Amazing to think that Bill Evans was just 51 when he died in 1980. Though best known for his work with Miles Davis on the monumental jazz recording Kind of Blue Evans was a king of the piano trio, carving out a unique musical personality. His piano playing was sheer poetry, languid and hypnotic, filled with dark melodies creeping down endless hallways. His influence ranged extensively, reaching even into the pop world, where Traffic's Steve Winwood evidenced exposure to Evans. Turn Out the Stars, The Final Village Vanguard Recordings, June 1980 is some of the last music he made, a 6-CD box recorded by the trio that also included bassist Marc Johnson and drummer Joe LaBarbera on June 4, 5, 6, and 8, 1980 three months before his death on September 15. When this music was finally released in 1996 historians revised the final commentary on Evans' work, acknowledging that he was in the throes of fresh inspiration with this trio.
The set has been out of print since the demise of Warner Jazz. Nonesuch Records has just reissued it with a detailed booklet including notes by critic Bob Blumenthal and pianist Harold Danko. The list price of the reissue is $49.98, roughly half of the price of the original 1996 release.