Infobox musical artist
Name = Bill Evans
Img_capt = Bill Evans - pianist
Img_size = 180px
Background = non_vocal_instrumentalist
Birth_name = William John Evans
Born = birth date|1929|8|16
Died = death date and age|1980|9|15|1929|8|16
Origin = Plainfield, New Jersey, U.S.
Instrument = Piano
Genre = Jazz, modal jazz, hard bop, Third stream, Cool Jazz
Occupation = Pianist
Label = Riverside Records
Associated_acts = George Russell
Philly Joe Jones
William John Evans (better known as Bill Evans) (August 16, 1929 – September 15, 1980) was one of the most famous and influential American jazz pianists of the 20th century. His use of impressionist harmony, his inventive interpretation of traditional jazz repertoire, and his trademark rhythmically independent, "singing" melodic lines influenced a generation of pianists, including Herbie Hancock, Chick Corea, Denny Zeitlin [Denny Zeitlin's video titled [http://www.dennyzeitlin.com/DZ_Biography.php "Three musical giants"] ] and Keith Jarrett, as well as as guitarists Lenny Breau and Pat Metheny. The music of Bill Evans continues to inspire younger pianists like Fred Hersch, Ray Reach, Bill Charlap, David Thompson, Brad Mehldau [Brad Mehldau was influenced by Bill Evans according to [http://www.answers.com/topic/brad-mehldau?cat=entertainment Answers.com] ] , Geoffrey Keezer, Lyle Mays and Eliane Elias [ [http://www.allaboutjazz.com/php/article.php?id=28148 All About Jazz on Eliane Elias.] ] . Evans is an inductee of the "Down Beat" Jazz Hall of Fame.
Bill Evans was born in Plainfield, New Jersey, to a mother of Rusyn ancestry and a father of Welsh descent. His father was an alcoholic. Young Bill Evans received his first musical training in his mother's church.
His mother was an amateur pianist with an interest in modern classical composers. This led to Evans's initial musical training in classical piano at age six. He also became proficient at the flute by age 13 and could play the violin. Evans was left-handed, which could explain the rich low end in his sound.
At 12, Bill filled in for his older brother Harry in Buddy Valentino's band. [Simpson, Joel. Bill Evans. Biography. [http://www.allaboutjazz.com/php/musician.php?id=6592] ] He had already been playing dance music (and jazz) at home for some time ("How My Heart Sings", Peter Pettinger 1999). In the late 1940s, he played boogie woogie in various New York City clubs. He went on to receive a music scholarship to Southeastern Louisiana University and in 1950 he performed Beethoven's Third Piano Concerto at his senior recital and graduated with a degree in piano performance and teaching. Also while at Southeastern Louisiana University in 1949, he was among the founding members of the Delta Omega Chapter of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia. He also played quarterback in the College's football team, helping them win the championship that year (Pettinger 1999). After some time in the U. S. Army, he returned to New York and worked at nightclubs with jazz clarinetist Tony Scott and other leading players. Later, he took post-graduate studies in composition at the Mannes College of Music where he also mentored younger music students.
Working in New York in the 1950s, Evans gained a profile as a sideman in traditional and so-called Third Stream jazz bands. During this period, he had the opportunity to record in many different contexts with some of the best names in jazz of the time. Seminal recordings made with composer / theoretician George Russell are notable for Evans's solo work, including "Concerto for Billy the Kid" and "All About Rosie." He also went on to appear on notable albums by Charles Mingus, Oliver Nelson, Tony Scott and Art Farmer. In 1956, he made his debut album, "New Jazz Conceptions", featuring the original version of "Waltz for Debby," for Riverside Records. Producer Orrin Keepnews was convinced that he should record the reluctant Evans because of a demo tape played to him over the phone by guitarist Mundell Lowe.
In 1958, Evans was hired by Miles Davis, becoming the only white member of his famed sextet. Though his time with the band was brief — no more than eight months — it was one of the most fruitful collaborations in the history of jazz, as Evans's introspective scalar approach to improvisation deeply influenced Davis's style. At the time Evans was playing block chords and Davis wrote in his autobiography, "Bill had this quiet fire that I loved on piano. The way he approached it, the sound he got was like crystal notes or sparkling water cascading down from some clear waterfall." Additionally Davis said "I've sure learned a lot from Bill Evans. He plays the piano the way it should be played."
Evans's desire to pursue his own projects as a leader and increasing problems with drug use led him to leave the Davis sextet in late 1958. Shortly after, he recorded "Everybody Digs Bill Evans", documenting the previously unheard-of meditative sound he was exploring at the time. However, he came back to the sextet at Davis's request to record the jazz classic "Kind of Blue" in early 1959. Evans's contribution to the album was overlooked for years; in addition to co-writing the song "Blue in Green" [The liner notes to "Bill Evans - The Complete Riverside Recordings", published in 1984, give credit to both Evans and Davis ((Davis-Evans) Jazz Horn Music/Warner-Tamerlane Publ. — BMI).] , he had also already developed the ostinato figure from the track "Flamenco Sketches" on the 1958 solo recording "Peace Piece" from his album "Everybody Digs Bill Evans". Evans also penned the heralded liner notes for "Kind of Blue", comparing the improvisation of jazz to Zen art. [http://www.billevanswebpages.com/kindblue.html] By the fall of 1959, he had started his own trio.
At the turn of the decade, Evans led a trio with bassist Scott LaFaro and drummer Paul Motian. This group has since become one of the most acclaimed piano trios, and jazz bands in general, of all time. With this group, Evans's focus settled on traditional jazz standards and original compositions, with an added emphasis on interplay among the band members that often bordered on collective improvisation and blurred the line between soloist and accompanist. The collaboration between Evans and the talented young bassist LaFaro was particularly fruitful, with the two achieving an unprecedented level of musical empathy. The trio recorded four albums: "Portrait in Jazz" (1959), "Explorations", "Sunday at the Village Vanguard", and "Waltz for Debby" (all recorded in 1961). The latter two albums are live recordings drawn from the same recording date, and they are routinely named among the greatest jazz recordings of all time. In 2005, the full sets were collected on the three-CD set "The Complete Village Vanguard Recordings, 1961". There is also a lesser-known recording of this trio taken from radio broadcasts in early 1960 called "Live at Birdland", though the sound quality is unfortunately poor.
In addition to introducing a new freedom of interplay within the piano trio, Evans began (in performances such as "My Foolish Heart" from the Vanguard sessions) to explore extremely slow ballad tempos and quiet volume levels which had previously been virtually unknown in jazz. His chordal voicings became more impressionistic, reminiscent of classical composers such as Debussy, Ravel, Scriabin, and Satie, as well as moving away from the thick block chords he often utilized when playing with Davis. His sparse left-hand voicings supported his lyrical right-hand lines, as much a product of the influence of jazz pianist Bud Powell as any classical composer.
Like his contemporary Miles Davis, Evans had begun to pioneer the style of modal jazz, favoring harmonies that helped avoid some of the idioms of bebop and other earlier jazz. In tunes like "Time Remembered" the chord changes more or less absorbed the derivative styles of bebop. Instead they relied on unexpected shifts in color. It was still possible, and desirable to make these changes swing, and a certain spontaneity appeared in expert solos that were played over the new sound. Most composers refer to the style of "Time Remembered" as "plateau modal," because the changes usually cover one to two bars.
LaFaro's untimely death at age twenty-five in a car accident, ten days after the Vanguard performances, devastated Evans. He did not record or perform in public again for several months. His first recording after LaFaro's death was the duet album "Undercurrent" with guitarist Jim Hall, released on United Artist Jazz records in 1963. Recorded in two sessions on April 24 and May 14, 1962, it is now widely regarded as one of the classic jazz piano-guitar duet recordings. The album is also notable for its striking cover image, "Weeki Wachee spring, Florida" by photographer Toni Frissell. The original LP version (left) and the first CD reissue featured a cropped, blue-tinted version, overlaid with the title and the Blue Note logo, but for the most recent (24-bit remastered) CD reissue the image has been restored to its original black-and-white coloration and size, without lettering.
When he reformed his trio in 1962, he replaced LaFaro with bassist Chuck Israels, initially keeping Motian on the drums. Two albums, "Moonbeams" and "How My Heart Sings!", resulted. In 1963, after having switched from Riverside to the much more widely distributed Verve, he recorded "Conversations With Myself", an innovative album on which he employed "over-dubbing," layering up to three individual tracks of piano for each song. The album won him his first Grammy award, for Best Instrumental Jazz Performance - Soloist or Small Group.
Though his time with Verve was prolific in terms of recording, his artistic output was uneven. Despite Israels' fast development and the creativity of new drummer Grady Tate, they were ill-represented by the rather perfunctory album "Bill Evans Trio with Symphony Orchestra" with the song "Pavane" by Gabriel Fauré but remarkably reinvented with improvisations by Evans. Some unique contexts were attempted, such as a big-band live album at Town Hall, which was recorded but never issued due to Evans's dissatisfaction (although the jazz trio portion of the Pavanne concert was made into its own somewhat successful release), and an album with a symphony orchestra, which was not warmly received by critics.
During this time, Helen Keane, Evans's manager, began having an important influence. Apart from being one of the first women in her field, she significantly helped maintain the progress, or prevented the deterioration, of Evans's career in spite of his self-damaging lifestyle.
In 1966, Evans discovered the remarkable young Puerto Rican bass player Eddie Gomez. In what turned out to be an eleven-year stay, the sensitive and creative Gomez sparked new developments in both Evans' playing and trio conception. One of the most significant releases during this period is "Bill Evans at the Montreux Jazz Festival", from 1968. Although it was the only album Evans made with drummer Jack DeJohnette, it has remained a critical and fan favorite, due to the trio's remarkable energy and interplay.
Other highlights from this period include the "Solo--In Memory of His Father" from "Bill Evans at Town Hall" (1966), which introduced the famous theme "Turn Out the Stars," a second successful pairing with guitarist Jim Hall, "Intermodulation" (1966), and the subdued, crystalline solo album, "Alone" (1968), featuring a 14-minute+ version of "Never Let Me Go."
In 1968, Marty Morell joined the trio on drums and remained until 1975, when he retired to family life. This became Evans's most stable and long-lasting group. In addition, he had kicked his heroin habit and was entering a period of personal stability as well. The group made several excellent albums including "From Left to Right" (1970), which features Evans's first use of electric piano, "The Bill Evans Album" (1971), which won two Grammies, "The Tokyo Concert" (1973), "Since We Met" (1974) and "But Beautiful" (1974), featuring the trio plus legendary tenor saxophonist Stan Getz in live performances from Holland and Belgium, released posthumously in 1996. Morell was an energetic, straight-ahead drummer, unlike many of the other percussionists in the trio, and many critics feel that this was a period of little growth for Evans. After Morell left, Evans and Gomez recorded two duo albums, "Intuition" and "Montreux III".
In 1974, Bill Evans recorded a multi-movement jazz concerto specifically written for him by Claus Ogerman entitled "Symbiosis", originally released on the MPS Records label. The 1970s also saw Evans collaborate with the singer Tony Bennett on 1975's "The Tony Bennett/Bill Evans Album" and 1977's "Together Again".
On September 13th, 1975, Evans' son, Evan was born. Evan Evans did not often see his always touring father. Young Evans, a child prodigy, has since embarked on a career in film scoring, ambitiously attending College courses in 20th Century Composition, Instrumentation, and Electronic Composition at the age of 10. He has also studied with many of his father's contemporaries, including Lalo Schifrin and harmony specialist Bernard Maury.
In 1976, Marty Morell was replaced by Eliot Zigmund on drums. Several interesting collaborations followed, and it was not until 1977 that the trio was able to record an album together. Both "I Will Say Goodbye" (Bill Evans's last for Fantasy Records) and "You Must Believe in Spring" (for Warner Bros., released posthumously) highlighted changes that would become significant in the last stage of Evans career. A greater emphasis was placed on group improvisation and interaction, Evans was reaching new expressive heights in his soloing, and new experiments with harmony and keys were attempted.
Gomez and Zigmund left Evans in 1978. Evans then asked Philly Joe Jones, the drummer whom Evans considered to be his "all time favorite drummer" and with whom he had recorded his second album in 1957, to fill in. Several bassists were tried, with the remarkable Michael Moore staying the longest. His six months with the trio were frustrating due to Jones's rushing of the tempo and overplaying. Evans finally settled on Marc Johnson on bass and Joe LaBarbera on drums. This trio was to be Evans's last. Although they released only one record prior to Evans's death in 1980 ("The Paris Concert," Edition One and Edition Two, 1979), they rivaled and arguably exceeded the first trio in their powerful group interactions. Evans stated that this was possibly his best trio, a claim that has been supported by the many recordings that have since surfaced, each documenting the remarkable musical journey of his final year. The Debussy-like impressionism of the first trio has given way to a dark and urgent yet undeniably compelling, deeply moving if not mesmerizing romantic expressionism.
Evans' own Russian ancestry is often reflected in the late Rachmaninoff pianism of his brooding constructions and the Shostakovich "Dance Macabre" modal explorations of "Nardis," the piece he reworked each time it served as the finale of his performances. But most notably the "anticipatory meter" that Evans deliberately perfected with his last trio reflects late Ravel, especially the controversial second half of the French composer's dark and turbulent "La Valse". The recording documenting Evans' playing during the week preceding his death is a valedictory entitled "The Last Waltz." Many albums and compilations have been released in recent years, including three multi-disc boxed sets, "Turn Out the Stars" (Warner Bros.), "The Last Waltz", and "Consecration". The Warner Bros. set is a selection of material from Evans' final residency at New York's Village Vanguard club, nearly two decades after his classic performances there with the La Faro/Motian trio; the other two are drawn from his performances at San Francisco's Keystone Korner the week before his death. A particularly revealing comparison of early and late Evans (1966, 1980) is a 2007 DVD of two previously unreleased telecasts, "The Oslo Concerts".
Evans' drug addiction most likely began during his stint with Miles Davis in the late 1950s. A heroin addict for much of his career, his health was generally poor and his financial situation worse for most of the 1960s. By the end of that decade he appeared to have succeeded in overcoming heroin but, during the 1970s, cocaine became a serious and eventually fatal issue for Evans. His body finally gave out in September 1980, when, ravaged by psychoactive drugs, a perforated liver, and a lifelong battle with hepatitis, he died in New York City of a bleeding ulcer, cirrhosis of the liver and bronchial pneumonia.
Bill Evans's musicianship has been a model for many pianists in various genres. Although the circumstances of his life were often difficult, Evans' music always displayed his creative mastery of harmony, rhythm, and interpretive jazz conception. His work fused elements from jazz, classical, and ethnic music. Bill Evans developed in his duos and trios a unique conception of ensemble performance and a classical sense of form and conceptual scale in unprecedented ways. His 60s recordings titled "Conversations with Myself" and "Further Conversations with Myself" were innovative solo performances involving multiple layers of music recorded acoustically without computers in studio by Bill Evans himself.
The works of Bill Evans continue to influence pianists, guitarists, composers, and interpreters of jazz music around the world. Many of his tunes, such as "Waltz For Debby", "Turn Out the Stars", "Very Early" and "Funkallero" have become often-recorded jazz standards.
During his lifetime, Evans was honored with seven Grammy Awards and received 31 nominations. In 1994, he was posthumously honored with the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.
* cite book
last = Pettinger
first = Peter
title = Bill Evans: How My Heart Sings
publisher = Yale University Press
date = 2002
edition = New Ed
isbn = 0300097271
* [http://www.billevans.net billevans.net Detailed Discography]
* [http://www.jazzdisco.org/evans/cat/a/ Bill Evans entry - Jazz Discography Project]
* [http://www.billevanswebpages.com/ The Bill Evans Webpages]
* [http://www.billevans.nl Bill Evans: Time Remembered]
* [http://bjbear71.com/Ogerman/Claus.html The Work of Claus Ogerman] - Bill Evans' work with composer/arranger/conductor Claus Ogerman is documented here in a pictorial discography of original albums and compilations - many with explanatory liner notes.
* [http://www.jazz.com/jazz-blog/2008/1/29/remembering-bill-evans "Remembering Bill Evans"] by Ted Gioia, [http://www.jazz.com Jazz.com] , January, 2008.
* [http://www.scribd.com/people/documents/918307/folder/31679?secret_password=swwf9hatass6ld6lnrk Letter From Evans] - newsletter dedicated solely to the music and the life of Bill Evans, published 1989 -1994. Link is to all issues.
* [http://www.jazz.com/dozens/the-dozens-essential-bill-evans "Bill Evans: Twelve Essential Recordings by Ted Gioia"]
Источник: Bill Evans