Waltz for Debby (1962 album)

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Waltz for Debby
Bill Evans Trio - Waltz for Debby.png
Live album by
ReleasedEnd of February/Early March 1962[1]
RecordedJune 25, 1961
VenueVillage Vanguard, New York City
Length38:29 (original LP)
65:29 (CD reissue)
ProducerOrrin Keepnews
Bill Evans Trio chronology
Sunday at the Village Vanguard
Waltz for Debby

Waltz for Debby is an album by American jazz pianist Bill Evans and his Trio consisting of Evans, bassist Scott LaFaro, and drummer Paul Motian, originally released in 1962.


The album was the fourth and final effort from the unit—LaFaro died in a car accident just ten days after the live date at the Village Vanguard from which Waltz for Debby and its predecessor, Sunday at the Village Vanguard were taken. The loss of LaFaro hit Evans hard, and he went into a brief seclusion. When Evans returned to the trio format later in 1962, it was with Motian and noted bassist Chuck Israels.[2]

The title track, a musical portrait of Evans' niece, became a staple of his live repertoire in later years. It originally appeared as a solo piano piece on Evans' debut album, New Jazz Conceptions. It remains what is likely Evans' most well-known song, one that he would play throughout his career.

The CD reissue of the album contains several outtakes.


Professional ratings
Review scores
All About Jazz(no rating) [3]
Allmusic5/5 stars [4]
Penguin Guide to Jazz5/5 stars [5]
Down Beat
(Original Lp release)
4/5 stars[6]
The Rolling Stone Jazz Record Guide5/5 stars[7]

This album is widely considered to be one of the best in the Evans canon, and the type of emotive interplay between the musicians that at some points seemed almost deconstructed has served as a model for piano trio play.[8]

Writing for Allmusic, music critic Thom Jurek wrote of the album: "While the Sunday at the Village Vanguard album focused on material where LaFaro soloed prominently, this is far more a portrait of the trio on those dates... Of the many recordings Evans issued, the two Vanguard dates and Explorations are the ultimate expressions of his legendary trio."[4] Samuel Chell of All About Jazz wrote "Along with Bassist wunderkind Scott LaFaro and drummer Paul Motian, Evans perfected his democratic vision of trio cooperation, where all members performed with perfect empathy and telepathy... It is these performances, currently available as Sunday at The Village Vanguard and Waltz for Debby that comprise the number one best jazz live recording in this present series."[3]

Track listing[edit]

LP track listing[edit]

  1. "My Foolish Heart" (Victor Young, Ned Washington) – 4:58
  2. "Waltz for Debby" [Take 2] (Bill Evans, Gene Lees) – 7:00
  3. "Detour Ahead" [Take 2] (Lou Carter, Herb Ellis, Johnny Frigo) – 7:37
  4. "My Romance" [Take 1] (Richard Rodgers, Lorenz Hart) – 7:13
  5. "Some Other Time" (Leonard Bernstein, Betty Comden, Adolph Green) – 5:11
  6. "Milestones" (Miles Davis) – 6:30

CD track listing[edit]

  1. "My Foolish Heart" 4:56
  2. "Waltz for Debby" [Take 2] 7:00
  3. "Waltz for Debby" [Take 1] 6:46
  4. "Detour Ahead" [Take 2] 7:37
  5. "Detour Ahead" [Take 1] 7:13
  6. "My Romance" [Take 1] 7:12
  7. "My Romance" [Take 2] 7:15
  8. "Some Other Time" 5:11
  9. "Milestones" 6:30
  10. "Porgy (I Loves You, Porgy)" 5:58
  • Note on the alternate takes: "For this CD release, alternate versions of three of the six selections have been inserted just after the ones originally chosen for issuance.[...] The three not duplicated here were played only once that day. Also included is "Porgy", originally omitted for lack of space.[...]" (O. Keepnews excerpt from the booklet)



  1. ^ Billboard Mar 10, 1962
  2. ^ http://www.billevansjazz.com
  3. ^ a b Bailey, C. Michael. "Waltz for Debby > Review". All About Jazz. Retrieved June 28, 2011.
  4. ^ a b Jurek, Thom. "Waltz for Debby > Review". Allmusic. Retrieved June 28, 2011.
  5. ^ "Penguin Guide To Jazz: "Five Star" Recordings". Penguin Guide to Jazz. Retrieved June 28, 2011.
  6. ^ Down Beat: April 26, 1962 vol. 29, no. 9
  7. ^ Swenson, J., ed. (1985). The Rolling Stone Jazz Record Guide. USA: Random House/Rolling Stone. p. 73. ISBN 0-394-72643-X.
  8. ^ Hobbs, Leander (2017-01-15). "All About Jazz". All About Jazz. Retrieved 2017-07-01.