Audiophile ears listening to these nine titles will be surprised by the unique musical empathy of this piano-bass-percussion trio. This is also unusual given the fact that the Casino in Montreux is not exactly famous for its acoustics.
Older jazz fans will discover previously unheard nuances in the interplay, and younger people, who have come to love jazz through the music of Esbjörn Svensson or Brad Mehldau in particular, will surely be amazed that such excellent and popular live numbers were recorded and pressed in vinyl in 1968.
All the titles are full of fire and elegance, are rich in harmony, surprising twists and turns of rhythm and complicated changes of tempo. Eddie Gomez, who had been a member of the trio for two years at the time of recording, is far more than just a new face; and the drummer Jack DeJohnette, who often seems surprised by the changes, is an ideal partner for Bill Evans. The aggressiveness of the bass sound leads the introverted Bill Evans to new pastures: sometimes his playing is even full of exuberance and joy, as is particularly apparent in the 'children’s song' "Someday My Prince Will Come", where he creates a more mellow mood than is found on other recordings.
The audience at this 1968 Montreux Jazz Festival concert was fully aware of the intensity of the interplay between the musicians and leapt from their seats to applaud frenetically, which both surprised and inspired the three. All in all, this is an outstanding production, especially now that the sound has been enhanced to satisfy today’s discerning listener.