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Who's your favorite Bill Evans bassist?

Discussion in 'Bassists [DB]' started by dbass87, Feb 10, 2014.

  1. dbass87


    May 16, 2010
    Just curious, Scott Lafaro, Chuck Israels, Eddie Gomez, or one of the others I'm not as familiar with that played with Bill at some point... ?
  2. favorite is tough to say, mine changes daily... the records that I return to often are:
    1. Trio '64 w/Gary Peacock (this is one of my favorite, if not THE favorite, bass sounds of all time)
    2. All the Lafaro records but especially the two live ones at the VV
    3. You Must Believe in Spring w/Gomez (who plays beautiful solos on this one, especially "Sometime Ago")
    4. How My Heart Sings w/Israels (great tunes, great playing, great record!)

    many more I could list (thinking about Eddie Gomez circa 67~70, love his gut sound). One thing is for certain, I think Bill Evans had great taste in bass players.
  3. chuck norriss

    chuck norriss Banned

    Jan 20, 2011
    does paul chambers count? my kneejerk was favorite bassist (under bill, w miles)
  4. dieterdiettrich


    Dec 23, 2010
    So tough to say, basically all of my favourite bassists, minus Charlie Haden and Dave Holland played with Bill at some point. meandering picked out some of the best ones, and though I'd be quick to say LAFARO, I also have a particular "affinity"(pun definitely intended) for Marc Johnson's playing. Some might not know it but at young NHOP played with Bill briefly, and though there were unfortunately no albums, you can find some videos on youtube. Hearing NHOP play at basically my (young) age reminds me of how god awful I really am.
    nicechuckh likes this.
  5. Jefff


    Aug 14, 2013
    Paul Chambers...:)
  6. tleebassist11

    tleebassist11 Taylor Lee Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2011
    Endorsing: Fodera, DR Strings
    Scott Lafaro all day every day! He brought out the best in Bill!
  7. petrus61

    petrus61 Supporting Member

  8. Tom Lane

    Tom Lane Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 28, 2011
    Torrance, CA
    I enjoy all three, but LaFaro, like Ray Brown, almost always makes me marvel, literally awestruck. Add Gary Peacock and Dave Holland to that list of great players.

    Off the question, but I heard a recording of Ray Brown playing Frankie and Johnny today on the radio - tone for days, time to set your watch by, and the right note at the right time, every time - IMO. And we're really lucky that Lynn Seaton, John Clayton, and Christophe Luty and others have carried Ray's mantle.

    Some of LaFaro's recordings, especially his really high arco solos leave me wincing, but his bass lines - a true innovator and musical genius.

    For Ray, there's one recording in which I heard him play a note or two out of tune but I can't say that for LaFaro and I think that's significant, a real indicator of genius talent.
  9. DC Bass

    DC Bass Supporting Member

    Mar 28, 2010
    Washington DC
    Once upon a time I would have said Scott Lafaro without hesitation. I still love his playing but I recently read the Bill Evans bio "How My Heart Sings" and it spurred a LOT of renewed listening to the many phases of Bill's career.

    The contributions of Chuck Israels resonated deeply with me. My already deep love and respect for this incarnation of the trio has grown to the point that makes it difficult, if not impossible to pick a "favorite".

    So much great music!

    It is most unfortunate that there are no recordings of Michael Moore playing with Bill...

  10. dbass87


    May 16, 2010
    I agree, I think Chuck Israels (from what relatively little I've listened of him with Bill) added something special to the mix. Not as flashy as LaFaro or Gomez but just a great feel. Not to take away anything from the others though. I've listened probably the most to the Bill/ Eddie incarnations of the trio and I have to say I really can dig Eddie's high-flying lines and great time/ feel re-decorating in every piece.
  11. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    Isn't there a bootleg floating around?
  12. Bassist4Eris

    Bassist4Eris Frat-Pack Sympathizer

    Aug 11, 2012
    Upstate NY, USA
    LaFaro. I have listened to "Sunday at the Village Vanguard" about 16,732,518 times.
    Give or take.
  13. oliebrice


    Apr 7, 2003
    Hastings, UK
    There is a recording of Michael Moore with Bill Evans, 'Getting Sentimental', on Milestone. It's not a great recording, sound quality wise but also musically - there were some well-documented issues in that group, and Philly Joe Jones and Evans were both tending to rush everything. Still well worth hearing though, and MM plays some gorgeous stuff
  14. DC Bass

    DC Bass Supporting Member

    Mar 28, 2010
    Washington DC
    Thanks for the heads up on the boots guys, I was not aware of them...

    But maybe I should have qualified my statement by saying "sanctioned recording". The bio was very clear that Bill was VERY concerned about the quality of his music. It is said that he changed his mind on a few occasions and allowed the release of material he had once determined to be unacceptable- but these were studio recordings- and few and far between.

    Listening to recordings of Bill that he would not have approved of does give us a glimpse behind the curtain but I'm not sure how I feel about it.

  15. Lee Moses

    Lee Moses

    Apr 2, 2013
    My favorite as Bill Evans' bassist would unquestionably be Scott LaFaro.
  16. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    What, no Sam Jones love?
  17. Eric Hochberg

    Eric Hochberg

    Jul 7, 2004
  18. hdiddy

    hdiddy Official Forum Flunkee Supporting Member

    Mar 16, 2004
    Richmond, CA
    LaFaro then Israels.
  19. oliebrice


    Apr 7, 2003
    Hastings, UK
  20. DC Bass

    DC Bass Supporting Member

    Mar 28, 2010
    Washington DC