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Bill Evans: New Conversations

Originally recorded and released in 1978 shortly before his death, this album continued the format established by Conversations With Myself and Further Conversations that enabled Evans to perform with himself by means of multi-tracking. More often than not, he alternates between a single acoustic piano, two acoustics, and acoustic and electric, using the combinations to affect the music’s texture, color, and density. The ballad “Song For Helen” begins with two acoustics, reduces to a single instrument, and moves back to two as Evans ups the tempo and begins to swing lightly. In contrast, “Nobody Else But Me” grooves almost from the outset as he initially pairs acoustic and electric, using the second instrument more like a horn. When he walks with his left hand, he switches to acoustic for the second part, beautifully weaving the voices into a fine tapestry. Ellington’s “Reflections In D,” the only solo piece, is a free-flowing ballad from start to finish that underscores his ability to vary the music in the context of a single mood.

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