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Bill Evans

William John Evans (August 16, 1929 – September 15, 1980) was an American jazz pianist and composer who mostly played in trios. His 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 at Southeastern Louisiana University and the Mannes School of Music, where he majored in composition and received the Artist Diploma. 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, which in 1959, then immersed in modal jazz, recorded Kind of Blue, the best-selling jazz album of all time. During that time, Evans was also playing with Chet Baker for the album Chet.

In late 1959, Evans left the Miles Davis band and began his career as a leader, with bassist Scott LaFaro and drummer Paul Motian, a group now regarded as a seminal modern jazz trio. In 1961, ten days after finishing an engagement at the New York Village Vanguard jazz club, 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, a solo album using the unconventional technique of overdubbing over himself. In 1966, he met bassist Eddie Gómez, with whom he would work for eleven years.

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

Birth and Death Data: Born August 16th, 1929 (Plainfield), Died September 15th, 1980 (Fort Lee)

Date Range of DAHR Recordings: 1958 - 1960

Roles Represented in DAHR: piano, celeste

Recordings (Results 1-25 of 32 records)

Company Matrix No. Size First Recording Date Title Primary Performer Description Role Audio
Decca 104069 1/15/1958 Guys and dolls Eddie Costa Quartet instrumentalist, piano  
Decca 104070 1/15/1958 I'll know Eddie Costa Quartet instrumentalist, piano  
Decca 104085 1/16/1958 I've never been in love before Eddie Costa Quartet instrumentalist, piano  
Decca 104086 1/16/1958 Luck be a lady Eddie Costa Quartet instrumentalist, piano  
Decca 104087 1/17/1958 Adelaide Eddie Costa Quartet instrumentalist, piano  
Decca 104088 1/17/1958 If I were a bell Eddie Costa Quartet instrumentalist, piano  
Decca 104322 2/10/1958 Summer scene-1, 3, 6, 7 Don Elliott and his Choir instrumentalist, celeste  
Decca 104323 2/10/1958 When the sun comes out-2, 5, 6, 7 Don Elliott and his Choir instrumentalist, celeste  
Decca 104327 2/11/1958 Dinah-2, 4, 6, 7 Don Elliott and his Choir instrumentalist, celeste  
Decca 104330 2/11/1958 Tired of me-1, 2, 3, 6, 7 Don Elliott and his Choir instrumentalist, celeste  
Decca 104332 2/11/1958 I don't want to walk without you-1, 6 Don Elliott and his Choir instrumentalist, celeste  
Decca 104634 3/25/1958 Sing song Hal McKusick Quintet instrumentalist, piano  
Decca 104635 3/25/1958 It never entered my mind Hal McKusick Quintet instrumentalist, piano  
Decca 104636 3/25/1958 Yesterdays Hal McKusick Quintet instrumentalist, piano  
Decca 104637 3/25/1958 A touch of Spring Hal McKusick Quintet instrumentalist, piano  
Decca 104638 3/28/1958 La rue Hal McKusick Septet instrumentalist, piano  
Decca 104639 3/28/1958 Now's the time Hal McKusick Septet instrumentalist, piano  
Decca 104640 3/28/1958 Whisper not Hal McKusick Septet instrumentalist, piano  
Decca 104641 3/28/1958 The last day of Fall Hal McKusick Septet instrumentalist, piano  
Decca 104642 4/7/1958 Stratusphunk Hal McKusick Sextet instrumentalist, piano  
Decca 104643 4/7/1958 The end of a love affair Hal McKusick Sextet instrumentalist, piano  
Decca 104644 4/7/1958 You're my thrill Hal McKusick Sextet instrumentalist, piano  
Decca 104645 4/7/1958 [Unknown title(s)] Hal McKusick Sextet instrumentalist, piano  
Decca 105626 9/12/1958 Manhattan George Russell Orchestra instrumentalist, piano  
Decca 105627 11/24/1958 A helluva town George Russell Orchestra instrumentalist, piano  
(Results 1-25 of 32 records)

Citation

Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Evans, Bill," accessed October 31, 2020, https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/203037.

Evans, Bill. (2020). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved October 31, 2020, from https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/203037.

"Evans, Bill." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2020. Web. 31 October 2020.

DAHR Persistent Identifier

URI: https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/203037

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