Bill Evans Trio with Herb Geller – Live in Hamburg – February 14, 1972 – North German Radio –
Bill Evans this weekend. His trio and guest Herb Geller, recorded in Hamburg by North German Radio on February 14, 1972.
In 1966, Bill Evans met Puerto-Rico born, Julliard-graduated bassist Eddie Gómez. In what turned out to be an eleven-year stay, Gómez sparked new developments in Evans’s trio conception. One of the most significant releases during this period is Bill Evans at the Montreux Jazz Festival (1968), which won him his second Grammy award. It has remained a critical favorite, and is one of two albums Evans made with drummer Jack DeJohnette.
Other highlights from this period include “Solo – In Memory of His Father” from Bill Evans at Town Hall (1966), which also introduced “Turn Out the Stars”; a second pairing with guitarist Jim Hall, Intermodulation (1966); and the solo album Alone (1968, featuring a 14-minute version of “Never Let Me Go”), that won his third Grammy award.
In 1968, drummer Marty Morell joined the trio and remained until 1975, when he retired to family life. This was Evans’s most stable, longest-lasting group. Evans had overcome his heroin habit and was entering a period of personal stability.
Between 1969 and 1970, Evans recorded From Left to Right, featuring his first use of electric piano.
Between May and June 1971, Evans recorded The Bill Evans Album, which won two Grammy awards. This all-originals album (four new), also featured alternation between acoustic and electric piano. One of these was “Comrade Conrad”, a tune that had originated as a Crest toothpaste jingle and had later been re-elaborated and dedicated to Conrad Mendenhall, a friend who had died in a car accident.
Other albums included The Tokyo Concert (1973); Since We Met (1974); and But Beautiful (1974; released in 1996), featuring the trio plus saxophonist Stan Getz in live performances from the Netherlands and Belgium. Morell was an energetic, straight-ahead drummer, unlike many of the trio’s former percussionists, and many critics feel that this was a period of little growth for Evans. After Morell left, Evans and Gómez recorded two duo albums, Intuition and Montreux III.
Here is a performance from 1972 featuring Bill Evans, along with Eddie Gomez and Marty Morell with special guest, Herb Geller.
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