Copenhagen Rehearsal – 1966

Bill Evans

Remarkable footage of a rehearsal led by Bill Evans

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Bill Evans was, along with McCoy Tyner, the most influential jazz pianist of the 1960s, one who changed the way that piano trios play and interact with each other, making the unit much more democratic than it had been in the 1950s.

Alex Riel, from whose archives this priceless footage was stored, was a Danish drummer who by 1966 already had performed and recorded with Lars Gullin, Dexter Gordon, Brew Moore, Rahsaan Roland Kirk, Archie Shepp, Kenny Dorham, Ben Webster, Stuff Smith and Kenny Drew.

In 1966, the year that Eddie Gomez became Evans’ regular bassist (staying for a decade), Riel was hired by Evans for a concert that would also feature singer Monica Zetterlund.

This fascinating film from Oct. 25, 1966 has Evans coaching Riel as to his musical approach and then, starting around the 17-minute mark, the Evans-Gomez-Riel trio performs “Very Early,” “Who Can I Turn To,” “If You Could See Me Now,” “Autumn Leaves” and “Five.”

The camera work is very good, the black and white footage is in great shape, and this film allows one to see what it was like to be part of the Bill Evans Trio; it is priceless.

-Scott Yanow


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