of his troubled career.

My copy is one of the five-CD set called Bill Evans: the Riverside Years published by the EU-based Not Now Music, which includes Portrait in Jazz and Explorations (both with the same trio), and the earlier New Jazz Conceptions and Everybody Digs Bill Evans.