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Sunday At The Village Vanguard

Bill Evans Trio

1961

Sunday At The Village Vanguard
Album Summary

Sunday at the Village Vanguard is a live album by jazz pianist and composer Bill Evans and his Trio consisting of Evans, bassist Scott LaFaro, and drummer Paul Motian. Released in 1961, the album is routinely ranked as one of the best live jazz recordings of all time.

Wikipedia

Rating

3.34

Votes

13112

Genres

  • Jazz

Reviews

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Mon Feb 01 2021
5

I have always found Bill Evans to sound like "falling down" -- the sun falling down, the rain falling down, the snow falling down. What makes the Trio so transcendent is the dialogue between piano and bass with the percussion actually guiding the journey.

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Tue Jun 13 2023
5

OK -- you've made your move on the couch, Miles Davis Kind of Blue has just played out but she's just getting warmed up, so what now? You gonna say "excuse me for just a second, don't go anywhere", go put on this record, and resume the snogging.

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Fri Jun 25 2021
4

It's tempting to dismiss Sunday At The Village Vanguard as safe, geriatric and boring, the sort of music you would expect to hear in an upscale hotel lobby bar. But that isn't really fair--the album deserves a closer listen. In most popular (as distinguished from classical) improvisatory music, the function of the rhythm section is to lay down a groove, keep time, and provide a rhythmic and harmonic structure for the soloist to blow over. Bill Evans has had a lot of trios over the years, but this is probably the first one in which each member of the trio could and was expected to fluidly take on any role: time keeping, harmony, soloing, holding down a groove or pulse, etc. This required intense listening from all the members of the trio and is actually very difficult to do well. A close listen will reveal that the trio is communicating almost telepathically, and that the playing is exquisite, which accounts for the legendary status of this album, especially among jazz buffs. That said, if you aren't willing to put in the effort to intensively listen to this music, it will most likely come across as safe, geriatric and boring. That is why I actually prefer other recordings of the Bill Evans Trio, especially Turn Out The Stars, which was recorded shortly before Evans died. Evans pours his heart and soul into those performances with unmatched ferocity, knowing he didn't have long to live. So, how to rate Sunday At The Village Vanguard? Well, for what Evans was going for, it's pretty much perfection, an easy 5/5. However, I have to be honest--I don't really enjoy listening to it that much.

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Tue Jul 06 2021
5

Unexpectedly easy listening, super accessible and engaging. The live format works well, love the chatter and glass clinking. Even though the band's namesake is on Piano I thought the bass was way more impressive. Has got to be the world's most undercover drummer; he's somehow always there but never there. Would definitely benefit from several more listens. All Of You is the highlight. Although lots of the stuff from this era is difficult to relate to and tempting to dismiss, this exercise has made interesting to imagine what it would've sounded like to me in the context of that time in space. Also have been dishing out lots of five stars lately.

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Thu Dec 16 2021
5

I listened to this 8 times yesterday, and will do so again today. This is like the jazz album you wanted to discover to help you get a better understanding. Backstory is amazing, it's just incredible brass free jazz.

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Tue Apr 06 2021
5

One of the first albums I listened to when getting into jazz. Amazing brassless jazz album. Just a piano, drums and bass and it sounds great.

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Wed Sep 15 2021
3

J'ai demandé à Robert Dimery ce que faisait cet album dans la liste des 1001 et il m'a très rapidement répondu (Robert et moi sommes très proches) qu'il voulait à la base ajouter un autre album mais a cliqué sans le faire exprès sur une playlist appelée "3 hours jazz chillax music" et l'a insérée dans les 1001. Robert est quelqu'un d'extrêmement tête en l'air.

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Fri Jan 28 2022
2

I have no doubt this is a quality jazz album, but sheesh I nearly fell asleep. The very long bass solo in Solar is just too much for me to handle. I can’t take it. Not enough excitement. This is the background music at a cocktail hour not a concert for which I would want to pay money.

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Thu May 13 2021
5

A jazz album worthy of some serious superlatives. Blissful stuff from open to close. I am a sucker for Alice in Wonderland; this nearly gets 5 starts just for that track.

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Wed Oct 27 2021
5

Les voy a ser franco y honesto: es demasiado refinado para mí. Los barriobajeros no escuchamos este tipo de obras maestras.

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Sat Feb 20 2021
4

Music can serve as a rush or atmosphere, this is all atmosphere and it’s amazing. Excellent. The deep background conversation noise really adds something. Excellent, jumping off point

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Thu Jun 13 2024
3

My jazz preferences sit in the seething demented and transcendental ecstatic sectors (late Coltrane goes down well), so this is just too plain nice to live long with me. But it is rather nice.

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Thu Dec 02 2021
2

Fine jazz, not what I would choose to listen to though.

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Tue Mar 01 2022
2

Would have been nice background in a piano bar. Wasn't that great to have on whilst working.

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Tue Jan 02 2024
2

Just another jazz album, nothing dreadful.

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Thu Jan 04 2024
2

Classic jazz instrumental Good for background

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Thu Jun 13 2024
2

Admittedly, I'm not a very sophisticated jazz appreciator; however, this seemed almost featureless, with only parts of "Alice In Wonderland" eliciting a knowing stroke of the chin. Harsh 2*

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Wed Sep 16 2020
5

What a great album! Very soothing jazz.

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Fri Jun 18 2021
5

This was extremely pleasant background music for the stuff I was doing around the house. I was a little leery because sometimes I find the improv parts of jazz to be annoying, but this combination of instruments and chill sound worked well for me.

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Tue Jul 06 2021
5

A stunner. Loved every second. Absolutely beautiful

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Fri Jun 11 2021
5

Not much into jazz, but you listen to this, you understand what makes jazz special. Phenomenal musicianship

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Fri Mar 26 2021
5

Phenomenal Jazz Classic, great recording

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Wed Oct 06 2021
5

sophisticated focus music, great for work

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Tue Oct 19 2021
5

Absolute classic, incredible from start to finish.

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Thu Oct 21 2021
5

Beautiful chemistry between these three. One of Scott La Faro's last recordings. Bill's voicings and phrasings in this performance are masterful.

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Tue Oct 26 2021
5

Really good. Not a jazz guy but the skill is there. It is also more approachable than a lot of jazz but not fading into the background.

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Fri Dec 10 2021
4

I want to listen to this in front of a log fire in a comfy chair drinking good whisky with a few friends.

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Mon Jul 17 2023
4

i was pretty satisfied with every song on this album and liked them all however i dont think i was thrilled enough by it to call it a 5 star album but i will happily rate it a 4

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Thu Apr 15 2021
3

Its elevator music, but really good elevator music. Bill Evans is obviously the focal point on piano, but the dude playing bass was on some other shit. I enjoyed this music best when I focused on the bass and let the drums and piano just kinda fade a bit into the backround. Like all jazz I definitely recommend good headphones/speakers

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Tue Aug 24 2021
3

I realised something masterful was afoot when I noticed these dainties weren't only sighing and swaying but giggling and winking at me too.

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Tue Aug 24 2021
3

A gorgeous stroll with people who make you smile and laugh through a bustling city in winter.

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Thu Feb 29 2024
3

Nr. 143/1001 Gloria's Step Take 2 3/5 Gloria's Step Take 3 3/5 My Man's Gone Now 3/5 Solar 3/5 Alice In Wonderland Take 2 3/5 Alice In Wonderland Take 1 3/5 All Of You Take 2 3/5 All Of You Take 3 3/5 Jade Visions Take 2 3/5 Jade Visions Take 1 3/5 Average: 3,0 It's okay I guess, but not something I would ever listen to actively. Maybe as background music.

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Wed Jan 20 2021
5

Jamming album. Some songs with sweet guitar solos that rock harder.

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Thu Feb 18 2021
5

Jazz Clásico del bueno. Todo un descubrimiento.

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Sun Oct 31 2021
5

Bill Evans es una verga. Más jazz por favor.

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Mon Nov 08 2021
5

Loved it - i liked the Charlie Brown christmas vibe

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Mon Nov 08 2021
5

Super chillier jazz der sehr zeitlos daherkommt

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Tue Nov 09 2021
5

Musste ich zwei mal hören. Großartig.

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Fri Dec 03 2021
5

This album is good and relaxing.

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Tue Dec 07 2021
5

So good! Such a simple band with complex music. I loved it.

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Thu Dec 16 2021
5

One of the best albums of the vinyl history. One of the great pianists of the history.

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Tue Dec 28 2021
5

Really good and relaxing jazz. Really dug this album a lot. Will give it another listen.

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Mon Jan 17 2022
5

Good album, nice smooth jazz.

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Fri Jan 28 2022
5

Don't know much about this genre / style of music. I'd hold my snarky criticism if I had any, but this is super-good stuff. Lovely, coffee-and-pajamas Sunday morning listening. Hi-fives.

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Tue Feb 01 2022
5

a fabulous jazz trio playing in a wonderful jazz club - what's not to love?

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Sat Feb 12 2022
5

This is certainly a smooth album that puts a smile on my face. Gorgeous!

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Tue Feb 15 2022
5

Really good jazz album from 1961

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Mon Feb 21 2022
5

Not come across Bill Evans before, but this is now in my list of jazz to listen to.

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Tue Mar 15 2022
5

Oo this is an easy 5 cello gets me every time.

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Tue Mar 22 2022
5

This is indeed, like they say, one of the best jazz live albums of all time. Bill Evans was one of the greats when it comes to piano, and the clearness and strongness of his style are captured very well in this record. The best thing Evans did was leave Miles Davis' band in 1959 and form his own trio, since Scott LaFaro' bass and Paul Motian' drums were a perfect match for his refinement. It's a shame that this trio only produced four albums and one have to wonder what else they would gift us if it wans't for LaFaro's tragic death. But to end on a lighter note, the performances of "My Man's Gone Now" and "Solar" are essencial jazz.

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Mon Apr 18 2022
5

Bill Evans is an absolute genius on the piano. I'd put him right up there with Oscar Peterson. This album creates a very soothing ambience that I really enjoy. The 'banter' between the bass and piano is playful at times, and you can tell the trio never falls out of sync. The quiet conversation and clinking of glasses leaking through this live recording at times makes me feels right at home. Fave tracks: All of You - Take 2, Alice in Wonderland - Take 1

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Mon May 02 2022
5

Oh, to be a fly on the wall (or an audience member in attendance) at the time of this performance. Apparently the last show of the trio to include bassist Scott LaFaro, this live set gave us two albums and plenty of stellar moments sprinkled throughout (from the takes of Alice in Wonderland, All of You, My Man's Gone Now, Porgy, etc.) Go out of your way to listen to whatever variation you prefer (Sunday, Waltz for Debby and/or the Complete) and immerse yourself in one of the more important nights (out of many) in jazz history.

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Sun May 29 2022
5

Took me a bit, to realise just who this was, but the more I listened the more I felt I was there.

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Mon Jul 04 2022
5

Épico álbum para los amantes del piano y el Jazz

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Mon Jul 25 2022
5

Great recording, fantastic arrangements, I could listen to this all day. And I kind of did.

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Fri Jul 29 2022
5

While on my home 1001albumsgenerator project I am getting things that are more aggressive, on this one I see, that I get amazingly nice music to keep my working mood up. This album is amazing to listen, while I have my coffee and don't want to hear the noise at work, that lasts for a while. The drums are amazing.

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Fri Aug 19 2022
5

Amazing!!! Great for background as well

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Wed Aug 24 2022
5

BET is god!!! EVERYONE digs Bill Evans 😁

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Tue Aug 30 2022
5

The interplay between them and the intimacy of the Vanguard gives this live performance a a gorgeous sonic stage that gives one the feeling of being there.

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Tue Aug 30 2022
5

My second favorite Bill Evans album. The trio plays seamlessly as one during Bill’s very visual compositions.

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Wed Aug 31 2022
5

Really enjoyed this! I dont know about jazz enough to know why this is considered "the" live jazz album, but there were a lot of elements that really tickles my ears in a good way. Loved the buildup in "Solar", how the trio started drifting apart and then comes back together in unison, super professional and just a joy to hear. Will listen again!

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Sun Sep 18 2022
5

Soothing, relaxing, entrancing

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Sun Oct 16 2022
5

Which idiot at Spotify ordered it so the bonus tracks come immediately after the previous take from the original album? Surely it's not ordered like that on the CD. Anyway, after a quick playlist sort, this is a delight. Really enjoy a bit of jazz but I admit I'm mostly ignorant of many of its greats, so not an album I knew. But yes, superb. Fantastic stuff.

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Wed Oct 26 2022
5

I've been listening to Jazz recently, starting with acclaimed classics and Sunday At the Village Vanguard is definitely an essential Jazz record. It's amazing musicianship and oh, so easy to listen to with it's smart grooves and cool vibe, makes this a no-brainer. A glorious afternoon listen and crystal clear live recording, it felt like they were performing in front of me! Wow, why haven't I been listened to more of this before? Even non-Jazz fans should be impressed, a must hear!

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Thu Nov 10 2022
5

Great album. Amazing bass lines.

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Mon Nov 14 2022
5

I liked this instantly. This recording sounds so great, so much space taken up by only three instruments. Bill Evans piano playing is simultaneously unpredictable, but at the same time phrases never seem surprising. Reminds me a bit of some of the Miles Davis records I like, no surprise they played together in the late 50's.

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Wed Nov 16 2022
5

Great album. Amazing stereo separation and recording quality.

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Sun Dec 04 2022
5

It's like where coffee shop jazz was invented.

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Tue Dec 20 2022
5

It's incredible how many essential jazz albums are missing from this list (I've found the latter online). Key releases by John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Charles Mingus and many others *should* be there... So I guess when one of those records miraculously finds its way in said list, I can't complain, for once. What sounds good in *Sunday At The Village Vanguard* on first listens is how each member of the trio seems to have a telepathic sense of what the two others are about to do. Vivid shapes materialize in front of your eyes if you're paying attention to this. There are moments when you're thinking: "Damn! What is this musician doing now? He's going so far away from the other two, that's not gonna work, everything's gonna crum... Oh. It works. The others just adapted. And now he's back in line." Simply incredible. Just discovered that bassist Scott LaFaro died a few days after this session in a car accident. That's so sad. Clearly, he was at the top of his game here, and so are Evans and Motian. To conclude, here are few words about the moody closer "Jade Visions", so slow, mysterious and melancholic. Here it's not a solo that shines like the moon, but the whole piece. Spotless ending, here, perfect for a film noir scene... Number of albums left to review: 706 Number of albums from the list I find relevant enough to be mandatory listens: 148 Albums from the list I *might* include in mine later on: 70 Albums from the list I will certainly *not* include in mine (many others are more important): 82

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