Explorations is an album by jazz pianist Bill Evans that was originally released on Riverside label in 1961. The album won the Billboard Jazz Critics Best Piano LP poll for 1961. Explorations was the second album Evans recorded with his trio of Scott LaFaro on bass and Paul Motian on drums.
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Bill Evans had changed by early 1972. A year later, his hair was college-campus long, and he also sounded different. Bill Evans had changed by early 1972. Instead of playing with shy, lyrical patience and lots of space, Evans sounded more agitated in his keyboard attack. In an interview during the show with Albertson, Evans refers to his forthcoming Living Time album for Columbia with George Russell.
In fact, the "Bill Evans Album" would have been more satisfying if Bill had stuck with the Fender Rhodes for the duration: those stretches are the highlights of his playing on this occasion-arguably the best mainstream jazz ever recorded on the ubiquitous 1970s' instrument that, however brief an affair it enjoyed with Bill Evans, is still seen as a useful keyboard. It's actually remarkable that Bill Evans' music and reputation continue to rise to the top in discussions of jazz piano, given the damage to his piano voice-inflicted, first, by Verve (with a "bottled-up," frequency-limited piano sound that makes for especially painful listening on, for example, the "With Symphony Orchestra" recording) and, secondly, by Columbia (which was now confining its. jazz activities to electric, "fusion" music produced by Miles, McGlaughlin, Corea, Hancock).
Having been Bill Evans' drummer during the pianist's prime early-'60s period, Paul Motian is the right person to record an Evans tribute album, a recording that fits right in with Motian's spate of jazz repertory releases (Monk in Motian, the On Broadway series). But the obligatory nature of the record ends there, as Motian, tenor saxophonist Joe Lovano, guitarist Bill Frisell, and bassist Marc Johnson turn in an innovative set, using Evans' rich harmonic and rhythmic structures to launch many inspired solos.
As played by Bill Evans on 'The Universal Mind of Bill Evans' TV special in 1966.