At last! An upgrade, to an original 1960 pressing (UK Riverside) from my previous Orpheum US reissue 1966
Track Selection: Witchcraft
Bill Evans (p) Scott LaFaro (b) Paul Motian (d) recorded NYC, December 28, 1959 three days before the turn of the decade to 1960.
Music: Change of track from the previous selection (Autumn Leaves) to the ever so spooky “Witchcraft”. Scott laFaro continues to amaze as the combination of Evans, LaFaro and Motian continued to redefine and expand the musical potential of the humble “Piano Trio”. One record you must have in your life.
Vinyl: Original (UK) Riverside 12-315 mono, 1960 pressing
The matrix codes A-2L / B-1L I remember reading, means first pressing, though I don’t claim to understand UK Riverside. As I recall the alphabet (I only know the QWERTY sequence nowadays) A is before B so shouldn’t it be A1/B2?. (Update: This is a Decca pressing for Riverside, however it follows the numbering convention of Philips, who later took over pressing of Riverside European releases. Not a lot wiser as Decca had their own numbering convention which includes a letter identifying the engineer. This is definitely a Decca machine-drilled matrix code, so I’m not a lot wiser.)
Twin Reels White Label (UK)
At last!. Good things come to those who wait, and I have been waiting for a copy in Excellent condition for a long time, and it is beautiful. It’s history is anyones guess, but no scratches, and after a good wash and brush up courtesy of my Moth Pro RCM, 95% of the minimal clicks and pops disappeared. Not entirely “silent” as one always hopes, but very slight natural vinyl background noise, and the odd spit. Its how they were made.
The spindle area looks unmarked, but closer inspection (click the thumbnail opposite to view the spindle area at 1600 px) suggests it has been played probably no more than 15-20 times in its almost fifty year life. My guess, it was bought by someone who decided they didn’t “dig” Bill Evans after all and put it away for twenty years. It then fell into the hands of an Evans fan, but in the mean time record players had grown into hi-fi systems, and it became difficult to actually damage the vinyl (excluding punk,of course, which fans damaged just to prove they didn’t care) . After another long sleep caused by the ascendancy of CD, it eventually came back into circulation for collectors via eBay.
That completes the Bill Evans Holy Trinity for me – Sunday at the Village Vanguard, Portrait in Jazz, and Waltz for Debby. I can cross “Bill Evans” off my saved searches. That reduces the daily mailbag to nineteen. Collectors never sleep.