Bill Evans Trio Explorations.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedEnd of March 1961[1]
RecordedFebruary 2, 1961
StudioBell Sound (New York City)
Length39:48 (original LP)
50:58 (1987 reissue)
60:00 (2011 reissue)
RLP 351
ProducerOrrin Keepnews
The Bill Evans Trio chronology
Portrait in Jazz
Sunday at the Village Vanguard

Explorations is an album by jazz pianist Bill Evans that was 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. Producer Orrin Keepnews in the liner notes talks about the two extra pieces that were released on the 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," on the other hand, was set aside at the time of the LP, because of the limited space available on the album.

The album was remastered and reissued by Original Jazz Classics in 2011 with two previously unissued alternate takes.


Professional ratings
Review scores
All About Jazz(no rating) [2]
Allmusic [3]
The Rolling Stone Jazz Record Guide[4]
Encyclopedia of Popular Music[5]
The Penguin Guide to Jazz Recordings[6]

The album won the Billboard Jazz Critics Best Piano LP poll for 1961.[7]

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."[2] Writing for Allmusic, critic Thom Jurek said of 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."[3]

Track listing

  1. "Israel" (John Carisi) – 6:12
  2. "Haunted Heart" (Arthur Schwartz, Howard Dietz) – 3:28
  3. "Beautiful Love" (take 1) – 6:04
  4. "Elsa" (Earl Zindars) – 5:10
  5. "Nardis" (Miles Davis) – 5:49
  6. "How Deep Is the Ocean?" (Irving Berlin) – 3:31
  7. "I Wish I Knew" (Harry Warren, Mack Gordon) – 4:39
  8. "Sweet and Lovely" (Gus Arnheim, Jules LeMare, Harry Tobias) – 5:52

2011 CD reissue

  1. "Israel"
  2. "Haunted Heart"
  3. "Beautiful Love" [Take 2]
  4. "Elsa"
  5. "Nardis"
  6. "How Deep Is the Ocean?"
  7. "I Wish I Knew" (Harry Warren)
  8. "Sweet and Lovely"
  9. "The Boy Next Door"
  10. "Beautiful Love" [Take 1]
  11. "How Deep Is the Ocean?" [Take 2]
  12. "I Wish I Knew" [Take 2]


Additional personnel


  1. ^ "Jazz LP's", Billboard, March 27, 1961.
  2. ^ a b Rickert, David. "Explorations > Review". All About Jazz. Retrieved June 28, 2011.
  3. ^ a b Jurek, Thom. "Explorations > Review". Allmusic. Retrieved June 28, 2011.
  4. ^ Swenson, J., ed. (1985). The Rolling Stone Jazz Record Guide. USA: Random House/Rolling Stone. p. 73. ISBN 0-394-72643-X.
  5. ^ Larkin, Colin (2007). Encyclopedia of Popular Music (4th ed.). Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0195313734.
  6. ^ Cook, Richard; Morton, Brian (2008). The Penguin Guide to Jazz Recordings (9th ed.). Penguin. p. 456. ISBN 978-0-141-03401-0.
  7. ^ Rolontz, Bob (1961-08-14). "Mulligan, Evans Cop Critics' Poll". Billboard. Vol. 73, no. 22. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. ISSN 0006-2510.

Further reading