German-born composer and arranger Claus Ogerman, born in 1930, must rank as one of the most versatile musicians of the twentieth century. When he was at his peak in the 1970s, writing everything from ballet scores to arrangements for Brazilian composer Antonio Carlos Jobim, diva Barbra Streisand, and jazz/R&B saxophonist George Benson, there was hardly a radio station on the dial where his music wasn't heard during the course of a typical day – and he's still quite active. The key to his success has been his ability to stay in the background behind the musician he's working with and yet create something distinctive. This 1982 collaboration with the late jazz saxophonist Michael Brecker is one of his most successful works, not least because the overlap between the extended harmonies of jazz and the chromaticism of the late German Romantic polyphony in which Ogerman was trained is large enough to allow Brecker to operate comfortably – his improvisations seem to grow naturally out of the background, and the intersections between jazz band and orchestral strings come more easily here than on almost any other crossover between jazz and classical music.
This well-rounded set (released posthumously) features the highly influential pianist Bill Evans in a set of typically sensitive trio performances. With his longtime bassist Eddie Gomez and his drummer of the period, Eliot Zigmund, Evans explores such songs as "We Will Meet Again," Jimmy Rowles's classic "The Peacocks" and the "Theme from M*A*S*H." It's a solid example of the great pianist's artistry.
This CD reissue is the companion to Jazzhouse, for both were recorded on the same night at the Montmartre in Copenhagen. Evans' regular trio of the time (which included bassist Eddie Gómez and drummer Marty Morell) is in exuberant form performing before an enthusiastic crowd. In addition to versions of his famous "Waltz for Debby" and "Time Remembered," Evans plays seven of his favorite standards, including "You're Gonna Hear from Me," "Nardis," and "Emily." An excellent all-around set that was not originally released until 1988.
The only studio meeting between Stan Getz and Bill Evans took place over two days in 1964, with the aggressive drummer Elvin Jones and either Richard Davis or Ron Carter on bass. It is peculiar that Verve shelved the results for over a decade before issuing any of the music, though it may have been felt that Getz and Evans hadn't had enough time to achieve the desired chemistry, though there are memorable moments. The punchy take of "My Heart Stood Still," the elegant interpretation of "Grandfather's Waltz," and the lush setting of the show tune "Melinda" all came from the first day's session, with Davis on bass…