Bill Evans Bill Evans

Who Was Bill Evans?

Bill Evans, one of the most influential and tragic figures of the post-bop jazz piano, was known for his highly nuanced touch, the clarity of the feeling content of his music and his reform of the chord voicing system pianists used. He recorded over fifty albums as leader and received five Grammy awards.

He spawned a school of “Bill Evans style” or “Evans inspired” pianists, who include some of the best known artists of our day, including Michel Petrucciani, Andy Laverne, Richard Beirach, Enrico Pieranunzi and Warren Bernhardt. His inescapable influence on the very sound of jazz piano has touched virtually everybody of prominence in the field after him (as well as most of his contemporaries), and he remains a monumental model for jazz piano students everywhere, even inspiring a newsletter devoted solely to his music and influence.

Yet Bill Evans was a person who was painfully self-effacing, especially in the beginning of his career. Tall and handsome, literate and highly articulate about his art, he had a “confidence problem” as he called it, while at the same time devoted himself fanatically to the minute details of his music. He believed he lacked talent, so had to make up with it by intense work, but to keep the whole churning enterprise afloat he took on a heroin addiction for most of his adult life. The result was sordid living conditions, a brilliant career, two failed marriages (the first ending in a dramatic suicide), and an early death.

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Albums by Bill Evans

Album Smile with Your Heart: The Best of Bill Evans on Resonance by Bill Evans

Smile with Your...

Resonance Records
2019

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Album Another Time: The Hilversum Concert by Bill Evans

Another Time: The...

Resonance Records
2017

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Album Some Other Time: The Lost Session From the Black Forest by Bill Evans

Some Other Time: The...

Resonance Records
2016

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Album The Ivory Hunters by Bill Evans

The Ivory Hunters

Phoenix Jazz Records
2014

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