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October 06, 2008

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David

Bill once said that he actually preferred playing solo, but didn't think he was very good at it because he usually performed with a trio. He said that playing solo allowed more control of the music. Bill was one of those artists who could sound tortured and ecstatic at the same time, and of course a lot of this is in the ear of the listener. To my ears he sounds much gloomier on the trio Moonbeams album than on Alone (which I like even more than Alone Again.) The solo eulogy for his father on the Town Hall album is another striking performance.

David

The original Alone Again clocks in at 47 minutes which is pretty decent for a LP. The omitted tracks contain much brilliant playing, but aren't as polished as the ones on the album. The decision not to use those tracks was likely that of Bill, the perfectionist. Still it's nice to have those and the other "stray" tracks on Eloquence, even if Bill might not have approved.

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  • Marc Myers writes on music and the arts for The Wall Street Journal. He is author of "Why Jazz Happened" (Univ. of Calif. Press). Founded in 2007, JazzWax was named the 2015 "Blog of the Year" by the Jazz Journalists Association.
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