William John Evans, known as Bill Evans (pronunciation: /ˈɛvəns/, August 16, 1929 – September 15, 1980), was an American jazz pianist and composer who mostly worked in a trio setting. He is widely considered to be one of the greatest jazz pianists of all time, and is considered by some to have been the most influential post-World War II jazz pianist. Evans's use of impressionist harmony, inventive interpretation of traditional jazz repertoire, block chords, and trademark rhythmically independent, "singing" melodic lines continue to influence jazz pianists today. Unlike many other jazz musicians of his time, Evans never embraced new movements like jazz fusion or free jazz.
Legendary jazz pianist Bill Evans is most often thought of as a "trio" player, as most of his albums have been piano/bass/drums, with the occasional solo or duo album. But he did record a select few albums with orchestras, and that's what makes SYMBIOSIS a special and unique entry in Evans' hugh catalog. Recorded in 1974, it was released in 1994 on CD for the first time. Further, this albums contains no standards or Evans originals–the title piece is a multi-part suite composed, arranged and conducted by Claus Ogerman (who also collaborated with Stan Getz and Frank Sinatra, among many others).
THE COMPLETE BILL EVANS ON VERVE is an 18-disc, 269-track box set featuring every track that Bill Evans recorded for Verve between 1962 and 1969, including 98 previously-unreleased tracks. It includes a 160-page, full-color book. THE COMPLETE BILL EVANS ON VERVE was nominated for a 1998 Grammy Award for Best Recording Package - Boxed and for Best Historical Album. The 18 CDs in this exhaustive set provide a comprehensive picture of Bill Evans from 1962 to 1969, a period when the pianist was both consolidating his fame and sometimes taking his music into untested waters, from unaccompanied piano to symphony orchestra. His work with multitracked solo piano, originally released as Conversations with Myself and the later Further Conversations with Myself, was the most remarkable new format for his introspective music. It gave Evans a way to be all the pianists he could be at once–combining densely chordal, harmonically oblique parts with surprising, rhythmic punctuation and darting, exploratory runs.
This wonderful tribute concert to the hero of lyrical Jazz Piano features Kenny Wheeler, Gordon Beck and friends at the Brewhouse Theatre, London 1992. The prolific and exceptionally musical Evans was proufoundly influential across the Jazz world, and several of his finest compositions are performed in this exceptional tribute event.
At only 32 and a half minutes, but Intermodulation still remains a precious set of music from these two great modern jazz musicians.
For Bill Evans' second solo record of unaccompanied but overdubbed piano solos, he decided to simplify the concept used in Conversations With Myself (which had him playing three pianos) by only playing two this time. This straight CD reissue of the original LP (which is given additional new liner notes) is brief in time, but Evans plays quite well throughout. In particular, his versions of Johnny Mandel's "Emily" and "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town" are most memorable. A thoughtful and (despite the overdubbing) spontaneous sounding set of melodic music.
While its sheer bulk negates its interest to a general audience, The Complete Bill Evans on Verve is an essential library piece for any serious jazz fan or historian. Spanning 18 CDs, 269 tracks and 21 hours, the box set includes all of Evans' recordings for the label between 1962 and 1969, including 19 albums, two previously unreleased albums and 98 previously unreleased tracks. During these years, the pianist made some of his greatest music, including his legendary Village Vanguard sessions, and the set charts all of his changes, as he plays with his trio and as a solo artist, as well as a rare session with a rhythm quartet and strings. While the set itself could be a little more user-friendly – it's encased in a steel box, with a 160-page booklet and an 18-disc fanpack on separate shelves – the music itself is nearly flawless and nearly essential for most serious jazz fans.