Become a member and get exclusive access to articles, live sessions and more!
Start Your Free Trial

Danish Radio Jazz Orchestra/Jim McNeely: Play Bill Evans

Perhaps more than any other jazz ensemble, the Bill Evans Trio epitomized quiet intimacy. So, in case the notion of a big band performing Evans’ compositions causes anyone to question the project’s feasibility, The Danish Radio Jazz Orchestra and Jim McNeely’s Play Bill Evans (Stunt) will dispel any such doubts. One of today’s top arrangers and pianists in his own right, McNeely has captured the essence of Evans’ aesthetic in sensitive, technically prodigious arrangements of “Waltz for Debby,” “Very Early,” “Turn Out the Stars,” “Show-Type Tune” and “Re: Person I Knew.” And in an especially ingenious move, he combined Evans’ “Twelve Tone Tune (T.T.T.)” with its sequel “Twelve Tone Tune Two (T.T.T.T)” to create the intriguing, pointillistic “T.T.T.T.T.T.T.” Tomas Franck did a fine job arranging “Blue in Green,” as did Vincent Nilsson with an imaginative score that combines Clare Fischer’s “Theme for Scotty” with Scott LaFaro’s “Gloria’s Step.” Although the orchestra boasts several virtuoso soloists, Franck displays extraordinary inventiveness and stylistic maturity on tenor. McNeely assumed the piano chair for a moving evocation of the master on the closing ballad “Turn Out the Stars.”

Originally Published