In 1961, just as their star was on the ascent, tragedy befell the Bill Evans Trio. Scott LaFaro, their young, innovative bassist, was killed in a car accident. Understandably, Evans and drummer Paul Montain put the trio on hold. The trio’s first major recording sessions took place a year after LaFaro’s death, with Chuck Israels taking the bass role, and resulted in two albums–the ballads album Moonbeams, and this. For a band coming out of a mourning period, How My Heart Sings is a rather upbeat affair, with every song being fast-paced, jaunty, and celebratory. One gets the feeling that it’s a life-affirming set, with the band appreciating life. Songs like the Gershwin standard “Summertime” and Cole Porter‘s “Ev’rything I Love”–both songs known for their slowness–sound positively joyous. New bassist Israels is a man with his own style; he’s not LaFaro, nor is he trying to be. How My Heart Sings! is the document of a band recovering from a major tragedy, and returning in fine form.
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