As some of you know, I've always been a devoted Oscar Peterson superfan. Obsessed may be the word for it. He's always sat at the top of the heap for me when it comes to jazz pianists and, in terms of technique, he is still there. But Bill Evans is right next to him. I've had the standard Evans discs for a while (Sunday at the Vanguard, Explorations, etc.) and certainly realized his prodigious playing. But recently I got my hands on copies of the performances that were recorded (respectively) 3 months before his death and about 7 days before his death. Never in my life have I heard so much emotion poured into music. These sets combined are I believe 24 discs and I've obviously only listened to a portion...but my, what a ride it's been. Evans' touch on the piano is like nothing I have ever heard before. It is so clean, so perfect, that you have to wonder if a human being is really doing this. His "soft" technique is the best I have ever heard, bar none. AFAIC there is simpl no comparison. The emotion in these final recordings is absolutely electric. You cannot listen to this music without crying, smiling or staring into space slack-jawed. The man is a god. There's something kind of morbid about these discs...as the dates grow closer to his death (culminating with the second 8-disc set recorded about a week before he succumbed to his drug-ravaged body) the music becomes more and more evocative, more magical. It's really hard to put into words. Oscar, I still love you more, but Bill has captured quite a big piece of my heart.