Recorded over three days on, 6 and 9 February, and 20 May, 1963 in New York City this classic album was released the following year and immediately caused controversy. It’s title comes from the idea that Bill Evans played three separate tracks and over-dubbed himself to build up the complex arrangements.
There were some that thought this sacrilege and an impure art as it was impossible to recreate in concert. It is with the passing of time acknowledged as a masterpiece by a genius. Producers David Foster and Tommy LiPuma both cite this album as an inspiration; many others agree and 1964 it won the Grammy for Best Jazz Instrumental Album, Individual or Group.
Evans played Glen Gould’s piano, CD 318 on the recording that was created out of a ‘conversation’ between the first two takes with subtle embelishments added on the third take. As it says on the liner notes of the album regarding ‘Bill three’, “He was their Greek chorus, and sometimes he had the best lines.” If you have any doubts just listen to ‘Stella By Starlight’ it is shows off Evans’s genius in all its glory
The cover photography is by the celebrated photographer, Roy DeCarava
“Those hands were thrust in the slash side pockets of his windbreaker and he was all hunched up with the bitter cold. I thought: So that’s what genius looks like.” – Gene Lees on the liner notes of the album.
Listen on Spotify