Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Bill Evans

Bill Evans

By: Evan Yuhas

Bill Evans - Portrait in Jazz (1960)

          I had discovered Bill Evans at a time when I knew very little jazz musicians. Although I have since enjoyed many more, the music of Bill Evans still resonates as sharply as ever. I have always been impressed with his ability to sharply transition from an uplifting segment to something near tragic. To me, Bill Evans' wrote some of the more beautifully stimulating and profoundly sad jazz pieces of his time. But at the same time, I find myself relaxed every time I listen to his music, something that I have taken advantage of through the years in times of stress or worry. Bill Evans was an American pianist who often worked in trio and is often considered one of the greatest jazz pianists of all time. Evans' techniques and interesting interpretations of traditional jazz have influenced the likes of Herbie Hancock, John McLaughlin, and Chick Corea. Unlike many other jazz musicians, he never became interested in newer styles of jazz that emerged, like jazz fusion. Unfortunately, the latter years of his life are marked with hard drug use and depression. 

All About Jazz: This first sight is a fantastic walk-through of Bill Evans' life. From a young age to his time with Miles Davis, this site gives a clear account on his career and why he has made such an impact on jazz music everywhere. This site also goes into depth on some of the quirky mannerisms and unique methods that Bill deployed as an artist. In general, this site is a great place to read about many famous jazz musicians and different jazz styles. All about jazz - Bill Evans 

In addition to another extensive biography, this second site houses numerous interview audio segments and information regarding his albums, the piano's he used, and his compositions. In particular, a section to the left of the site labeled 'Evans style' is a fantastic read. This section gives in depth detail on who influenced Bill and the artists that were influenced by Bill. Bill Evans - The Quiet Revolutionary 

Another great source of Bill Evans is Youtube. There are a plethora of songs and albums that Youtube has to offer. Although this site does not give any information on Bill Evans, perhaps listening to his music yourself will give you more than pages of informational text ever could. Full Albums 

Bill Evans - Sunday at the Village Vanguard (1961)