Trombonist Pat Hall’s “Time Remembered: The Music of Bill Evans” (Unseenrain) is an unusual exploration of music associated with the late Bill Evans.
Backed by Greg “Organ Monk” Lewis on the Hammond B-3, Marvin Sewell on guitar and Mike Campenni on drums, the organ trio and trombone setting is somewhat removed from the piano trios that Evans led during his highly influential career. This provides a very different cast to the performances of the music of pianist Evans.
“Time Remembered” is a lively recording with its light swing, the leader’s gravelly trombone playing, Sewell’s fleet fretwork, and Lewis’ B-3 work whether providing some color under the other soloists or getting greasy during his solos. All the while Campenni adds his solid groove along with his rhythmic accents. One hears this on the opening rendition of Scott LaFaro’s ”Gloria’s Step.”
Lewis sets the tone on what is perhaps Evans’ most famous composition, “Waltz For Debbie,” with a rhapsodic opening with just percussive accents before he kicks up the tempo for Hall to state the theme and take a spirited solo. Employing a mute, Hall provides a languid tone to the rendition of the Rogers & Hart standard “Spring Is Here” that also includes nice playing from Sewell and Lewis. Hall and band are more animated on a sparkling rendition of Earl Zindars’ “Elsa,” with a fine solo from guitarist Sewell. The title track is opens with Sewell in a low-key, pensive fashion before Hall and Lewis take more extroverted spots.
The album closes with the light swing of “Peri’s Scope,” continuing to exhibit the engaging quality of the performances by Hall and his band. This is an entertaining exploration of Bill Evans music that captivates with its mix of swing and lyricism from Pat Hall and associates.