Bill Evans - Village Vanguard Sessions

I recently picked up a 2013 release, 24bit remaster CD of Bill Evens Trio at the Village Vanguard and it is all but unlistenable in Stereo. The piano is far right, the double bass far left, the drums also far left but high hats are completely disconnected from the drums and come from far right. There is just a huge hole in the centre soundstage.

It is a fantastic album but the only way to listen is in mono. Given the original recordings were stereo and the sessions have a great reputation, could the remastering have messed this up so badly? Does anyone have an earlier release of recordings from the day or from any of the albums that came out from those recordings such as Sunday at the Village Vanguard or Waltz for Debby?

If I know there is good stereo material out there I will look for it.

Such an excellent album for content/musicianship. I tend to disregard any shortcoming thinking it’s my lowly system. That being said I love the Bill Evans.

I have 2003/2005 release of the triple CD set which says it was “mastered in analog utilizing 20-bit K2 Super Coding System”. It does not suffer the problems you describe. I also have CD versions of WFD and SNATVV, both 20-bit mastering.
I’d say they all sound superb, better in fact than many albums recorded more recently.

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Thanks for the feedback gents. I agree, the content is superb, it such a shame the mix is so bad in the 2013 24bit release. I will look for the 2003/2005 version.

I tend to listen to whichever version is on Tidal.

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I’ve just got the bog-standard 2012 EJC editions on CD (55534/5) and they sound lovely. Sounds like a very odd remastering to me.

I went to the VV last summer to see Vijay Iyer. Wonderful to hear the same ambience 60 years on - it was especially noticeable when the audience applauded. The martini was rather good too. Oh, and the music, of course.


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The xrcd mastering sounds great.

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All this talk about Bill Evans, time for me to queue this up for my evening listening session.

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@Haim, I just checked Amazon - 128 pounds for a 2002 SACD release on the “Analogue” label. I’ll keep looking…

70 years? I thing you meant 58 as it was recorded in 1961.

There is a 12 album, 6 CD box set “Bill Evans Classic Albums” on Amazon for 13 pounds. Not remastered so warts and all, which I often prefer for older recordings. The only complaints people seem to have is about poor packaging and lack of sleeve notes but for the price, it has to be worth a punt…

…and missing tracks compared to the original albums.

I have this set as well. Rips using dB Poweramp sound wonderful on my ND5 XS2. While I never saw Bill Evans, I’ve heard innumerable shows at the Vanguard (one of the best reasons to live in NYC in my view) and these CDs do a wonderful job of capturing the space and ambience of the venue. (There’s something absolutely wonderful listening to live recordings made at a venue you frequent.)

I don’t know price in U.K., but Amazon is currently offering set in U.S. for $23.


Bucket list item for me. Perhaps once Covid-19 is over. Be safe


Yes, I hope everyone is staying safe and healthy, and within reason, somewhat sane.

I just took a look at the Vanguard website, and it indicates that they’re closed until April 13. That seems incredibly over-optimistic; the number of cases in NYC appears to be doubling roughly every three days, and hospital are or will be soon completely overwhelmed. Hopefully when this is all over you will have a chance to visit the Vanguard.

This is an incredibly difficult time for everyone, but the arts are particularly hard hit. All music venues in NYC, large and small, are closed, as are museums and galleries. Particularly for the smaller venues and institutions, this is an existential crisis. (I happen to be the president of a cooperative photographers gallery, which has obviously closed its exhibit space, so I have some first hand experience with these challenges.) I suspect that many of these venues will not survive. To the extent anyone receives fund raising solicitations from music or arts organizations, and have the ability to respond, I would hope that members of this forum do their best to support them to the extent feasible (I recognize that the pandemic may be imposing financial hardship on forum members as well).

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I live part-time in the Seattle area and we’ve also been hit pretty bad but nothing compared to NYC and it’s density. Be safe to all forum members.


NY is asking retired nurses to return to work, which is not likely to meet with much success since by definition almost all are over 60 and therefore at higher risk. A temporary intensive care hospital is being established at the Javits Center (a very large convention center located in Manhattan), but I have no idea how they plan on staffing or equipping it. There is a massive shortage of equipment. For example, NY needs 30,000 ventilators; the federal govt. offered 400. (If you want to see a video of justifiable rage, google the response of Gov. Andrew Cuomo, the NY state governor.)

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I watch his videos daily. Very well organized presentation. I do help you New Yorkers can get through this.

Thank you. We’re determined and stubborn.

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