bill evans, jazz pianist, jazz, evans, pianist, musician, library Performances Others + Bill Tributes Interviews
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bill evans, jazz pianist, jazz, evans, pianist, musician, library

Few musicians in the history of jazz have had such an impact on its structure and syntax as the late Bill Evans. From the beginning of his career in the mid-1950's to his untimely death in September 1980. He did more to enrich the vocabulary of the jazz pianist and to ensure the continuation of the rhythm trio than any other pianist of his generation.

Bill's contribution as a leader and composer ensures him a place in jazz history. He must be regarded as one of the most innovative pianists of all time. The very personal harmonic language that he perfected through systematic reharmonizations of standards has influenced an entire generation of musicians. The long lyrical melodic lines, asymmetrical phrasing and his light mobile and often rootless chord voicing have now entered the vocabulary of virtually every modern jazz pianist of the last twenty five years.

I first met him in 1962 after hearing the un-edited tapes of the '61 Vanguard Recordings. We became good friends and over the next 18 years we met in many places in the U.S.A. and Europe. As a houseguest at our home in England, Bill was intrigued to find a growing collection of his recorded work, much of which he had forgotten ever recording or even hearing. He discounted most of this material as of little consequence but I promised him that it would remain accessible to whoever expressed an interest and the listener should decide on its value.

Brian Hennessey

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