While reading Dustin Mallory’s dissertation on Philly Joe Jones, I was brought up short by this quote from Bill Evans, which was is from a 1979 radio interview with Ross Porter, apparently discovered by Sean Gough for his dissertation on Evans.
“…Somebody gave me this last year, these live dates from the Bohemia, it’s with Miles, and Coltrane, Paul Chambers,Philly Joe, and myself: the original quintet except I’m in place of Red Garland. Let me put this on for a second. And it was quite a surprise to me to find the groove I was getting into with Philly Joe and Paul during the piano solos.
“…I can’t find myself playing like this, in this groove, with this kind of structure and feeling, anyplace else in my recorded jazz scene, and I’ve made, you know, close to a hundred albums between my own and other people. There’s no groove just like this…”
I checked out “Bye, Bye, Blackbird.” The piano solo starts at 4:45. Smokin’. Probably I could still recognize it as Bill in a blindfold test, but it’s certainly a notable solo!
My favorite Bill solos where he is “swinging” probably remain the elliptical utterances on the Half Note session with Konitz, Marsh, Garrison, and Motian, where he’s loosely imitating Tristano. Further DTM thoughts on Evans here.