Personnel: Bill Evans (acoustic & electric keyboards); Larry Schneider (soprano & tenor saxophones, alto flute); Toots Thielemans (harmonica); Marc Johnson (acoustic bass); Eliot Zigmund (drums).
1 I Do It For Your Love
2 Sno' Peas
3 This Is All I Ask
4 The Days Of Wine And Roses
5 Jesus' Last Ballad
6 Tomato Kiss
7 The Other Side Of Midnight
8 Blue And Green
9 Body & Soul
"Affinity Near the end of 1977, at more or less the same time, Zigmund and Gomez - who had been with Evans for eleven years - quit the trio. Evans was left with the job of forming a completely new group. He played for about a year with the trusty Philly Joe Jones on drums, alternating different bass players, until an old college friend called his attention to a young bass player playing at the time with the Woody Herman orchestra, and who he thought had “something special that Bill would like.” Marc Johnson, the 24-year-old son of a pianist, had grown up listening to Bill Evans records. He had studied cello for a while before taking up the bass, and this, along with a truly unique musical sensibility, gave his playing that "vocal" appeal that Evans had always set such high store by in his own music and in that of his partners. The two finally met, after a certain hit-and-miss period of trying to hook up, and their first gig together was at the Village Vanguard. "Before we even finished the first number, I got the feeling immediately that this was the guy."
Evans had recently recorded another solo album New Conversations [Warner Bros. 2-3177] on which he made use of the same over-dubbing technique already employed on two previous albums, this time extending it to the electric piano. This album contains his first recorded version of Reflections in D which is played right through once without any over-dubbing - a piece which was to become one of his standards in this last brief stretch of musical activity. It was an old improvisation by Ellington in one of his rare trio recording sessions in the early 1950s which, in Evans' hands, sheds its somewhat decorative character and is turned into a piano essay of the highest order, both in terms of its formal construction as well as its haunting charm.
In July of 1978 Evans went off on a European tour. The Johnson/Jones combination worked well, regardless of some imbalances between the boisterous drummer and the refined young bass player whose true value and potential began to shine through. Johnson, gifted with an instinctive, genuine capacity for interplay, proved to be tuned in to Evans and also had a lot of his own things to say when soloing. The three performed at various European festivals (among which Umbria Jazz and Montreux), playing at times with guest musicians such as Lee Konitz and Kenny Burrell.
Upon his return to the USA Evans recorded the splendid Affinity [Warner Bros. 3293] where we find him encountering the marvelous lyrical sound of the phenomenal Belgian harmonica player Toots Thielemans. A successful meeting once again made possible with the help of the skillful Helen Keane; Marc Johnson on bass, Eliot Zigmund on drums and the talented young tenor saxophone player Larry Schneider completed the personnel. Proving not to recognize any distinction between genres, nor to care about where a piece came from when something struck him, Evans selected, among some well-known standards, the beautiful Sno'Peas by pianist Phil Markowitz as well as Paul Simon’s I Do It For Your Love - both very likely on the suggestion of Thielemans (“any time that I come across a tune that I really love and get into, I'll use it regardless,” as Bill once said). Evans' performance here is one of extraordinary poetic value: he and Thielemans establish a solid lyrical understanding fed by great depth and communicative authenticity which rigorously avoids the trap of mannerism."
(Bill Evans: Ritratto d’artista con pianoforte/Bill Evans: The Pianist as an Artist.Enrico Pieranunzi, Rome 1999, Stampa Alternativa)(thanks http://jazzprofiles.blogspot.com !!!)