Throughout his years at Southeastern Louisiana College Bill Evans played not only in school groups, but on his own as well. After graduation, he worked with the band of Herbie Fields before being drafted into the U.S. Army. While playing flute in the Fifth Army Band throughout his 1951-54 assignment at Fort Sheridan, near Chicago, by night Evans became a part of the city's jazz scene. Upon his discharge he decided to pursue a jazz career and settled in New York. During this period he played with the dance band of clarinetist Jerry Wald, who led an orchestra during the swing years and beyond. On two albums one can hear for the very first time Bill Evans playing the piano: Jerry Wald And His Orchestra: Designed for Dancing (MGM 1954). This record has never been reissued and it's Bill Evans first commercial record date and he is audible on most tracks. All the arrangements are by Al Cohn, who also solos tenor on a few tracks. Later Evans was back on 1955's Listen to the Music of Jerry Wald and His Orchestra (Kapp KL-1043), Probably because of Evans' later acclaim as a jazz pianist and composer, the album was reissued by MCA in Japan around 1980 and recently as CD by Solar Records. His first professional recording was made accompanying singer Lucy Reed in 1955. The next years he joined several bands and recorded as a sideman until in 1956 his first album as a leader was recorded by Riverside: New Jazz Conceptions.

For a detailed discography of Bill Evans recordings refer to The Bill Evans Webpages created by Jan Stevens: "Bill Evans - The Complete Catalogue Of Recordings 1954 through 1980".



Jerry Wald
Listen To The Music
Kapp 1955


Lucy Reed
The Singing Reed
Fantasy 1955


Dick Garcia
Message From Dick Garcia
Dawn 1955


Tony Scott
The Touch Of Tony Scott
RCA 1956


Tony Scott
The Complete Tony Scott
RCA 1956


Art Farmer and others
Brandeis Festival
CBS 1957


Teddy Wilson and others
At Newport
Verve 1957


Joe Puma
Jazz
Jubilee 1957


Sahib Shihab
Jazz Sahib
Savoy 1957


Jimmy Knepper
Idol Of The Flies
Bethlehem 1957


Tony Scott
My Kind Of Jazz
Perfect (Jazztone) 1957


Tony Scott
The Modern Art Of Jazz
Seeco 1957


George Russell
Jazz Workshop
RCA 1957


Charle Mingus
East Coasting
Bethlehem 1957


Helen Merrill
The Nearness Of You
Mercury 1957


Idrees Sulieman
Roots
Prestige 1957


Tony Scott
Free Blown Jazz
Carlton 1957


Eddie Costa
Guys & Dolls Like Vibes
Coral 1958


Don Elliott
Mellosound Of Don Elliott
Decca 1958


Art Farmer
Modern Art
United Artists 1958


Hal McKusick
Cross Section Saxes
MCA 1958


Miles Davis
Miles' Tones
Chakra 1958


Miles Davis
1958 Miles
CBS 1958


Michel Legrand
Legrand Jazz
Columbia 1958


Cannonball Adderley
Portrait Of Cannonball
Riverside 1958


Miles Davis
Jazz At The Plaza
CBS 1958


Miles Davis
Miles & Monk At Newport
CBS 1958


Cannonball Adderley
Jump For Joy
Mercury 1958


Chet Baker
New Blue Horns
Riverside 1958


Chet Baker
Introduces Johnny Pace
Riverside 1958


George Russell
New York, N.Y.
Brunswick 1958


Chet Baker
Plays The Best Of Lerner
Riverside 1959


Chet Baker
Chet
Riverside 1959


Bill Potts
The Soul Of Porgy & Bess
Heliodor 1959


Miles Davis
Kind Of Blue
CBS 1959


Tony Scott
Golden Moments
Muse 1959


Tony Scott
I'll Remember
Muse 1959


Tony Scott
Sung Heroes
Sunnyside 1959


Lee Konitz
Konitz Meets Giuffre
Verve 1959


Lee Konitz
Live At The Half Note
Verve 1959


Lee Konitz
You And Lee
Verve 1959


Frank Minion
Soft Land Of Make Believe
Bethlehem 1960


Donald Byrd
The Soul Of Jazz Percussion
Warwick 1960


George Russell
Jazz In The Space Age
Affinity 1960


Kai Winding
The Great Kay & J.J.
Impulse 1960


Gunther Schuller
Jazz Abstractions
Atlantic 1960


Wanda Stafford
In Love for the Very First Time
Roulette Records 1960


Oliver Nelson
Blues And The Abstract Truth
Impulse 1961


Dave Pike
Pike's Peak
Epic 1961


Marc Murphy
Rah
Riverside 1961


Tad Dameron
The Magic Touch
Riverside 1962


Benny Golson
Just Jazz
Audio Fidelity 1962


Cannonball Adderley
Cannonball and Eight Giants
Milestone 1958/1974


Bill Evans
The Sideman Years
1955-1957
Fresh Sound 2011


Don Elliott/Jerry Wald 1958/1955
Solar 2014


Bill Potts Orchestra 1959
Jazz Soul of Porgy & Bess
Fresh Sound 2012
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