Jazzletter by Gene Lees (February 8, 1928 – April 22, 2010)
Asking Gene Lees why he didn’t wrote the definitive work on Bill Evans? “It is difficult for me to write about Bill. His life, Helen’s, and my own were too closely involved for too long a time. For the last two years I have been trying without success to find a way to write an extended portrait of Bill.” Here one of his Jazzletters: “Inside The New Bill Evans Trio”: Down Beat 1962.
Leigh Kamman interviews Bill Evans
Leigh Kamman interviews Bill Evans after a 1976 performance at the Longhorn Bar in Minneapolis, MN. Bill talks about his early life in music, Don Elliott, definition of jazz and his motivation for playing. Leigh Kamman (1922 – 2014) was an American radio host who has focused bringing jazz music to the airwaves for his career, which spans more than six decades. He began his career in the Twin Cities area of Minnesota, but spent time in other places such as at WOV radio in New York City. On September 29, 2007, he hosted his last edition of The Jazz Image on Minnesota Public Radio, which he has run since 1973. He has been honored numerous times for his contributions to the region and the promotion of “the only original American art form”. The Leigh Kamman Legacy Project is a non-profit organization formed to preserve and share the body of work including audio, visual, and written resources of Leigh Kamman. Leigh’s legacy includes hundred’s of historical interviews with musicians and thousand’s of hours of sophisticated and elegant radio programming. YouTube video (1976) and YouTube video (1979)
R.I.P. Claus Ogerman
Claus Ogerman (April 29, 1930 – March 8, 2016) was a German arranger/orchestrator, conductor, and composer. In 1959, he moved to the United States. He is best known for his works with Billie Holiday, Antonio Carlos Jobim, Oscar Peterson, Frank Sinatra, Wes Montgomery, Cal Tjader, Betty Carter, Jimmy Smith, Mel Tormé, Barbra Streisand and Diana Krall. He arranged some 60-70 albums for Verve under Creed Taylor’s direction from 1963-1967. Later he moved to A&M;, CTI and Warner Bros. He is best known for his brilliant and unparalleled arrangements of Brazillian music on a series of Antonio Carlos Jobim albums. With Bill Evans he arranged 3 albums: Plays the Theme from The V.I.P.s and Other Great Songs (MGM, 1963), Bill Evans Trio with Symphony Orchestra (Verve, 1965), Symbiosis (MPS, 1974).
Discovery: New Bill Evans double album
“Some Other Time: The Lost Session From The Black Forest”
Resonance Records, release date 22 April 2016, discs: 2
This Bill Evans trio session was recorded on June 20, 1968, and features Evans in trio, duo and solo configurations with bassist Eddie Gomez and drummer Jack DeJohnette. Newly discovered Bill Evans studio album recorded by the legendary MPS Records producer and label owner, Hans Georg Brunner-Schwer, at his studio in Villingen, Germany (“the Black Forest”). Recorded five days after the legendary live performance at the 1968 Montreux Jazz Festival, which was released on Verve and won a Grammy, this is the only studio album recorded of this trio featuring bassist Eddie Gomez and drummer Jack DeJohnette. Only the 2nd Official Bill Evans release with Eddie Gomez and Jack DeJohnette. Liner notes to include new historical essays from jazz journalist Marc Myers and German jazz historian Friedhelm Schulz; interviews from Eddie Gomez, Jack DeJohnette and other musicians; plus rare and previously unpublished photos.
Some articles about Bill Evans in the beginning of his career
Don Nelsen: Bill Evans: Intellect, Emotion, Communication. Don Nelsen was at that time a 34-year-old feature writer for the New York News, for which newspaper he also writed well informed jazz reviews. In 1959, he received his M.A., specializing in medieval literature. He was at work on his Ph.D. He said he “studied trumpet privately for two years, and still practice safely out of earshot of professional musicians.” This article on Bill Evans was his first for Down Beat, December, 1960 (PDF).
Felix Manskleid: Bill Evans Discusses The Jazz Scene. Published in Jazz Monthly, July 1960 (PDF).
Frank Everett: Bill Evans Talking To Frank Everett. Published in Jazz Journal, August 1968 (PDF).
Nat Hentoff: Introducing Bill Evans. Nat Hentoff (1925) is an American historian, novelist, jazz music critic, and writes regularly on jazz for The Wall Street Journal. He was formerly a columnist for Down Beat, The Village Voice, JazzTimes, The Washington Post, The Washington Times. He was a staff writer for The New Yorker, and his writing has also been published in The New York Times. This article was published in The Jazz Review, October 1959 (PDF).
Gene Lees: Inside The New Bill Evans Trio. Gene Lees (1928-2010) was a Canadian journalist, lyricist, singer and composer. He was editor of the jazz magazine Down Beat, later he published on freelance basis and wrote among other for The New York Times. He became a close friend of Bill Evans and he wrote the lyrics to his compositions “Waltz For Debby”, “My Bells”, and “Turn Out The Stars” and contributed liner notes to his recordings as “Conversations With Myself”. He is the author of several books of jazz history and analysis. He had published his idiosyncratic Jazzletter, a monthly collection of essays that was something of a blog before the term was invented. This article was published in Down Beat, November 1962 (PDF).
Dan Morgenstern: Bill Evans: The Art of Playing. Dan Morgenstern (1929) is a jazz critic and librarian. He attended Brandeis University from 1953-1956. He wrote for jazz publication Jazz Journal from 1958–1961, Metronome in 1961, Jazz from 1962–1963, and Down Beat from 1964-1973. He is the author of the book Jazz People. In 1976 he was named director of Rutgers–Newark’s Institute of Jazz Studies, where he continued the work of Marshall Stearns and made the Institute one of the world’s largest collections of jazz documents and recordings. His article was published in Down Beat, October 1964 (PDF).
Lecture by Ron Nethercutt about “Homecoming”
Ron Nethercutt is a retired Music Professor at the Southeastern Louisiana University. From 1980 till 1999 the trombonist, arranger, conductor, music researcher, educator, and broadcast manager Prof. Ron Nethercutt developed at the faculty the Bill Evans archive. After the death of Bill Evans in 1980 Ron began collecting memorabilia in order to compile a reference center for pianists, musicologists, and others. He also wrote the liner notes of the album “Bill Evans Homecoming: Live At Southeastern Louisiana University” (Fantasy 1999), recorded live at Southeastern Louisiana State University, Hammond, Louisiana on November 6, 1979. Ron was also the moderator for the initial annual Bill Evans Festival. Southeastern named Bill Evans its first “Alumnus of the Year” in 1969. The album “Homecoming” marks the return of the prodigal musical son to his alma mater, the Southeastern Louisiana University, on November 6, 1979, some 29 years after he graduated with honors.
New Bill Evans film documentary by Bruce Spiegel
Among many clips of Bill used in various videos and documentaries, like “The Universal Mind Of Bill Evans”, two earlier documentaries made specifically about him are worth mentioning. First, Bill Evans: Turn Out the Stars (Léon Terjanian, 1982), including “him rehearsing, performing in concert in Lyon, his memorial service in New York and homages from Phil Woods and Jim Hall.” Unfortunately, the film is not in circulation. The second documentary, “Bill Evans” (Paul Goldin, 1996), again made in France and on Arte channel, is mostly composed of stills and audio clips, was on Dutch television.
Now a new documentary has appeared by Bruce Spiegel! The filmmaker and CBS News editor and producer, Bruce Spiegel made several awarded documentaries: a prime time Emmy for best documentary for ‘9-11’, “Machito: a Latin jazz legacy”, “Storm of Murder”, a 48 hours report on New Orleans post Katrina and “Out of the Shadows”, a 48 Hours special dealing with the sex slave industry in Eastern Europe. He finished, after years of working on it, his documentary “Bill Evans: Time Remembered.” The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation presents a free screening Friday, Nov 6, 2015. The poster shows a silhouette of Evans at the piano in the center panel of the triptych of the 14 feet mural “Turn Out The Stars”, at the Pottle Music Building of Bill’s alma mater, the Southeastern Louisiana University in Hammond made by Edward Pramuk.
Bill Evans Virtual Museum Project on YouTube
Rob Rijneke made a videocompilation of most of Bill’s album covers, designed as a virtual museum for preservation of this covers. Thanks to all cover designers who made this project possible. Sculptress and jazzsinger Earla Porch made the only known sculpture of Bill and thanks to Gerrit Rietveld for his designs. René Magritte: “Everything we see hides another thing, we always want to see what is hidden by what we see”.
Interview with Gary Peacock on NPR
Gary Peacock was the bassist of Bill Evans on the Trio 64 album (Verve, 1964): NPR interview.
Bill Evans Virtual Museum Project
Rob Rijneke designed on Facebook a virtual museum for preservation of pianist Bill Evans album covers.
R.I.P. Brian Hennessey, founder of the UK “Bill Evans Memorial Library”
Brian Hennessey, brother of Mike Hennessey (former publisher of the UK Jazz Journal) died September 4, 2014 due to lung carcinoma. He was director of the Welsh Jazz Society and a great aficionado of Bill Evans. He was the founder of the “Bill Evans Memorial Library” with a huge collection of interviews, notations, transcriptions, audio and video. He wrote two articles “Bill Evans – a person I knew” in UK Jazz Journal International: March 1985 and October 1985. Bill Evans (with partner Ellaine Schultz) stayed often with Brian when he had to perform a week at Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club in London.
Exclusive Bill Evans Interview
Bill Evans on November, 14, 1976, at radio station WORT-FM in Madison, Wis., being interviewed by James Farber and Larry Goldberg. In the fall of 1976, Jerry Dahlke, a Madison, Wis., concert promoter, booked Bill Evans, bassist Eddie Gomez and drummer Eliot Zigmund into Madison’s Memorial Union Theater. To build buzz for the trio’s concert, Dahlke asked James, a huge Evans fan, if he’d like to interview him on WORT, the local FM radio station where Dahlke was a board member. James immediately agreed, and the on-air interview was set for Sunday Nov. 14, the night before the concert.
Bill Evans’ original ‘Kind of Blue’ Notes
The liner notes of Kind of Blue, written by Bill Evans, appear on the original recording sleeve:
“There is a Japanese visual art in which the artist is forced to be spontaneous. He must paint on a thin stretched parchment with a special brush and black water paint in such a way that an unnatural or interrupted stroke will destroy the line or break through the parchment. Erasures or changes are impossible. These artists must practice a particular discipline, that of allowing the idea to express itself in communication with their hands in such a direct way that deliberation cannot interfere. The resulting pictures lack the complex composition and textures of ordinary painting, but it is said that those who see well find something captured that escapes explanation. This conviction that direct deed is the most meaningful reflections, I believe, has prompted the evolution of the extremely severe and unique disciplines of the jazz or improvising musician. Group improvisation is a further challenge. Aside from the weighty technical problem of collective coherent thinking, there is the very human, even social need for sympathy from all members to bend for the common result. This most difficult problem, I think, is beautifully met and solved on this recording. As the painter needs his framework of parchment, the improvising musical group needs its framework in time,. Miles Davis presents here frameworks which are exquisite in their simplicity and yet contain all that is necessary to stimulate performance with sure reference to the primary conception. Miles conceived these settings only hours before the recording dates and arrived with sketches which indicated to the group what was to be played. Therefore, you will hear something close to pure spontaneity in these performances. The group had never played these pieces prior to the recordings and I think without exception the first complete performance of each was a “take.” — Bill Evans
The original handwritten draft by Bill Evans you can see here.
Who wrote “Blue in Green”, Bill Evans or Miles Davis?
Now in a comic strip by Dustin Mollick.
A composer discussion about “Blue In Green”, the third track on Miles Davis modal album Kind of Blue (Columbia, 1959). It has long been speculated that pianist Bill Evans wrote “Blue in Green”, even though the LP and most jazz fakebooks credit Davis only with its composition. In his autobiography, Davis maintains that he alone composed the songs on Kind of Blue. For a matter of fact Bill Evans wrote the liner notes for the album. The version on Bill Evans trio album Portrait In Jazz (Riverside, 1959), credits the tune to ‘Davis-Evans’. A comment by Evans: “One day at Miles’s apartment, he wrote on some manuscript paper the symbols for G-minor and A-augmented. And Miles said, ‘What would you do with that?’ I didn’t really know, but I went home and wrote ‘Blue in Green.'” In a 1978 radio interview, Evans said that he himself had written the song. Evans said “The truth is I did (write the music)…… I don’t want to make a federal case out of it, the music exists, and Miles is getting the royalties.” Either way, for all of us, it’s a beautiful tune and we’re honored to present it. Bill Evans drummer Marty Morell: Bill told me personally, Miles gave him the first 2 chords. Bill came up with the rest of the changes and wrote the melody. Son Evan Evans: Bill Evans composed “Blue In Green” at 5am the night before the recording session, at Earl Zindar’s apartment on his upright piano.” Later confirmed by an interview with Bill’s friend and composer Earl Zindar.
Bill Evans on a cover of the US magazine Jazz from 1964
Ralph Gleason was editor of the magazine Jazz. He only lived to be 58, but he had a very productive career. After graduating from Columbia University in 1938, Gleason was the founder and editor of Jazz Information, one of the first jazz magazines. Gleason was a regular contributor to Down Beat (1948-1961) and the San Francisco Chronicle (1950-1975). He also wrote for a variety of magazines including Stereo Review.
Bill Evans at Newport 1967 and 1976
This release presents two live performances by Bill Evans taped at the Newport Jazz Festival in July 2, 1967 and June 25, 1976. The earlier set was taped in Newport and features the pianist backed by Eddie Gomez on bass and Philly Joe Jones on drums (Evans’ intense interaction with Jones, with whom he didn’t record a lot, is the most remarkable thing here). The 1976 performance, on the other hand, with Elliot Zigmund replacing Jones, was taped in New York after the festival’s producer, George Wein, wasn’t allowed to use the Newport facilities. Tony Bennett, who recorded two amazing duo albums with Evans, joins the pianist for a thrilling version of “My Foolish Heart”. I think the label Oceanic Records got the tracks from Concert Vault. Wolfgang’s Vault is a private music-focused company established in 2003 dedicated to the restoration and archiving of live concert recordings in audio and video format and the sale of music memorabilia.
Bill Evans modal jazz and French music reconfigured
From the forthcoming book: French Music and Jazz in Conversation: From Debussy to Brubeck by Professor Deborah Mawer, Cambridge University Press 2015, 265 pages. She provides a set of detailed music case studies on Debussy, Satie, Milhaud, Ravel, George Russell, Bill Evans and Dave Brubeck. Large chapter 8 (25 pages): Bill Evans modal jazz and French music reconfigured. Deborah Mawer is an international specialist in twentieth-century French music at the Birmingham University Conservatoire in Great Britten. Other books include The Ballets of Maurice Ravel which embraces creative and interpretative dimensions, supported by archival research from the Bibliothèque nationale and Royal Opera House Archives, and two edited volumes: Ravel Studies and The Cambridge Companion to Ravel. Her first monograph, Darius Milhaud: Modality & Structure in Music of the 1920s, analysed Milhaud’s music by developing techniques applied to Stravinsky, focusing on the jazz-inspired ballet La Création du monde. This book explores the rich historical-cultural interactions between French concert music and American jazz in the first half of the twentieth century, from both perspectives.
Bill Evans first commercial record date in 1953
Jerry Wald (Newark, 1918 – 1973) was a big bandleader and clarinetist. He worked regularly in New York City and in Chicago. He sounded like Artie Shaw, a comparison that Jerry often resented. In 1953, Jerry Wald did a 10-inch “Tops in Pops” LP for an MGM subsidiary, Lion (no.E70014), as part of their new “Designed for Dancing” series and Bill Evans was present on piano. This record has never been reissued and it’s Bill Evans first record date (1953) 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.
Southeastern Louisiana University Magazine Fall 2014, Bill Evans’ Alma Mater.
Bill Evans studied classical music from 1946 till 1950 at the Southeastern Louisiana University and received his “Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance”. He graduated with high honors and was the recipient of the “Distinguished Alumnus Award.” Southeastern named Bill Evans its first “Alumnus of the Year” in 1969. His alma mater in Hammond organizes still every year an annual Bill Evans Festival. Bill studied theory and composition with Gretchen Magee (1914-2012), a well-loved teacher of piano and music theory at the University and became deeply appreciative of her guidance. In his third year he produced a small masterpiece in waltz time that he called “Very Early.” Bill Evans talking about Gretchen Magee in a letter to her: “I have always admired your teaching as that rare and amazing combination, the exceptional knowledge combined with the ability to bring these skills within a student for life. You were certainly my biggest inspiration in college, and the seeds of the insights that you have shown, has in practice worn many times fruit.” After 29 years, in 1979, Bill Evans returned to perform at South Eastern Louisiana University. (His album “Homecoming”, Milestone 1999 with Marc Johnson and Joseph La Barbera). “I won’t try to go into what kind of special night this is for me” he told the audience. “Suffice to say that at least two of the four years I spent here were two of the happiest years of my life, and I owe a great deal to Southeastern and the faculty.” Southeastern Louisiana University Magazine (Page 19).
George Russell – The Complete Bluebird Recordings with Bill Evans piano
This reissue presents two original RCA/Bluebird albums from 1956: “George Russell Smalltet!” (1956) paired with “Hal McKusick’s Jazz Workshop” plus 4 bonus tracks under the leadership of alto saxophonist and flautist Hal McKusick with compositions and arrangements by George Russell. One of the most important and influential composers, arrangers, theorists and conductors in contemporary jazz, this release includes the three different 1956 sessions that mark George Russell’s complete recording legacy with Bluebird as a leader. Featuring: Art Farmer, Hal McKusick, Barry Galbraith, Milt Hinton, Paul Motian, Bill Evans, George Russell. This is a fabulous issue, important for documenting the early meeting of Bill Evans and Paul Motian, and for showing what a rhythmically forceful player Evans could be. Lone Hill Jazz, 2005
The Jazz Soul of Porgy & Bess, Bill Potts and His Orchestra with Bill Evans piano
Recorded for United Artists and produced by Jack Lewis. Potts broke free of the score’s traditional constraints and added enormous inventiveness, punch and swing. On the session were Art Farmer, Harry “Sweets” Edison, Bernie Glow, Marky Markowitz and Charlie Shavers (tp), Bob Brookmeyer (v-tb), Frank Rehak, Jimmy Cleveland, Earl Swope and Rod Levitt (tb), Gene Quill and Phil Woods (as), Zoot Sims and Al Cohn (ts), Sol Schlinger (bar), Bill Evans (p), Herbie Powell (g), George Duvivier (b) and Charlie Persip (d). Recorded at Webster Hall, New York City, January 13, 14 & 15, 1959. Reissue Fresh Sound Records, 2012.
Posters of the annual Bill Evans Festival at the Southeastern Louisiana University
Courtesy of Prof. Ron Nethercutt, trombonist, arranger, conductor, music researcher, educator, and broadcast manager, who developed at the faculty at the Southeastern Louisiana University, Bill’s alma mater, the Bill Evans archive.
A historical photo from Bill Evans Japanese tour in 1973
From left to right manager and producer Helen Keane, Bill Evans, Ellaine Schultz, Eddie Gomez, Marty Morell and a promoter’s assistant. Bill’s partner Ellaine committed suicide 2 month later. Bill died in 1980 and Helen in 1996. The trio visited Japan in January 1973. The last of ten sellout concerts in the Yubin Chokin Hall was issued as ‘The Tokyo Concert’ album by Fantasy in 1973. The album was nominated for a Grammy Award. The leading Japanese Swing Journal held its own annual readers poll, each year Bill had won the piano section. Swing Journal cosponsored the tour.
Bill Evans and bassist Paul Warburton
When I hit on the web a bass forum, I found a bassist who has also played with Bill Evans: Paul Warburton from Denver. A surprise to me, because I thought I had already traced all Bill’s bassists. He worked with Bill for about a month and a half in the mid-sixties. He was influenced by Red Mitchell and Scott LaFaro and has toured extensively all over the world with Pepper Adams, Phil Woods, Stan Getz, Pharaoh Sanders, Richie Cole, Clifford Jordan and many others. He was 23 years old and got the gig solely on the recomendation of the great lady pianist Pat Moran, who Scott LaFaro did his first record with. “It was the single greatest musical experience of my life”. Bill Evans played with Paul Warburton and Philly Joe Jones in 1965 at The Jazz Workshop in San Francisco. The trio never recorded.
Left: Bill Evans, Paul Warburton and Philly Joe Jones at The Jazz Workshop, San Francisco in 1965 and right Paul Warburton, San Francisco drummer Tom Reynolds and Bill in the green room at The Jazz Workshop 1965.
“Sugar Plum” from the award winning Limetree doublealbum “Momentum”
Three Bill Evans bassists together
Chuck Israels, Eddie Gomez, Marc Johnson with pianist Bill Mays at the International Society of Bassists (ISB) Convention, June 9, 2001
New Gerald Locklin collection of poems: “More Takes On Bill Evans”
Gerald Locklin is an American poet who is a Professor Emeritus of English at California State University, Long Beach and the poetry editor of Chiron Review. He taught at CSU, Long Beach from 1965 to 2007 and is also a part-time lecturer in the University of Southern California’s Master of Professional Writing Program. Locklin has published over 3,000 poems, works of fiction, reviews and articles that have appeared in numerous periodicals, he has published in excess of 125 books, chapbooks, and poetry broadsides.
From his first “Takes on Bill Evans” (copyright © by Gerald Locklin)
My Foolish Heart
Be still! Still as his style
in which emotion is contained
within close chords.
A stillness can explode
just as the silent night did.
Never let a stone unturned.
The pianist cast spells upon the stepping stones.
The trumpet pointed towards the sky.
All we have learned must be unlearned,
but first it must be learned.
Scott LaFaro Celebration (3 April 1936 – 6 July 1961)
On Friday, April 3th, in Geneva, NY, was a city-wide celebration to honor the life and legacy of Geneva native and jazzbassist legend Scott LaFaro on his 78th birthday. Scott played bass in the “first’ Bill Evans Trio and died shortly after the Village Vanguard Sessions in a car accident. Events included the dedication of the Scott LaFaro Drive and the establishment of an annual Scott LaFaro Day. Guest speaker at the dedication was Helene LaFaro-Fernandez, LaFaro’s sister and author of his biography ‘Jade Visions’.
New tribute album: Remembering B.E by Francesco Branciamore
The Italian drummer Francesco Branciamore from Sicily released his new Bill Evans tribute album “Remembering B.E.” A totally different (classical) approach of the music of Bill Evans. Music composed, arranged and directed by him and performed by the formation of classical music, the “Crossover Ensemble”. The project is created for classic sextet (flute, clarinet, violin, cello, piano, bass). The last experiment of its kind was done by the Kronos Quartet with Eddie Gomez about 20 years ago. Francesco worked on the soul classic Bill Evans enhancing its influences from pianists such as Chopin, Ravel, Debussy and Satie, highlighting the various nuances, which is why the sound of the sextet of chamber music he has chosen is entirely appropriate and original. Label Caligola Records, 2014.
New release: Bill Evans Live At The Penthouse-Seattle 1966 (bootleg, now on CD)
From the linernotes: This release presents a complete never before heard set recorded by the Bill Evans Trio in 1966. Along with the veteran team of Evans and Eddie Gomez, this show offers the rare chance to hear drummer Joe Hunt as a member of the trio. Live at the Penthouse, Seattle, Washington, May 12, 1966. As a bonus, another unissued set performed by Evans and Gomez in Oslo, Norway, that same year, along with Danish drummer Alex Riel.
Total 13 tracks, one radio announcement, only 5 tracks with Joe Hunt, 7 “bonus” tracks with Alex Riel/Eddie Gomez, stolen from the DVD The Oslo Concerts (Oslo, Norway, October 28, 1966)!!
Label: JAZZ DO IT
Book: A pictural History Of Jazz
In 1952 Orrin Keepnews and his partner Bill Grauer produced their first records. The following year they founded Riverside Records. Grauer handled the administrative side of Riverside and Keepnews the artistic side. They published together “A pictural History Of Jazz” (Spring Books, London, 1958). Bill Evans was not listed then in the table of contents. Evans’s first album as a leader, when 26 years old, “New Jazz Conceptions” was recorded for Riverside and released in 1957. Only at a later impression these pictures of Bill Evans were added.
Transcriptions by Doctor William Hughes from Australia
William Hughes made a lot of transcriptions of music by Szymanowski and Bill Evans. He published them on YouTube. Here is an example of a complete transcription: Bill Evans – Danny Boy (solo version), Plaza Sound Studios, NYC 4 april 1962. From the album “Conception” (double LP, Milestone M 47063) or Bill Evans – Easy to Love (Riverside 2006, Japan): Danny Boy
Time Remembered-Transcriptions by Pascal Wetzel
Forthcoming release, his fifth book of transcriptions of Bill Evans: “Time Remembered” will be available from 17 December 2013. Published by TRO – Hal Leonard. It has 70 pages in 14 transcripts, including 13 compositions by Bill Evans, with a preface by the Italian pianist and Evans specialist Enrico Pieranunzi.
My Bells (“The Universal Mind of Bill Evans”, DVD, 1966) T.C. – Quiet Now (“Quiet Now”, 1969) T.C. – Funkallero (“The Bill Evans Album”, 1971) – The Two Lonely People (“The Bill Evans Album”, 1971) T.C. – Fun Ride (“Piano Player”, 1971) – Time Remembered (“Since We Met”,1974) T.C. – Since We Met (“Eloquence”,1975) – Remembering The Rain (“New Conversations”, 1978) T.C. – B Minor Waltz (“You Must Believe in Spring”, août 1977) T.C. – Maxine, (“New Conversations”, 1978) – Song for Helen(“New Conversations”, 1978) – 34 Skidoo (“Paris Concert – Edit. 2”, 1979) – Your Story (“Turn Out The Stars”, CD 3, 1980) T.C. – We Will Meet Again (“We Will Meet Again”, 1979) T.C.
Paperback: 72 pages, Publisher: Hal Leonard (December 17, 2013), Language: English
La Leçon de Jazz, Bill Evans, Turn Out the Stars by Antoine Hervé
Discover the musical universe of the biggest names in jazz in a DVD collection of “Leçons de Jazz” (Jazz Lessons) by Antoine Hervé. He is pianist, composer and teacher of great talent, and was director of the French National Jazz Orchestra. Antoine Hervé takes us in an interactive way into the life and work of the giants of jazz history through a series of concerts with commentary in French.
The sound of Bill’s piano was considered “crystal notes” by Miles Davis, the pianist hedonistic harmonies and rhythms learned, claiming melodic and popular music, influenced by European and Russian classical music. Antoine Hervé interprets a dozen of Bill’s compositions, Very Early, Waltz For Debby, Turn Out the Stars, the title track, and relies on Peace Piece to explain the art of the piano sound perspective.
Modal jazz is also entitled to his demonstration, the white keys of the piano and the video screen on the keyboard to make clear obscure concepts for public wishing to learn.
Music Theory Book by Tom Regis: “From Beethoven to Bill Evans”
The book “From Beethoven to Bill Evans: Western harmony simplified” is also available as an e-book.
Author Tom Regis’s love affair with harmony began as a child by way of his communion with the piano works of Beethoven and continued throughout his growth as a pianist and his inevitable encounter with the harmonic language of Bill Evans and other greats of jazz piano. In the book, the author outlines a comprehensive system for understanding the elements and construction of harmony, and unlike other harmony/theory books, WHS never loses sight of the forest through the trees, offering a simple approach for the layman and experienced alike. Combines the classical and jazz approaches to harmony into one unified system that focuses on the underlying simplicity of the seven note scale and its chords, and the simple tension and release mechanisms that propel chord movement.
My Bill Evans Problem – Jaded Visions of Jazz and Race
by Eugene Holley, Jr., June 26, 2013.
New release: Bill Evans – Solo Piano At Carnegie Hall 1973-78
Presented here are two amazing never before released solo piano sets by Bill Evans at Carnegie Hall (July 7, 1973 – June 28, 1978) with an introduction by Billy Taylor. Among the various highlights are performances of songs rarely recorded by Evans, such as “B-Minor Waltz”, “You Don’t Know What Love Is”, “Hullo Bolinas”, and Duke Ellington’s “Reflections in D”. As a bonus, an extremely rare 1970 trio broadcast recorded in Chicago, which only previously appeared on a long out of print LP. Evans is backed on this set by Eddie Gomez and Marty Morell (“Homewood” TV show, Chicago, November 4, 1970): “So What”, “Waltz For Debby”, “Like Someone In Love”, “Someday My Prince Will Come” and “Five”.
Label: Valmont Records
A proofsheet with Bill Evans images by photographer Donald Silverstein for the cover of “Sunday at the Village Vanguard”
He was born on 4 July 1934 in New York. His mother gave him a Rolleiflex camera for his 12th birthday, and thus ignited a passion that later took him to London, Paris and around the world as one of the most sought after photographers of his day. After four years in Europe he returned to New York where he began taking photographs for record covers, quickly establishing a name for himself in the music industry. During this period Silverstein captured numerous musicians, primarily for Riverside Records, including Junior Mance, Bill Evans, Ida Cox and Cannonball Adderley, Johnny Griffin, Barry Harris, Cliff Jackson, Fairport Convention, Sonny Rollins and Eddie “Lockjaw” Davis. Silverstein remained in London, working as a photographer until his untimely death in 1975.
The original of a proofsheet with Bill Evans images by photographer Burt Goldblatt
Look at the image (8.5″ X 11″) of Bill in the bottom right corner! Burt Goldblatt (1924-2006) was a photographer and prolific jazz LP cover designer in the 1950s and 1960s, best known for his Jolly Roger and Bethlehem covers. Bud Powell named a tune for Goldblatt, and Chris Connor scatted lyrics in his honor. He designed the front covers of Bill Evans albums like “Peace Piece And Other Pieces”, “The Secret Sessions” and “The Complete Riverside Recordings”.
Two authentic never published photos of Bill
After graduating at the Southeastern Louisiana College in 1950, Bill Evans joined Herbie Fields’s band the same year. A year later, he was drafted. He played flute, piccolo and piano in the Fifth Army Band at Fort Sheridan near Chicago, spending his nights playing jazz piano in Chicago clubs. Jazz trumpeter John Reichart served and played with Bill in the 5th Army Band from 1950-1952. While there they formed a combo called “The Casuals” that played near the base, on the radio and various other venues. In addition to being a pretty good jazz trumpeter, John was also an avid photographer for most of his life, including during his stint in the Army. His son found the images of Bill taken by his late father during that time, and sent them to me.
New release: The 1972 Ljubljana Concert
This release presents a never before heard performance with excellent sound quality by the great Bill Evans. Recorded live at the Ljubljana Jazz Festival in Ljubljana (then Yugoslavia, now Slovenia’s capital) on June 10, 1972, this is the only known recording of the Bill Evans Trio with English drummer Tony Oxley, celebrated for his free jazz collaborations with such outstanding musicians as Cecil Taylor, John McLaughlin, Gordon Beck, and Anthony Braxton, among others, and for his own work as a leader. Evans and Eddie Gomez were performing as a duo in London early that month when Oxley was invited by the pianist to join them. The result pleased them so much that they decided to play a few concerts together, from which the Ljubljana set seems to be the only complete surviving performance. A single tune from an early June set at Ronnie Scott’s in London also exists, and has been added here as a bonus. Bill Evans, piano, Eddie Gomez, bass, Tony Oxley, drums Ljubljana Jazz Festival, Ljubljana, Slovenia (ex Yugoslavia), June 10, 1972. (Label Balcan Records, 2013)
New book about Bill Evans: Intermission by Owen Martell
A fictionalised novel of what happened during the months after Scott’s car crash. In 1961, the Bill Evans Trio (Bill Evans on piano, Scott LeFaro on bass, Paul Motian on drums) played a series on concerts at the Village Vanguard in New York City. They culminated in two recordings – Sunday at the Village Vanguard and Waltz for Debbie – now considered two of the greatest jazz records ever made. Ten days later, Scott LeFaro died in a car crash. Evans was devastated and disappeared from public life for several months. What happened during those months. The novel is told from four different points of view – Bill’s older brother Harry, his mum Mary, his father Harry Snr and finally, that of Bill himself. The novel inhabits the lives of four people in orbit around a tragedy, presenting an intense and moving portrait of the burden of grief, and of a man lost to his family and to himself. It is also a conjuring of a pivotal moment in American music and culture, and a unique representation of the jazz scene in the early 1960s.
A historical picture, pianist Steve Kuhn with Bill Evans (1971). Steve Kuhn recorded an album in 1960 with bassist Scott LaFaro and drummer Pete La Roca. In the late 1960s, Kuhn moved to Sweden, where he lived with the vocalist Monica Zetterlund. Monica, who died in a fire-accident in 2005, recorded “Waltz for Debby” (1964) with Bill Evans. Listen to an emotional Steve Kuhn about Bill Evans in an interview with cultural advocate, writer, jazz musician, and artist Tim DuRoche at the Portland Jazz Festival on the Oregon Music News podcast page (2013):
Mark Myer about Bill Evans and trombonist Jimmy Knepper on his JazzWax blog
Review by Jan Stevens on his very informative The Billevanswebpages
Bill Evans Trio – New CD: Momentum — worth every penny!
After lots of listening and very careful consideration, I’ll take the risk and announce that I believe this performance of the Evans-Gomez-Morrell trio to be probably its finest recording. I believe it’s that good. Spend the money. It’s all you hoped for.
German record award
This double album Momentum is nominated for the “Prize of the German Record Critics” on 5 november 2012. The “Quarterly Critics Choice” contains “new releases of outstanding importance”. Criteria for evaluation are interpretation, artistic quality, repertoire value, presentation, and sound quality; only one release per category is selected. The Bestenliste is published every three months. There are 29 categories, each served by jury members competent in the respective field.
“Since Bill Evans (p), Eddie Gomez (b) and Marty Morell (d) play with inspiration and interaction at the highest level, you can recommend Momentum unreservedly, especially as the content presentation and accompanying texts are worthy.” (For the jury: Marcus A. Woelfle)
New: Bill Evans Trio and Quartet With Herb Geller, Hamburg, 1972. 2-CD SET.
This release presents an amazing never before heard performance with excellent sound quality by the great Bill Evans. Recorded live at the Funkhaus in Hamburg, Germany, in 1972, half of the show presented the Bill Evans Trio, while the other half featured reedman Herb Geller joining the group to perform mostly his own tunes, which Evans – who plays solos on all of them – would never record again !
A rehearsal for the concert, also taped at the Funkhaus two days earlier, rounds out this set. Among several of Geller’s tunes, it includes a version of What Is This Thing Called Love, a song which wasn’t played at the actual concert. As a whole, this set contains all known collaboration between Evans and Geller. Bill Evans piano, Eddie Gomez bass, Marty Morell drums, Herb Geller alto flute, piccolo flute and alto sax. All tracks recorded at Funkhaus, Hamburg, Germany in February 14, 1972. Label Turning Point.
Interview with Nenette Evans-Zazarra
An interview with Nenette Evans by Bonnie Biggs in 1989 for the Jazz Link magazine.
Lost interview with Bill Evans
Brian Priestley is an English jazz writer, pianist and arranger. He has also done broadcasting work for the BBC. He takes an indepth look at the highly influential pianist Bill Evans, and digs out a great lost interview from 1972 in the English magazine Jazzwise, September 2012 issue.
An update of the TIMELINE of the bassists and drummers of the Bill Evans Trio from 1956 to 1980 which I compiled in 2011.
Down Beat, Editors’ Picks September 2012 by Aaron Cohen
Bill Evans, Momentum (Limetree). In the cover story for the September issue of DownBeat, John McDonough examines the just-released Bill Evans historical recording Live At Art D’Lugoff’s Top Of The Gate (Resonance). That article chronicles how the pianist’s trio stood apart from the turbulence of 1968 to generate incredibly stirring and innovative performances with its interpretations of traditional material. Soon after we published that issue, Momentum—another newly discovered live Evans trio recording from that era—arrived in the DownBeat office from Germany. The album is a terrific companion to its predecessor. This is also a two-disc set with bassist Eddie Gomez and drummer Marty Morell joining Evans, who was elected into the DownBeat Hall of Fame in 1981 (the year after his death). At a concert in the Netherlands on Feb. 4, 1972, the trio drew heavily on an established repertoire of tunes, such as “Emily,” which they extend further than they had four years earlier. Their Dutch set list also included four of Evans’ compositions, including his lovely “Sugar Plum” and glorious “The Two Lonely People.” It’s thrilling to hear this trio get aggressive: Evans continues in his quiet determination to challenge ideas of where the pulse should be, Gomez sounds authoritatively forceful on “Emily” and Morell is equally dynamic on “My Romance.” Pianist Jan Warntjes recorded this concert, which sounds as vivid as if it were taped last week.
JazzWax by Marc Myers
He writes daily on jazz legends and legendary jazz recordings, July 31, 2012:
CD Discoveries of the Week
In February 1972—two days before his famed Paris concert (Live in Paris)—Bill Evans, with bassist Eddie Gomez and Marty Morell performed in Groningen, a college town in the Netherlands. The gig was taped in the open by a Dutch pianist, Jan Warntjes, after winning the approval of Helen Keane, Evans’ manager. The result is Momentum (Limetree), a two-CD set. It’s another night in the life of the mid-period Bill Evans Trio, and many of the usual song suspects are here—with a bunch of surprises. These include Elsa, Sugar Plum, Quiet Now and Gloria’s Step. The drawbacks are that the bass is overmiked, Evans is a tad robotic (cranky about the piano again?) and the sound is a little distant. But if you turn up the volume, you’ll wind up with a fascinating listen—a preview of the famed Paris concert albums.
Incredible, three never released unearthed discoveries of Bill Evans recordings on 2 CD Deluxe Digi-packs in in a few months! Bill Evans Live at Casale Monferrato (Codec Records 2012), Bill Evans Momentum (Limetree Records 2012) and Bill Evans Live at Art D’Lugoff’s Top of The Gate (Resonance Records 2012). See Marc Myers JazzWax review of the Top of the Gate double album.
Listen to Scott LaFaro’s Gloria’s Step from the Momentum double album on YouTube.
Read also Marc’s interview with drummer Marty Morell who played drums for seven years—between 1968 and 1975—in the Bill Evans Trio alongside bassist Eddie Gomez. Read also in the Downbeat issue September 2012 (Volume 79, Number 9) “Bill Evans, Eye of the Storm”, newly released recordings show his tranquility during the turbulent ’60s, the “The Softer Side of the Revolution” by John McDonough: A two-CD set of previously unreleased 1968 performances by Bill Evans—Live At Art D’Lugoff’s Top Of The Gate (Resonance)—provides yet another reminder of the singular genius of the pianist.
Live At Top Of The Gate
Eddie Gomez-Bass & Marty Morell-Drums
Recorded on October 23, 1968
Resonance Records, June 2012
CD 1: 1. Emily 2. Witchcraft 3. Yesterdays 4. Round Midnight 5. My Funny Valentine 6. California Here I Come 7. Gone With The Wind 8. Alfie 9. Turn Out The Stars
CD 2: 1. Yesterdays 2. Emily 3. Round Midnight 4. In A Sentimental Mood 5. Autumn Leaves 6. Someday My Prince Will Come 7. Mother Of Earl 8. Here’s That Rainy Day
Eddie Gomez-Bass & Marty Morell-Drums
Recorded on February 4, 1972
Limetree Records May 2012
CD 1: 1 Re: Person I Knew 7:59 2 Elsa 7:04 3 Turn Out The Stars ) 5:13 4 Gloria’s Step 9:37 5 Emily 7:47 6 Quiet Now 5:38
CD 2: 1 My Romance 10:24 2 Sugar Plum 11:33 3 The Two Lonely People 8:12 4 Who Can I Turn To 7:49 5 What Are You Doing The Rest Of Your Life 5:17 6 Nardis 6:08
Live at Casale Monferrato
Marc Johnson-Bass & Joe LaBarbera-Drums
Recorded November 30, 1979
Codec Records 2012
CD 1: 1. Re: Person I Knew 4:52 2. Midnight Mood 6:52 3. Polka Dots And Moonbeams 4:56 4. Theme From M.A.S.H. 3:58 5. A Sleepin’ Bee 6:09 6. I Do It For Your Love 5:51 7. My Romance 9:48
CD2: 1. Noelle’s Theme 3:13 2. I Loves You Porgy 6:43 3. Up With The Lark 6:37 4. Turn Out The Stars 5:26 5. Five 5:10 6. Spring Is Here 4:22 7. Nardis 15:21 8. But Beautiful 3:37
Jazz in NYC, 92nd Street Y. Time Remembered: The Music of Bill Evans
Date: Wed, Jul 18, 2012, 8 pm, Venue: Kaufmann Concert Hall, Location: Lexington Avenue at 92nd St. Bill Evans was not only a poet of the piano but also a composer of the highest order. With Bill Charlap and his wife Renee Rosnes and Evans drummer Joe LaBarbera. Hear some of the world’s finest improvisers perform such masterpieces as “Waltz for Debby” and “Interplay.” They’ll also explore Evans’ distinctive conception of the American Songbook. (92nd Street Y). On this occasion, Marc Myer interviews Bill Charlap in his blog JazzWax about Bill Evans.
“From sound to idea to symbol” by Pascal Wetzel
Summarized, Pascal Wetzels states in a recent article about his Bill Evans transcriptions: 1. The transcription of jazz comes from a recording. If the player of the transcription first listens attentively to the recording, it reveals the slightest playing nuances, including touch. This is a huge advantage. Unlike the situation with most classical music, we have the recording of the original interpretation by its creator — it is an ideal “road map”. It is therefore necessary and desirable to use it. As a pianist, I cannot imagine learning a transcription of Bill Evans without carefully referring to the original recording. Interpreters of a jazz transcription must also use their ears, just as the transcriber did! 2. Music notation is very precise about which notes to play (“what?”) but much less so about their execution (“how?”). For that, it would be necessary to comment on almost every note in detail, which is impossible. Interpretation and expressiveness are “values added” by the musician. A score is the translation of sounds and their durations into written form. Therefore, it is inherently formulaic and limited. It does, however, act as a basic scenario which can be realized in different ways. (Clavier Companion, March-April 2012, pages 58-60).
Interview with Bill Evans by Bob Kenselaar
Interview published in allaboutjazz, originally in The Aquarian Weekly, May 9-16, 1979.
Article by Pat Evans
Pat Evans, wife of Harry Evans and sister-in-law to Bill Evans, wrote a wonderful article “The Two Brothers as I Knew Them: Harry and Bill Evans” (2011). See also the YouTube video about Harry Evans playing “Watch What Happens”.
Bassist Phil Palombi album: “RE: Person I Knew, A Tribute To Scott LaFaro”
2011 marks the 50th anniversary of the untimely death of bass legend Scott LaFaro. To mark this occasion, Phil recorded a tribute to the bass great that features Bill Evans alumnus and drum legend Eliot Zigumnd and piano great (and former roommate of Scott’s) Don Friedman. With the encouragment and blessing of the LaFaro estate and Barrie Kolstein, Palombi was granted permission to use Scott LaFaro’s 1825 Abraham Prescott bass for the occasion! It’s the first time since Scott’s death that the bass has been used for a whole recording. (From Palombi’s website).
See a video from the CD release party at the Kitano Jazz Club in NYC.
Paul Motian (1931 – 2011)
The historical Village Vanguard recordings in 1961. Bill’s “first trio” is now complete in heaven. Praying that their souls rest in peace…..but their music is immortal! Scott LaFaro, who died at young age of 25 in 1961, Bill died at the age of 51 in 1980 and drummer Paul Motian died of leukemia at Mt.Sinai Hospital in NYC yesterday 11-22-2011 at the age of 80, 50 years after the Vanguard recordings.
“The Big Love – Life and Death with Bill Evans” by Laurie Verchomin
Two articles about her book:
In the Canadian Edmonton Journal by Roger Levesque (August 14, 2011)
In the German Magazine Froh an interview with Laurie Verchomin by Sebastian Pranz.
New Bill Evans album: Live at Vara Studio, Hilversum, Holland, March 26, 1969.
A never before heard live performance by the 1969 edition of the Bill Evans Trio, with Eddie Gomez and Marty Morell. Highlights include a wonderful version of Monk’s “’Round Midnight”, as well as tunes only rarely recorded by the pianist such as “You’re Gonna Hear From Me” and “My Funny Valentine”. (Label Jazz Traffic, 2011). Previously not officially released as a bootleg recording.
01 You’re Gonna Hear From Me 3:25, 02 Emily 4:48, 03 Stella By Starlight 5:36, 04 Turn Out The Stars 5:04, 05 Waltz For Debby 6:11, 06 ‘Round Midnight 6:29, 07 Beautiful Love 5:48, 08 My Funny Valentine 6:22, 09 Quiet Now 5:30, 10 Someday My Prince Will Come 5:20
All tracks taped and broadcasted by the Nederlandse Omroep Stichting in 1969 but next four songs are unfortunately omitted on this CD: I Let a Song Go Out of My Heart, One for Helen, Love Theme from Spartacus and Mother of Earl.
Interview with Evans drummer Eliot Zigmund in the Huffington Post
Can you share your reflections of Bill?
I see Bill as a 20th century equivalent to Mozart. He had that kind of genius and that kind of ear, that kind of ability to sit at the piano for 40 minutes and make an incredible arrangement of a standard tune that would stick in your mind for the next 40 years! He had that kind of talent and it was incredible. And the older I get the more aware I am of it. My fondest hope would be to go back now and play with Bill Evans and really give him what I think he was looking for and I am frustrated that I can’t. I feel now that I understand much more of what he was looking for in a drummer and what he was trying to achieve and I think I could do these things now that would help him more than I did back then. (by Joseph Vella, October 7, 2011)
Evans Tribute by Chick Corea: “Further Explorations”
Chick Corea / Eddie Gomez / Paul Motian. Three still-living jazz icons team up on “Further Explorations”, an album inspired by another legend whose influence remains unequivocal, 30 years after passing away, age 51, in 1980. Gaining initial exposure as a member of Bill Evans’ first trio on “New Jazz Conceptions” (Riverside, 1956), drummer Paul Motian left the group nearly four years before bassist Eddie Gomez would commence an eleven-year run with the pianist on “At the Montreux Jazz Festival” (Verve, 1968). If anything, this superb album suggests that the best years may still be ahead of Corea, Gomez and Motian, and the only thing that could possibly be wrong with this Japan-only release is if it fails—like the Five Trios (Universal Japan, 2007) box and Super Trio (Universal Japan, 2005) before it—to be issued to the rest of the world. (Universal Music, Japan, 2011)
Evans tribute by pianist Alan Pasqua: “Twin Bill: Two Piano Music of Bill Evans”.
The pianist overdubs himself like Evans albums Conversations with Myself (1963), Further Conversations with Myself (1967) and New Conversations (1978). Rather than play conventional piano solos, for Twin Bill Pasqua doubles up, one piano in each channel, effectively collaborating with himself on a series of Evans-inspired duets. “The concept behind Twin Bill, Alan Pasqua’s new album for BFM Jazz, is right there in the title—there’s nothing ambiguous about it. “Bill Evans was my hero,” says the artist, and, with that as a starting point, Pasqua has embraced a handful of pieces composed by or associated with the transformative jazz pianist, added in a rearranged traditional tune and an original, and topped it all off with an indisputable classic that ties the music in with the other love of his life” (From Allaboutjazz). (Label: BFM Jazz, 2011)
Bill Evans on France-Musique
For those who speak French a tribute program for Bill Evans with an interview with French pianist Manuel Rocheman on France Musique.
Bill Evans Tune Test
Win Hinkle, bassist and teacher/lecturer on Bill Evans and editor of the former quarterly “Letter From Evans” , posted a new entry on his Bill Evans Blog – the first ever Bill Evans Tune Test. You can check your knowledge of Bill Evans tunes and the manner in which he performed them. The Bill Evans Tune Test(s) starts with 10 questions. This test is aimed primarily at musicians who play an instrument and listen to Bill Evans. You can also submit your own Bill Evans Tests questions to him and he will publish them there.
The Artistry of Bill Evans” Volume 2
“The Artistry of Bill Evans” Volume 2 is now available in a Kindle ebook edition. You can also read it on an iPad. There are also eight separate digital sheet music albums like “Turn Out The Stars” and “Time Remembered”.
Kenny Werner on Bill Evans
Interview with pianist Kenny Werner on YouTube
Two recent interesting contributions by Andy Laverne and Gil Goldstein to the Keyboard Magazine:
“The Bill Evans Re-Fingering School” by Gil Goldstein: Keyboard Febr 2011
“5 Ways To Play Like Bill Evans” by Andy Laverne: Keyboard Dec 2010
New (former bootleg) album: “Bill Evans Trio At The Eastman Theatre 1977”
This release contains a rare Bill Evans performance. The unique formations consists of Evan’s drummer of the period, Eliot Zigmund, plus bassist Chuck Israels, who had left the trio in 1966. This was a very special reunion, as was the program, which included some songs rarely recorded by Evans during his final years, like Summertime, Some Other Time, and I Loves You Porgy. No other recorded testimony exists of this exact formation of Evans’ trio! Recorded at the Eastman Theatre, Eastman School of Music, Rochester, New York, Autumn 1977. Label: RLR Records, Rare Live Recordings. (Spain?, Andorra?, Copyright?) Tracks: 01. Announcement by Bill Evans 02. Emily 03. Time Remembered 04. Summertime; 05. In Your Own Sweet Way 06. I Loves You Porgy 07. Up With The Lark 08. Some Other Time, 09. My Romance.
New double album: “Bill Evans, The Sesjun Radio Shows” (T2/Out of the Blue)
The small Dutch village Laren has a long jazz tradition. More recent jazzpodia are the former Boerenhofstede, the Singer Museum and Nick Vollebregt’s Jazzcafe. Bill Evans played several times in this locations. A Dutch public broadcasting organisation (TROS) began its radio jazz concerts in 1973 under the name SESJUN. It was broadcasted from the Boerenhofstede and Nick Vollebregt’s Jazzcafe and became the permanent spot for a first class series of concerts. With producer Dick de Winter and Cees Schrama as broadcaster the program became very popular. These radio programs has been broadcasted by more than 200 public radio stations in the USA and Canada. A compilation of recordings from 1973, 1975 and 1979 with Eddie Gomez, Eliot Zigmund, Marc Johnson, Joe LaBarbera and Toots Thielemans. Perfect audio quality.
1. Up With The Lark
2. Time Remembered
3. TTT (Twelve Tone Tune)
4. The two lonely People
5. Some Other Time
6. Sugar Plum
7. Sareen Jurer
8. Morning Glory
9. TTTT (Twelve Tone Tune Two)
10. Blue Serge
1. If You Could See Me Now
2. My Romance
5. Blue In Green
6. The Days Of Wine And Roses
7. I Do It For Your Love
“Turn Out The Stars” for piano and cello duo
Jazz pianist Matias Pizarro and classical cellist Consuelo Uribe play on their similarly titled CD a great version of “Turn Out The Stars”. To my knowledge the only version of this Bill Evans composition for piano and cello duo. Further work by Pizarro himself, Fauré and Piazzolla. Self-published in 2007, contact: email@example.com. See YouTube video clip.
Evans tribute by bassist Luigi Ruberti: “Dedicated To Bill Evans” (Splasc(h), 2010)
Gianfranco Campagnoli – trumpet
Mark Sherman – vibraphone
Mimmo Napolitano – piano
Luigi Ruberti – bass
Giuseppe La Pusta – drums
1. My Bells 2. Very Early 3. Time Remembered 4. Bill’s Hit Tune 5. Peace Piece 6. Maxine 7. We Will Meet Again 8. Carnival 9. Epilogue
Evans tribute by Luca LaPenna: “Words for Evans” (Splasc(h), 1996, 2010)
Vocal rendering of Bill Evans. There is something eerily attractive about the voice of Italian vocalist Luca LaPenna who wrote many of the lyrics to this collection of tunes by pianist Bill Evans. (The words to the other Evans tunes were contributed by Gene Lees and Carol Hall, while the two final tracks are pieces dedicated to the pianist.) LaPenna sings in English with a somewhat appealingly awkward accent, giving the words a slightly offbeat twist. The depth of feeling expressed by Evans makes him a difficult composer to vocalize, but LaPenna pulls it off well. You can hear traces of Chet Baker and even Bob Dorough in his voice, while the excellent backing of pianist Alberto Tacchini, bassist Zanchi, and drummer Giampiero Prina, plus the fine trumpet work of Paolo Fresu, lifts this one a solid notch above the pack. (Steven Loewy, All Music Guide).
Tracks: 1 – My Bells 2 – Turn Out the Stars 3 – Peri’s Scope 4 – Only Child 5 – One for Helen 6 – The Two Lonely People 7 – Very Early 8 – Time Remembered 9 – Waltz for Debby 10 – Another Time Another Place 11 – Ending
Bill Evans: “55 Days At Peking”
A 1963 UK ‘A’ label demonstration vinyl 7″ single release, also featuring “On Broadway”. (Verve VS-511) Orchestra arranged & conducted by Klaus Ogerman and produced by Creed Taylor. The song is not on the album “Bill Evans Plays The Theme From The V.I.P.’s And Other Great Songs”. This album is a straight album of square movie music, with a completely unrecognizable Bill Evans. Evans sounded bored and wasn’t improvising in his distinctive style, while most of the songs themselves were pretty forgettable. This commercial recording is not an album with the quality of “With Symphony Orchestra” or “Symbiosis”, but musically a disappointing fiasco. Why he took on this project is totally incomprehensible. See YouTube videoclip.
Toots Thielemans and Kenny Werner: Bill Evans – Time Remembered & Very Early
Toots Thielemans – harmonica, Kenny Werner – piano, Scott Colley – bass and Antonio Sanchez drums. North Sea Jazz Festival in the Netherlands 2009
“September Fifteenth” by guitarist Pat Metheny & pianist Lyle Mays (1980)
From their ECM album “As Falls Wichita, So Falls Wichita Falls”. “September Fifteenth” is their tribute to Bill Evans who died on September 15, 1980 during the recording sessions of this album. Listen to their comments.
IAJRC Journal Volume 19, No.1, 1986
A letter written by Bill Evans only weeks before his death. Bill’s trio had been invited to appear in Russia, but he decided to decline the invitation due to political beliefs. The letter he addressed to the editor of Downbeat is summarized below:
“I am a jazz pianist of international reputation. My name Evans, is obviously Welsh, but my mother’s name and heritage is Russian. Consequently, I have always hoped to visit Russia, to feel at first hand the roots of this part of myself. Perhaps even without the catalyst of Afghanistan, I might have arrived at the following conclusion, for i had often lamented the tragedy of suffering, imprisonment and where an artist’s purest inspiration was expected to conform to outside criteria. The very denial of the essence of art today! I wrestled with the problem for a few days, and come to the firm decision that I must cancel the concerts. I hoped that by the grapevine, perhaps those fans who learned of my reason for not appearing would be aroused philosophically, and therefore energy might be created, opposed to the perpetuation of this oppressive government. My gesture will have little or no significance, but I follow my code and am at peace with myself.” The letter was simply signed: “Bill Evans.”
On September 15, and before the release of the Downbeat issue, Bill Evans passed away. (From Bill Evans – Reflections and Perspectives by Prof. Ron Nethercutt, Bill Evans Library of Southeastern Louisiana University, Hammond). Published here with permission of the author.
The Southeastern Magazine 1984, published annually by the Southeastern Louisiana University. The publications share the success stories of students,faculty and staff.
Evans’ concert-going followers pursued him much like a cult leader (“He never was just background music for drinkers”, classmate, composer and bassist Condit Atkinson said).” They were and are a loyal group of members who respect his material. According to Chuck Israels, the bassist, who replaced LaFaro in the second Bill Evans Trio, a Bill Evans performance was a powerful event: “People were rapt , trying to drink it all in. They followed every nuance, every shadowy feint, every broad gesture, mentally chasing Bill through the pathways of the music, and they found, with a sense of liberating discovery, that this intensely personal expression was based on universal guiding principles. Silence during the music. No applause at the end of solos to interrupt the flow. Intense concentration. They knew there was an artist at work and they were privy to the inner workings of his musical process. (Rick Settoon, Southeastern Magazine, Hammond, 1984)
“Emulating Bill Evans” by Doug Ramsey in The Wall Street Journal Sep 14, 2010
Bill Evans: The Very Last Performance – Live at Fat Tuesday’s, NY, Sept 10, 1980.
01 If You Could See Me Now 6:13
02 Bill’s Hit Tune 7:40
03 Knit For Mary F. 6:14
04 Yet Ne’er Broken [version 1] 7:12
05 My Foolish Heart 4:05
06 Letter To Evan 5:12
07 Polka Dots And Moonbeams 6:12
08 Like Someone In Love 6:17
09 Your Story 3:52
10 Tiffany 5:20 11 Time Remembered 5:32
12 Turn Out The Stars 5:46 13 Yet Ne’er Broken [version 2] 6:56
Bill Evans – piano, Marc Johnson – Bass and Joe LaBarbera – drums (Domino Records, 2010)
The album is his very final recording of a performance – live on September 10, 1980, at the jazz club “Fat Tuesdays” in New York. Bill Evans was to play five nights but only managed two sets on this evening. He called in sick the next day and died on the 15th in the Mount Sinai Hospital at the age of 51. This gig has never been officially released and formerly to obtain as a bootleg recording. It is probably in secret taped by a devoted fan. The recording is of fairly raw sound quality with a lot of distortions; also the balance between the instruments is lacking.
At the request of a thorough Bill Evans connoisseur I analysed this Bill Evans “Fat Tuesday” album from Domino Records from Sept 1980 and the Village Vanguard box “Turn Out The Stars” (Warner Brothers) from June 1980 with an audio program. “Like Someone in Love” and “If You Could See Me Now” comes from the 3rd set of that evening. They are just the same recordings as the Fat Tues Day album, but (deliberately?) distored and accelerated! Moreover “Yet Never Broken” is not on the old bootleg and is now, just the same, on “The Fat Tuesday” album. Perhaps the whole Fat Tuesday album from Domino Records is fake. Moreover Domino Records used for the cover a picture of Bill Evans from the inlay of the Vanguard box and for the linernotes the integral part of Laurie Verchomins book from the Billevanswebpages (copyright!).
Bill Evans At Town Hall Vol. 1
“Bill Evans At Town Hall Vol. 1” (Verve V6 8683) was recorded live at Town Hall, New York in 1966. It is Bill Evans last album with Chuck Israel on bass and the only official release of his trio with drummer Arnold Wise. The concert was supposed to have a second album with the Evans trio and a big band under the direction of Al Cohn but has never been released, possibly because of criticism (see the text block on the left by Herb Woods, Billboard Mar 5, 1966). The most memorable piece is the 14-minute “Solo – In Memory of His Father,” who died three days before the performance. This requiem is an extensive unaccompanied exploration, including a delicate, Satie-coloured “Prologue” and an impressionistic and haunting “Epilogue”. The central section consisted of “Story Line” and “Turn Out the Stars”, which would become one of Evans most well-known songs. The entire “In Memory” suite was performed only once again by Evans on TV, in 1968, in memory of Robert Kennedy.
Jazz and the ‘Art’ of Medicine: (as shown by the interaction in the Bill Evans Trio)
Improvisation in the Medical Encounter by Paul Haidet, MD, MPH in Annals of Family Medicine
Improvisation is an important aspect of patient-physician communication. It is also a defining feature of jazz music performance. Paul Haidet uses examples from jazz to illustrate principles of improvisation that relate to an individual communication act (ie, building space into one’s communication), a physician’s communicative style (ie, developing one’s voice), and the communicative process of the medical encounter (ie, achieving ensemble). At all 3 levels, the traditions of jazz improvisation can inform efforts to research and teach medical interviewing by fostering a contextualized view of patient-physician communication.
A communicative event: cultivating ensemble. “Group improvisation is a further challenge. Aside from the weighty technical problem of collective coherent thinking, there is the very human, even social need for sympathy from all members to bend for the common result” (Bill Evans).
What does it take for physicians to enter into ensemble with patients? As implied by the previous quote from Bill Evans, it takes recognition that all voices in the medical encounter have things to say that are as important as one’s own statements. It takes listening aligned toward understanding, not just the collection of factual data. And it takes raising one’s awareness to clues—nonverbal signals, fleeting glimpses of emotion, and key words (such as worried, concerned, and afraid)—and following up on these clues when they present themselves. The essence of ensemble, whether in jazz or in medicine, lies in looking beyond one’s own perspective to see, understand, and respond to the perspectives of others.
New Evans Tribute by Roberto Mattei: “A time Remembered”
The Italian bassist Roberto Mattei released a tribute to Bill Evans album, with piano trio, guitar and string quartet: “A time Remembered”. (2010, Abeat)
1. Evan’s tune
2. Very Early
3. Turn out the Stars
4. Time remembered
5. 34 Skidoo
6. Re: Person I Know
8. Show-Type Tune
“Jazz Insights” by Dr Gordon Vernick
For iTunes owners like iPad or iPod on ITunes U: “Jazz Insights” by Dr Gordon Vernick, Associate Professor of Music at the Georgia State University and produced by WMLB 1690 Atlanta “Voice of the Arts.” Each segment is intended for jazz lovers and those that are merely interested in this important American musical form. Four programs on “Kind Of Blue” with Miles Davis and Bill Evans, one program on Bill Evans Early Years and four on bassist Scott LaFaro.
“THE BIG LOVE ~ Life and Death with Bill Evans”
by Laurie Verchomin
The pre-release of the book “THE BIG LOVE ~ Life and Death with Bill Evans” by Laurie Verchomin is finally ready in a Limited Collectors Edition, but it won’t be available on Amazon or in bookstores for about a month. Laurie Verchomin, the “Laurie” of Bill Evans’s famous composition.
This gorgeous ballad has been written for her by Bill on May 31, 1979. After some changes the final version is dated July 29, 1979. During the final year-and-a-half of his life, when he was in physical deterioration and creative resurgence, Bill and Laurie had a romantic and intellectual relationship of depth and intensity. His years of drug addiction had doomed him, and he knew it. She dedicated herself to him in his final months. On September 15th 1980 she accompanied him to the Mount Sinai Hospital, where he died. The book is available on Amazon.com. See the review of the book by bassist Win Hinkle on his blog Win’s Bill Evans Blog. He is bassist and lecturer on Bill Evans, in Boston and Florida. He is the author of the 26 “Letter from Evans“.
The Jazzinstitut Darmstadt in Germany has a extensive periodical collection comprises almost 1050 periodicals, more than 55.000 single issues. About 60 % of the collection have been indexed. They have a huge collection of articles about Bill Evans.
New Bill Evans tribute.
“The Touch Of Your Lips”, a tribute to Bill Evans (Naive 2010) by the French pianist Manuel Rocheman. He previously released the tribute CD “Round about Bill” (Sysiphe, 2007) with singer Laurent Naouri. He won the Martial Solal Jazz Piano international competition in 1989. In 1991 he won the best disc award from the Académie du Jazz for his first CD “Trio Urbain”. In 1992 he won the Django d’Or for the best French disc for his second CD “White Keys” and in 1998 the Django Reinhardt Prize of the Académie du Jazz for the musician of the year. “A perfect synthesis between the lyricism of Bill Evans and Keith Jarrett, the graceful touch of a Chick Corea and the harmonious swing of Herbie Hancock”. He recorded with George Mraz and Al Forster.
Short part of an interview with Bill Evans
An interview by Canada’s preeminent jazz broadcaster and producer Ross Porter with Bill Evans in 1979, while driving in his car to an appointment in the hospital.
Thirtieth anniversary of Bill Evans’ passing in the French and German Media
The French Jazz Magazine is preparing for its October issue an extensive review about Bill Evans. France Musique consecrates from 13 to 17 September a series of radio programs to Bill Evans. Mezzo Television dedicates an entire evening of September 16 to Bill Evans with 5 concert recordings between 1964 and 1975. France Culture broadcasts on 16 september a program on the Bill Evans Trio. The German jazz-author, jazz journalist and jazz violinist Marcus A. Woelfle published in the German “Jazzzeitung“: “I remember Bill – Vor 30 Jahren verstarb der Pianist Bill Evans”
Thirtieth anniversary of Bill Evans’ passing in the USA and UK Media
A 2010 Tribute to Bill Evans by the Billevanswebpages of Jan Stevens. Jazz critic Doug Ramsey wrote a tribute in the Wall Street Journal of september 14. A broadcast of Ross Porter in an interview with Bill Evans in a podcast at Jazz.FM91. “Bill Evans – 30 years on” by Jed Distler in the authority UK magazine “Gramophone“.
New Bill Evans release:
Bill Evans Live in Koblenz 1979
(Domino Records, 2010)
This edition on a 2 CD set presents a complete never before released live performance by the last edition of the Bill Evans Trio. Taped in Koblenz, Germany, December 9, 1979.
Among its highlights are beautiful versions of Jimmy Rowles’ “The Peacocks”, various Evans’ originals and an unusual reading of Miles Davis’ “Solar”, a tune he only rarely recorded. Marc Johnson on bass, Joe LaBarbera on drums.
Thirtieth anniversary of Bill Evans’ passing
Re: Person We Knew, a Bill Evans tribute
Laurie Verchomin, writer (see photo on the left)
Bill Zavatsky, writer
Jed Distler, piano
Arnold Barkus, director
Wednesday, September 15, 2010 6:00 PM (doors open at 5:45).
Cornelia Street Café, 29 Cornelia Street, NYC.
Serial Underground’s 2010/11 season opener commemorates the thirtieth anniversary of Bill Evans’ passing with two writers closely associated with the late, legendary pianist/composer, director Arnold Barkus, and CCi artistic director Jed Distler, who worked with Evans in 1980. Bill Zavatsky offers poems and stories about his friendship with Evans in the 1970s. Laurie Verchomin reads from her upcoming memoir The Big Love/Life and Death with Bill Evans, with Jed Distler at the piano, directed by Arnold Barkus.
Serial Underground, is a new music variety show, curated and hosted by CCi Artistic Director Jed Distler. Composers, writers, visual artists and performers mix and match together and with the audience as they showcase new projects in an intimate, informal setting, fueled by superb food and drink.
Little Jammer PRO
Little Jammer PRO by Bandai, with sound by Kenwood, “based on the concept of aiming to create a whole new world of entertainment audio”. 3-D Live-Sound through independent speakers, and miniature robotics adds to the experience. Each character speaker plays it own independent channel, and each character moves in synchronicity to that sound! Recently Bandai and Kenwood withdrew all Little Jammer project and production. That’s a good thing, because the project reflects a bad taste in musical terms. Seven tracks are included: “You and the Night and the Music”, “Waltz for Debby”, “My Foolish Heart, “Sweet Dulcinea”, “I Should Care”, “My Romance” and “Alice In Wonderland”.
Hand-written score by Bill Evans
Bill Evans’ hand-written score of “Nardis” for bassist Marc Johnson and drummer Joe LaBarbera. Bill Evans considered his last trio as important as his first trio with Scott LaFaro and Paul Motian. He recorded “Nardis” on innumerable albums and reworked the piece with modal explorations each time it served as the final tune of his performances. Just a week before Evans’ death on September 15, he recorded “Nardis” between August 31 and September 8, 1980 at San Francisco’s Keystone Korner on an eight-CD set. His closing signature “Nardis” is heard here in six different versions in one week, each of them with a different exploration, from a brief seven-minute version to a last performance that stretches as his swan song of nearly 20 minutes with extended unaccompanied introductions on the piano. Here, for example, is all he needed to scribble down for Nardis, published here with permission of Peter Hum (Ottawa, Canada) from his Jazzblog:
A new Bill Evans blog
This Quiet Fire (Celebrating the Life and Music of Bill Evans)
By Michael Conklin, adjunct professor of music at the College of New Jersey. It will be an extension of his graduate research of his thesis entitled “The Poet and The Priest”, an examination of the divergent piano styles of Bill Evans and Thelonious Monk.
New Bill Evans releases:
“Bill Evans: Sunday In Spring” (Le Chant du Monde, 2009)
A Bill Evans compilation on two CD’s with a biography of 44 pages released by one of the heading French magazines for music “Le Monde de la Musique” and “Le Monde du Jazz” from the newspaper “Le Monde”, edited by the French music journalists and writers André Francis and Jean Schwartz. Inclusive rare registrations like the songs “Kimona, My House” (with Dick Garcia), “Jack’s Blues” (with George Russell), “Aeolian Drinking Song” (with Tony Scott) and “Mother of Earl” (with Joe Puma).
From the radioprogram “Voices of Vista No. 41″, a 12” transcription disc from the mid-1960s 33 RPM Record Size LP. Vista (Volunteers In Service To America), produced for the Office of Economic Opportunity by M. A. Mangum, Inc. for the use of radio stations. The Bill Evans side is 23 minutes & 50 seconds long and features Bill Evans with Jim Hall playing “Jazz Samba” from “Intermodulation”; “Time Remembered” and “Prelude” from the “Bill Evans Trio With Symphony Orchestra” arranged and conducted by Claus Ogerman. The other side of the LP has only VISTA promos. Also interviews by Willis Clark Conover, Jr. (1920 – 1996). He was a jazz producer and broadcaster on the Voice of America for over forty years. He produced jazz concerts at the White House, the Newport Jazz Festival, and for movies and television.
“Bill Evans Trio & Guests”, Live in Nice, 1978, 2 CD (Jazz Lips, 2010)
This release presents a complete never before released live performance by Bill Evans with an unusual trio that never made a studio album (featuring drummer Philly Joe Jones and bassist Marc Johnson). Joining them are Lee Konitz, Curtis Fuller, Stan Getz on some tracks. An unissued concert by the same trio taped in Italy a few days later has been included, as well as a rare interview with Evans made right after the Nice concert with Leonard Feather. First short part:
“Bill Evans & Luis Eça – Piano Four Hands, 1979 (Label Jazz Lips, 2010)
Recorded live in Chico’s Bar in Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), on September 29, 1979, when Bill Evans sat in during Luiz Eça’s regular gig at Chico’s (one of Rio’s top intimate nightclubs at that time) and shared the piano with his friend. Evans was touring Brazil with his trio (Marc Johnson on bass and Joe LaBarbera on drums), had performed at the Sala Cecília Meirelles in Rio, and took his musicians to jam with Eça, whom he admired since the recording of Eça’s tune “The Dolphin” on Bill’s 1970 LP “From Left to Right”. Anyway, this bootleg issue on the UK-based Jazz Lips label, is an amazing set, although poorly recorded (the master transfer used a cassette tape as the original source). Bassist Marc Johnson joined the pianists in some songs, but Joe LaBarbera didn’t play simply because there was no drum set at the club.
Bill Evans Trio “Live at LuLu Whites”, 1979 (Label Gambit, 2010)
An archive release containing a beautiful never-before-released live performance by the last incarnation of the Bill Evans Trio with Marc Johnson and Joe LaBarbera. Taped in Boston just a few months before the pianist’s untimely death, its highlights include beautiful versions of Jimmy Rowles’ ‘The Peacocks’, various Evans originals and an unusual reading of ‘I’m Getting Sentimental Over You’, a tune he rarely recorded. This Boston set at a club named Lulu White’s was probably broadcasted live and fortunately recorded for posterity. This is the first time it appears on CD. The pianist plays here with his last trio. Bill’s first known version of pianist Jimmy Rowles’ notable tune The Peacocks was taped during an exceptional 1974 concert in Belgium with tenor saxophonist Stan Getz. Evans would record it in the studio three years later for his You Must Believe in Spring album. The most unusual piece on this set is I’m Getting Sentimental Over You, a tune made popular by Tommy Dorsey, but which Thelonious Monk regularly played with his quartet in the mid 1960s. Evans recorded it on a Lee Konitz album titled You and Lee in 1959, then as a duet with Jim Hall for the album Undercurrent in 1962, and finally as a trio piece in 1966 for the album A Simple Matter of Conviction. Apart from that, only four other versions seem to exist, two taped live at the Village Vanguard in 1967, another one from January 15, 1978 (with Michael Moore and Philly Joe Jones), and the one presented here, which was apparently the last one preserved. The sound quality is very good.
Bill Evans & Chet Baker “The Complete Legendary Sessions”, 1959 (Label: 101 Distribution, 2009)
The album is a compilation of only 14 tracks from “The Lyrical Trumpet of Chet Baker” and “Chet Baker Plays the Best of Lerner and Lowe”. The exception track,” Almost like Being in Love” includes Baker but excludes Bill Evans. However, if the above titles are not included in your jazz collection, this CD is highly recommended. The sessions dates are identified as Dec. 1958, plus January and July 1959. Both featured artists are in top musical form. Their interpretations of these jazz standards are exceptional. The backing musicians are truly the gold standard of jazz recording artists. All these individuals are legendary jazz icons with very successful solo careers. The ensemble includes Herbie Mann, Pepper Adams, Kenny Burrell, Paul Chambers, Connie Kay and Philly Joe Jones. All these artists turn in stellar performances. The production values and mix are spot on, courtesy of Orrin Keepnews. The entire project maintains a leisurely tempo and a rich melodic and moody interpretation of these classic compositions. Listeners are blessed that these sessions, the only recorded work between Baker and Evans, are available on one CD with a crystal clear sound to enjoy. (From Amazon.com)
“Bill Evans – Tony Scott Quartet ,The Complete Recordings”, (Lonehill Jazz, 1979)
Tony Scott and Bill Evans recorded together eight albums. This double album suggests the complete recordings, but it is only a arbitrary compilation of mainly three recordings “I’ll Remember”, “Golden Moments” and “Sung Heroes” (1959). From the incomplete, incorrect liner notes: All known quartet performances by Bill Evans with Tony Scott on clarinet reunited here for the first time ever on a single collection. A very interesting combination, their collaborations mixture very melodic and lyrical moments with more adventurous and advanced improvisations related to the various styles modern jazz was experiencing during those years. Featured here are splendid jazzmen like Jimmy Garrison, Scott LaFaro, Paul Motian and Pete LaRoca. As a bonus, Evans and Scott’s only two clarinet piano duets, as well as a Bill Evans trio selection that completes their August 1959 quartet session.
“Letter From Evans Concert” featuring Bobby Shew & The Mike Ning Quintet
Date: Thursday, June 24, 2010
Time: 7:30pm – 10:00pm
Location: Outpost Performance Space
Street: 210 Yale SE
City/Town: Albuquerque, NM
This tribute to Bill Evans concert features world renowned trumpet/flugelhorn player and Albuquerque native Bobby Shew. The Mike Ning Quintet are: Mike Ning (piano), Patty Stephens (vocals), John Truitt (saxophone/flute), Mike Olivola (bass), Victor Perelmuter (drums).
Jazz at Lincoln Center: Intuition: The Music of Bill Evans.
With pianist Bill Charlap, special guest Jim Hall and the JALC orchestra. Rose Theater, Broadway, New York City. Performances: 5/14/2010 —5/15/2010.
One of the most influential pianists of modern jazz, Bill Evans’ lyrical style has inspired generations of musicians. Pianist Bill Charlap shows what made Bill Evans great by playing his classic compositions (‘Waltz For Debby’) with his great collaborators, like legendary guitarist Jim Hall. The Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra will be on hand to play big band arrangements of Bill Evans’ best-loved works. The poet Bill Zavatsky, a friend of Bill Evans has been accorded the honor of being the official Evans family representative at the gig. One poem of him, “Live at the Village Vanguard” is addressed to the audience heard on the historic recordings at the Village Vanguard in July, 1961. See the review by Jan Stevens from the Bill Evans Webpages.
“Further Explorations of Bill Evans”. The Blue Note, New York City.
May 4 – 9 and May 11 – 16. A two-week stand at the Blue Note with Chick Corea, Paul Motian and Eddie Gomez who salute Bill Evans. Motian and Gomez played in Evans’s piano trios for significant, non-overlapping stretches in the 1960s and ‘70s, and Chick Corea is a serious admirer. Accordingly, the gig has been billed as “Further Explorations of Bill Evans,” and is being recorded for a live album.
Southeastern presents annual Bill Evans Jazz Festival 2010 HAMMOND
Southeastern Louisiana University will pay homage to jazz legend and alumnus Bill Evans with a festival in his honor this month. The ninth annual Bill Evans Jazz Festival honors the seven-time Grammy Award winner and 1950 Southeastern graduate who was the most influential jazz pianist of his generation. Throughout his life, Evans fondly remembered his college years, calling his time at Southeastern the happiest period of his life. He returned to campus for a concert 30 years after his graduation, shortly before his death in 1980. The 2010 festival will feature a special concert with pianist Bill Carrothers on April 22 at Southeastern’s Pottle Music Building Auditorium. Called “the new monster of the piano” by the French magazine “Telerama,” Carrothers has performed in the world’s most significant jazz venues for over 25 years.
Books and magazines
During his life Bill Evans appeared several times on the covers of authoritative jazz periodicals around the world, always in combination with reviews on his music, awards or interviews with him. He appeared more ten ten times on the cover of the Japanese Swing Journal. Swing Journal, a long-standing monthly magazine that has led the jazz culture of postwar Japan, is suspending publication after its July edition hits newsstands June 19, mainly due to dwindling advertising revenues, its publisher said. The magazine, first published in 1947, played a central role in expanding the reach of jazz in Japan by featuring such renowned players as Miles Davis and John Coltrane, as well as Japanese musicians such as Sadao Watanabe and Terumasa Hino. Jazz pianist Makoto Ozone expressed disappointment with the magazine’s imminent suspension. “I appreciate the fact that Swing Journal has respectfully introduced young and new musicians,” Ozone said. Swing Journal R.I.P., hard to imagine, but the venerable Japanese jazz publication will cease publication after its July issue. On the cover of the penultimate issue of June: Bill Evans!
Two interviews in Down Beat, June 2010, Volume 77, Number 6
Interview with Chick Corea “Further Explorations of Bill Evans” by pianist Marius Nordal. Piano giant Corea joins bassist Eddie Gomez and drummer Paul Motian to mark the 30th anniversary of Bill Evans’ death with a special engagement at New York’s Blue Note club. The group aims to rekindle the rare kind of trio interplay that Evans established on landmark albums like “Sunday At The Village Vanguard” and “Waltz For Debby”. Chick Corea’s statement from the interview: “It was Bill’s sound that I loved as soon as I heard it. He knew how to touch the piano gently and elicit such a beautiful and recognizable tone from the instrument. … Bill’s harmonic sense and approach to standards certainly made a big impression on me. I was more encouraged to produce a beautiful sound on the piano.” The second interview is “Bill Evans, New Intuitions” by Len Lyons, originally published in Down Beat March 11, 1976 (page 12-13). In this classic interview from DownBeat’s archives, Evans discusses the artistic motivation he discovered late in his career.
The Harmony of Bill Evans – Volume 2 Series: keyboard instruction.
Format: Softcover with CD. Artist: Bill Evans. Author: Jack Reilly.
Bill Evans died in 1980 but the compositional legacy he left behind is forever expanding. In Jack Reilly‘s second volume, he provides a deeper appreciation and understanding of Evans’ compositions. It includes two important theory chapters, plus ten of Bill’s most passionate and melodically gorgeous works. The voicing charts for all ten songs are more complex than volume one and pianistically more demanding, yet always worth the effort. The subjects of modulation and key relationships that are discussed in each chapter will help the player memorize faster and improvise with more facility; not an easy task when performing Evans’ music. The “Lament for Bill” in chapter 13 is the author’s tribute to the genius of this great artist. The accompanying audio CD will add to the enjoyment, understanding, and appreciation of the written examples. From (Hall Leonard).
Gene Lees died April, 22 at his home in California, after a stroke.
He was 82. Gene Lees is a Canadian journalist, lyricist, singer and composer. He was editor of the jazz magazine Down Beat, later he published on freelance basis and wrote among other things for The New York Times. He became a close friend of Bill Evans and he wrote the lyrics to his compositions “Waltz For Debby”, “My Bells”, and “Turn Out The Stars” and contributed liner notes to his recordings as “Conversations With Myself”. He introduced also Helen Keane to Bill Evans, who became his personal manager and producer and who would fashion his following career. In “Friends along the way”: Helen and Bill (268-285) by Gene Lees (Yale University Press, 2003), he defined the music of Bill Evans as “Love-letters written to the world from some prison of the heart”. “Bill Evans committed the longest and slowest suicide in musical history”. (Timesonline). See also “Reflections of Gene Lees on His Birthday” by Harrigan Logan (2006).
Bassist Connie Atkinson passed away on December 5, 2009 at the age of 81.
He was born in New Jersey on July 4, 1928. A musician, composer, arranger, and educator, Connie, originally from Highland Park, NJ, was the original bass player in the very first Bill Evans Jazz Trio and long-time friend of Bill. After graduating from high school, the trio attended and graduated from Southeastern Louisiana University. With Frank Robell on drums they played in clubs in New Jersey ( Bill Evans album “Very Early” with posthumous released rehearsal tapes).