Explorations (Bill Evans album)

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Studio album by Bill Evans Trio
Released 1961
Recorded February 2, 1961
New York City
Genre Jazz
Length 68:16
Label Riverside (RLP-351)
Producer Orrin Keepnews
Bill Evans Trio chronology
Portrait in Jazz
Sunday at the Village Vanguard

Explorations is an album by jazz musician Bill Evans originally released on Riverside label in 1961. The album won the Billboard Jazz Critics Best Piano LP poll for 1961.


Explorations was the second album Evans recorded with his trio of Scott LaFaro on bass and Paul Motian on drums. Evans considered it one of his favorites from this period. Keepnews in the liner notes talks about the two extra pieces released on CD, "Beautiful Love (take 1)" and "The Boy Next Door"; the first version of "Beautiful Love" to be included in the original LP was a second take, in fact as Keepnews specifies, "it is not the usual case of a second attempt that immediately followed the first. Early in this date, he played this number once; we both approved, and he moved on to something else. Much later, he decided to try a second "Beautiful Love", which he later preferred." "The Boy Next Door" was instead set aside, at the time, because of the limited space of LP support.


Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
All About Jazz (no rating) [1]
Allmusic 4.5/5 stars [2]

The album won the Billboard Jazz Critics Best Piano LP poll for 1961.[3]

David Rickert of All About Jazz wrote "...Evans demands to be heard, seducing you with his indelibly emotional playing... The trio works magic here, breathing fresh air into standards such as 'How Deep Is the Ocean?' and 'Beautiful Love' and creating the illusion that these songs were written just so someone like Evans could play them. The highlight of the album is 'Elsa,' which is one of the most beautiful piano ballads on record."[1] Writing for Allmusic, music critic Thom Jurek called the album "Evans, with Paul Motian and Scott LaFaro, was onto something as a trio, exploring the undersides of melodic and rhythmic constructions that had never been considered by most... Explorations is an extraordinary example of the reach and breadth of this trio at its peak."[2]

Track listing[edit]

  1. "Israel" (John Carisi) – 6:12
  2. "Haunted Heart" (Howard Dietz, Arthur Schwartz) – 3:28
  3. "Beautiful Love" (take 2) (Wayne King, Egbert Van Alstyne, Victor Young) – 5:07
  4. "Beautiful Love" (take 1) – 6:04
  5. "Elsa" (Earl Zindars) – 5:10
  6. "Nardis" (Miles Davis) – 5:49
  7. "How Deep Is the Ocean?" (Irving Berlin) – 3:31
  8. "I Wish I Knew" (Harry Warren) – 4:39
  9. "Sweet and Lovely" (Gus Arnheim, Jules LeMare, Harry Tobias) – 5:52
  10. "The Boy Next Door" (Hugh Martin, Ralph Blane) – 5:06
  • Tracks 4 and 10 are not part of original album.



  1. ^ a b Rickert, David. "Explorations > Review". All About Jazz. Retrieved June 28, 2011. 
  2. ^ a b Jurek, Thom. "Explorations > Review". Allmusic. Retrieved June 28, 2011. 
  3. ^ Rolontz, Bob (1961-08-14). "Mulligan, Evans Cop Critics' Poll". Billboard (Nielsen Business Media, Inc.) 73 (22). ISSN 0006-2510. 

Further reading[edit]

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