The jazz world has saluted him with numerous tribute albums, but his true influence can be heard in the music of every musician today who would claim to be a jazz pianist. Evans' impressionistic chords, interweaving melodic improvisations, and lyrical touch have become a part of the jazz lexicon, and that is his legacy to the musical world. (Scott Pollard for All about Jazz, 1999) A tribute album is a recorded collection of cover versions of a specific artist's songs. A cover version, or simply cover, is a new rendition of a previously recorded song. Bill Evans died in 1980. Already the same year the first "tribute" album was released by pianist Gordon Beck in memory of Bill Evans. Since then more than 55 albums were realized, fully dedicated to the pianist who influenced a generation of pianists. As showed below Bill Evans' musicianship has been a model for many musicians in various genres: pianists, guitarists and singers. Classical albums are produced by the French pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet and the Kronos String Quartet with bassist Eddie Gomez and guitarist Jim Hall.

Recent release At Home With Zindars by the Italian pianist Luciano Troja

Earl Zindars (1927–2005) was a prominent American composer of jazz and classical music. Like Bill Evans he was especially captivated and inspired by the music of the Impressionists, including Claude Debussy and Maurice Ravel. He met Bill Evans in 1951, both of them enlisted in the navy during the Korean war. He became well-known for the close and fruitful working friendship and musical empathy with Bill Evans, who played and recorded his compositions along his entire musical career. He composed for Bill "Sareen Jurer", "How My Heart Sings", "Elsa", "Mother of Earl", "Soire", "Lullaby for Helene". Evans particularly favored the waltzes "Elsa" and "How My Heart Sings", which evolved into jazz standards over the pianist's productive recording career. "Bill Evans always said he was a 3/4 person", Earl told me "and I likewise agreed, that I was, too". Bill Evans was not the inventor of the waltz in the jazz idiom, but he developed as a specialist in this genre. Pianist Bill Cunliffe produced in 2003 the album How My Heart Sings, dedicated to Zindars' music. Recently the sensitive and creative Italian jazz pianist Luciano Troja recorded At Home With Zindars with 14 compositions from the Earl Zindars songbook (Record Label: Luciano Troja). The album is a unique and intimate piano-solo journey with several songs written by Zindars for Bill Evans. The album includes a 40-page book about the life of Zindars and his songs and about his role in the artistic evolution of Bill Evans. An extensive interview from Win Hinkle with Earl Zindars: in the Letter From Evans vol.5 no.1, 1993, pages 18-21, or this Scribd site, included an interview with daughter Helene Zindars about Bill Evans. The album has been awarded as a "Record To Die For" in the February 2011 issue of Stereophile magazine. The choice comes from Thomas Conrad (Jazz Times, All About Jazz NY). The album has also been awarded "Top Ten Record Poll 2010" on Cadence Magazine (USA), and his composition "Earl and Bill" has been inserted on "10 Best New Songs 2010" by Ken Franckling (Jazziz, Downbeat).

Worth mentioning are three Dutch "tribute" albums dedicated to the music of Bill Evans:

•   Het Kwartet Sings And Plays Bill Evans of pianist Thijs Borsten, with voice, piano trio and string quartet was released in 1999. The Kwartet found it challenging to choose unknown compositions as part of its repertoire. Apart from existing lyrics by Carol Hall and Gene Lees, songwriters with whom Bill Evans used to work, Het Kwartet added its own lyrics to several instrumental compositions of Evans. Het Kwartet constitutes a true collective, in which the individual musicians function on an equal footing, just like Bill Evans' trios used to do.

•   Symbiosis with the Gustav Klimt String Quartet, the saxophone quintet Saxion V and Joost Swart, piano & Fender Rhodes dates from 2006. The original was released by Claus Ogerman and Bill Evans in 1974, with Eddie Gomez on bass and Marty Morell on drums. This somewhat neglected work of five movements is a very successful integration of jazz and modern symphonic styles and idioms. As a third stream "cross-over" it is a real 'symbiosis' of classical music and jazz. In 1975 however Bill Evans himself played in the VARA studio in The Netherlands two parts of Symbiosis with Eddie Gomez on bass and Elliot Zigmund on drums together with the Metropole Orchestra, taped and broadcasted by the Nederlandse Omroep Stichting.

•   Simone Honijk is a Dutch vocalist who started a project with a mix of Evans originals and some particular standards often played by Bill Evans. In 2008 she recorded an album with songs of Bill Evans at the homestudio of Bert van den Brink, pianist and winner of the Boy Edgar Award 2007, who played with Toots Thielemans, Chet Baker, Enrico Pieranunzi and Dee Dee Bridgewater. The album title Interplay is an original Evans composition, like the other tracks on the album. This duo album, without a rhythm section, shows a real interplay, the singer's control, intonation and steadiness are in bold relief. Not all Evans songs are singable and he rarely accompanied singers. With the singing and challenging pianolines of Bert the album shows beautiful interpretations of the lyrics like "Time Remembered" and "The Two Lonely People" by Simone. She added her own lyrics to some other instrumental compositions of Bill Evans.

Het Kwartet (Thijs Borsten)
Sings And Plays Bill Evans
VIA Jazz 1999

Joost Swart – Saxion V –
Gustav Klimt String Quartet
Morfo Music 2006

Simone Honijk & Bert van den Brink
Self Published 2008

•   The most impressive tribute was one of the first to appear. Herb Wong, producer and jazz writer, put together an all-star line-up of pianists, perhaps the most impressive collection of keyboardists ever assembled for a single project. Fourteen artists gathered to record solo tributes to the late Bill Evans in the spring and summer of 1982, some doing tunes by Evans and others songs associated with him, but each in their own style. The resulting Bill Evans - A Tribute showed off the following pianists: Herbie Hancock, McCoy Tyner, Chick Corea, Teddy Wilson, George Shearing, John Lewis, Dave Mckenna, Denny Zeitlin, Jimmy Rowles, Richie Beirach, JoAnne Brackeen and Andy LaVerne. This recording, released initially as double LP on the former Palo Alto Jazz label, quickly disappeared from the market and was later reissued in 1991 as CD (TBA 8028).

Bill Evans: A Tribute
Palo Alto 1983

Click for contents
•   New release About Time by Ari Erev

Ari Erev is an Israeli pianist in the tradition of Bill Evans, but with a very personal authentic character. The structure of the album appears as Bill Evans At Town Hall with the long solo "In the memory of his father" with a "Prologue", "Story Line", "Turn Out the Stars" and "Epilogue". The Erev album starts with a Prelude", halfway an "Interlude" and at the end as a Postlude "Turn Out the Stars". The title of the album About Time reminds of "Time Remembered", that wonderful deeply-felt ballad composed by Bill Evans. Erev's originals are beautiful ballads like "Past Desire" and the melodic "Fading Memories". Piano playing with a lot of elegance and sensitivity and respect for the history of Jazz.

Ari Erev
About Time
A.B.C.D. Music 2008
Howard Alden
Your Story
Concord 1994

Stephen D. Anderson
Remembering the Rain
Art of Life Records 2006

Dave Askren Trio
Re: Bill Evans
DaWayMusic 2002

Gordon Beck
Seven Steps To Evans
MPS 1980

Richie Beirach
Elegy For Bill Evans
Polys 1981, 2000

Danish Radio Orchestra with McNeely
Plays Bill Evans
Stunt 2002

Eliane Elias
Something For You
Blue Note 2008

Riccardo Fioravanti
Bill Evans Project
Abeat 2005

Karin Gallinger
Remembering Bill Evans
See Breeze Records 2000

Egil Kapstad
Epilog- Bill Evans in Memoriam
Ponca Jazz 2003

Hilde Hefte
Playsong: Bill Evans
Ponca Jazz 2007

Fred Hersch
Evidence 1990

El Nino Josele
Paz - Y La Musica de Bill Evans
Sony BMG 2006

Kronos Quartet (classical)
Music Of Bill Evans
Landmark 1994

Het Kwartet (Thijs Borsten)
Sings And Plays Bill Evans
VIA Jazz 1999

Herbie Mann
Peace Pieces
Kokopelli Records 1995

Shelly Manne
Goodbye for Bill Evans
Absord Japan 1981

Dave McKenna, Richie Beirach a.o.
Bill Evans: a Tribute
Palo Alto 1984

John McLaughlin
Time Remembered
Polygram 1993

Brad Mehldau and others
Portrait Of Bill Evans
JVC Victor 2002

Paul Motian: Bill Evans
Tribute To The Great Pianist
Winter&Winter; 1990

Enrico Pieranunzi
Evans Remembered
VVJ 2000
Davide Santorsola & Lee Konitz
To Bill Evans
(Philology 1998)
Masahiko Satoh
As If: To The Late Bill Evans
Denon 1985
Don Sebesky
I Remember Bill
BMG 1998

Bud Shank
Plays The Music Of Bill Evans
Fresh Sound 1996

Tierney Sutton
Blue In Green
Telarc 2001

Jean-Yves Thibaudet (classical)
Conversation With Bill Evans
Decca 1997

Roseanne Vitro
Conviction: Thoughts Of Bill Evans
Challenge 2001

Chris Wabich
Jade Vision: Bill Evans
Sea Breeze Records 2007

Jessica Williams
Joyful Sorrow: Solo Tribute
Blackhawk 1998

Monica Zetterlund
Bill Remembered
BMG RCA 2007

Renee Rosnes
Letter To Evans
Video Arts 2006

Stefano Battaglia
Bill Evans Compositions Vol 1 & 2
Splasc(h) records 1992/1993

David Benoit
Letter To Evan
GRP Records 1992

Sylvia Syms
Then Along Came Bill
DRG 1989

Alfredo Remus
Querido Bill
MDR 2005

Jed Levy
Evans Explorations
Steeplechase 2008

Joan Diaz
We Sing Bill Evans
Fresh Sound 2008

Carlos Denia
Ten Strings For Bill Evans
EDM 2002

Yuri Shepeta Quintet
Tribute to Bill Evans
Lemma records 2002

Gil Goldstein Trio
Time Remembered
MECJ-2006 2000

The Duke Two
A Tribute To Bill Evans
Hot Production 1993

Elene Dee
I Do It For Your Love, Bill
OMD 1989

Larry Schneider & Andy Laverne
Bill Evans : Person we Knew
Steeplechase 1992

Gordon Beck
For Evans Sake
JMS Records 1992

Laurent Naouri
Round about Bill
Sisyphe 2006

Stephan Oliva
Jade Vision
OWL 2003

Thomas Clausen
The Shadow Of Bill Evans
Baystate 1983

Larry Coryell & Miroslav Vitous
Dedicated To Bill Evans
Jazzpoint 1994

Esmeralda Ferrara
"Sings Bill Evans"
Philology 2002

William Montgomery
Bill Evans Songbook vol 1
Self Published 2006

Luigi Tessarollo & Stefano Bollani
Hommage To Bill Evans & Jim Hall
DDQ 2002

Dominic Alldis
Turn Out The Stars - Songs Of BE
Canzone Music 1996

Mitchel Forman
Now And Then: Tribute To Bill Evans
Novus 1994

Giuseppe Spagnoli
The Soul and the Poet
WideLab 2008

Dorian Ford
The Bill Game
Self Published 2007

Catch The Wind
Guild Music 2006

Mike Ning & Sherry Jones
I Remember Mr. Evans
Ning Dynasty 1998

Manuel Rocheman
The Touch Of Your Lips
Tribute to Bill Evans
Naive 2010
Roberto Mattei Octet
A Time Remembered
Abeat 2010

Luca LaPenna (Voice)
Words For Evans
Splasch Records 1996

Luigi Ruberti
Dedicated To Bill Evans
Splsch Records 2010

David Hazeltine
Waltz For Debby
Venus Jazz 2008

Tony Gaboury/Steve Grover Quartet
Play The Music of Bill Evans
Self Published 2010

Alan Pasqua
Twin Bill: Two Piano Music of Bill Evans
BFM Jazz 2011

Chick Corea Trio
Further Explorations
Universal Music 2011

Dick Fregulia Trio
Re: Person I Knew
CD Baby/Indys 2011

Lorne Lofsky
Bill, Please
Jazz Inspiration Rec.

Florence Grimal
Sur Les Pas de Bill Evans
Cristal Records 2012

Franco Cerri
Omaggio a Bill Evans
Dire Records 1981

Francesco Branciamore
Remembering B.E.
Caligola Records, 2014

Bruno Heinen & Kristian Borring
Postcard to Bill Evans
Babel Label, 2015

Anne Hartkamp & Thomas Rckert
Dear Bill
JAZZsick records, 2015

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