Bill Evans at the Village Vanguard - 60th anniversary

Whilst I was (coincidentally) listening to Sunday at the Village Vanguard this evening, I noticed that tomorrow is the 60th anniversary of this great occasion.

Not only is it an absolute stone-cold classic of jazz, especially of live jazz trio music, but it still sounds fabulous. There’s a fascinating thread over on the Steve Hoffman forums on the recording equipment used, including vintage photos.

I was lucky enough to get to a gig at the VV a couple of years ago, and delighted to find it still sounds the same and still feels like an authentic 60s jazz club, rather than having been tarted up for rich tourists or similar.

Anyway, happy anniversary. If you don’t know this recording already, you’re in for a real treat.



In fact, my picture of how the club looked in July 2019, as the club was filling up:


Craft have today released a previously unreleased live recording from 1975 called
Once On a Friday Evening my copy arrives later today.


Funnily enough, a friend of mine recommended this to me… “I think you’ll love it” was the message, plus link in his email yesterday.

As a person skirting the edge of the Jazz world, and occasionally dipping in, I’ll give it a go.

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You’re in for a treat, @YetiZone ! The history of the occasion is quite interesting (and, in one respect, tragic), as are the variety of releases - the album I’ve referred to above was, in fact, just the first of the releases of the recordings made at the time. Sunday at the Village Vanguard was so popular, it was swiftly followed by Waltz for Debby:


Ten days after these recordings were made, Scott LaFaro (the trio’s bassist) was killed in a car accident at the appallingly young age of 25. Evans was so affected by this, he didn’t record or perform publicly for some time.

More recently, there have been releases of everything that was recorded on 25/6/61, usually on a 3CD set. There’s plenty to choose from!



Thanks for the expanded info Mark - very much appreciated. As mentioned, I’m just edging my way in slowly, so any guidance most welcome!

The only other guidance I’ll give at this stage is sit back and enjoy! There’ll be plenty of time to dig into the history, related recordings and other arcana later.



A Masterpiece. On my top 25 of all time greats


A copy is winging its way to me :slightly_smiling_face:

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Bill Evans… it could just be the name of the bloke next door or a regular down the pub… but no… in my view the most unique musical genius of recent times.
I was first drawn to him by the album You Must Believe In Spring, mentioned by a member here some years ago.
I was totally hooked and hypnotised almost by the sound coming from this man’s hands.
YouTube clips of him, slumped over the keys, caressing every note and chord, a dedicated midwife , the music being the newborn.
Netflix provided me with a totally tragic and moving biopic of Evans life and death. I’ve watched it numerous times.
From Kind Of Blue to his last recordings…never ever get bored.
He is my go to jazz musician when I need to escape.


Great album(s), and contenders for the title of most frequently reissued/repackaged jazz tracks of all times. :grinning: BTW It Might as Well Be Spring is also excellent as are many of his other albums.

I live in NYC, so I’ve been to the VV many times. It’s one of the few places that reminds you of a New York/Greenwich Village that used to be - in the most positive sense. It’s one of the places that I try to take visitors to. Not to be missed. Also (by NYC standards) a cheap date.

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As do/have I. While the Vanguard has and continues to do live streaming during the pandemic, it doesn’t come close to the real thing. I’m very much looking forward to when the Vanguard resumes live in person performances.

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Think you mean You Must Believe In Spring.

You are correct.

Can I ask how you found it?

I’ve not had a chance to listen to it as yet as I’ve been listening to radio and podcasts mostly this week. All being well, I’ll listen to it (and the other new jazz albums I’ve bought) next week.

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