Born in 1929, William John Evans, known as Bill Evans, became a celebrated American jazz composer and pianist. He continues to influence jazz pianists today with his use of impressionist harmony, imaginative interpretation of traditional jazz repertoire, melodic lines and block chords.
Evans was born in New Jersey where he was trained classically before majoring in composition at South Eastern Louisiana University and the Mannes School of Music. After moving to New York in 1955, Evans worked with theorist, George Russel and joined the Miles Davis’ sextet in 1958. A year later, the band immersed in modal jazz and recorded Kind of Blue which later became the best-selling jazz album of all time. At the time, the artist was also collaborating with Chet Baker on an album and later broke away from it all to begin his career as a leader along with bassist Scott La Faro and drummer Paul Motian.
Many of Evans’ compositions have become standards in repertoires. The artist was honoured with 31 Grammy nominations in his lifetime and was also inducted into the Down Beat Jazz Hall of Fame.
Here is Evans live in 1964 and 1975.