Bill Evans (pianist)

~ Person


William John "Bill" Evans (pronunciation: /ˈɛvəns/, August 16, 1929 – September 15, 1980) was an American jazz pianist and composer who mostly worked in a trio setting. Evans' use of impressionist harmony, inventive interpretation of traditional jazz repertoire, block chords, and trademark rhythmically independent, "singing" melodic lines continue to influence jazz pianists today.

Born in Plainfield, New Jersey in 1929, he was classically trained, and studied at Southeastern Louisiana University. In 1955, he moved to New York City, where he worked with bandleader and theorist George Russell. In 1958, Evans joined Miles Davis's sextet, where he was to have a profound influence. In 1959, the band, then immersed in modal jazz, recorded Kind of Blue, the best-selling jazz album of all time.

In late 1959, Evans left the Miles Davis band and began his career as a leader with Scott LaFaro and Paul Motian, a group now regarded as a seminal modern jazz trio. In 1961, ten days after recording the highly acclaimed Sunday at the Village Vanguard and Waltz for Debby, LaFaro died in a car accident. After months of seclusion, Evans re-emerged with a new trio, featuring bassist Chuck Israels.

In 1963, Evans recorded Conversations with Myself, an innovative solo album using the unconventional (in jazz solo recordings) technique of overdubbing over himself. In 1966, he met bassist Eddie Gómez, with whom he would work for eleven years. Several successful albums followed, such as Bill Evans at the Montreux Jazz Festival, Alone and The Bill Evans Album, among others.

Many of his compositions, such as "Waltz for Debby", have become standards and have been played and recorded by many artists. Evans was honored with 31 Grammy nominations and seven awards, and was inducted in the Down Beat Jazz Hall of Fame.

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Album + Live

Year Title Artist RatingReleases
1981 Quiet Now Bill Evans 1
1982 The Paris Concert, Edition One Bill Evans 3
1986 Bill Evans at Town Hall, Volume 1 Bill Evans 2
1987 Jazzhouse Bill Evans 2
1989 Re: Person I Knew Bill Evans 4
1990 The Tokyo Concert Bill Evans 4 3
1991 Blue in Green: The Concert in Canada Bill Evans 3
1991 Montreux III Bill Evans & Eddie Gomez 3
1994 Live at the Festival Bill Evans, Bobby Hutcherson, Karin Krog & Archie Shepp 2 1
1996 His Last Concert in Germany Bill Evans 1
1998 Half Moon Bay Bill Evans 1
2001 The Paris Concert, Edition Two Bill Evans 3
2003 Getting Sentimental: Live at the Village Vanguard Bill Evans 1
2004 California Here I Come Bill Evans 1
2005 Soul Bop Band Live Bill Evans & Randy Brecker 2
2005 The Complete Live at the Village Vanguard 1961 Bill Evans 2
2005 Köln Concert 1976 Bill Evans Trio 1
2009 Lund 1975, Helsinki 1970 Bill Evans 1
2010 Live in Koblenz 1979 Bill Evans Trio 1
2011 At the Eastman Theatre 1977 Bill Evans 1
2011 The Sesjun Radio Shows Bill Evans 1
2012 Live at Art D'Lugoff's: Top of the Gate Bill Evans 2
2012 Momentum Bill Evans 1
2015 Autumn Leaves Bill Evans 1
A Jazz Hour With Bill Evans: Autumn Leaves Bill Evans 1
Brandeis Jazz Festival Bill Evans and Orchestra 1
Live at Lulu White's 1979 Bill Evans Trio 1
Live in Europe II Bill Evans 1
Piano Four Hands: Live in Rio 1979 Bill Evans & Luiz Eça 1
Solo Piano at Carnegie Hall 1973-78 Bill Evans 1
The Best of Bill Evans Live Bill Evans 1
Vara Studio Holland 1969 Bill Evans Trio 1


Year Title Artist RatingReleases
1982 Golden Moments Tony Scott with Bill EvansJimmy GarrisonPete Laroca 1

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