Week 5: Featuring Bill Evans

Frédéric Chopin (1810-1849)

Bill Evans (1929-1980)

The Chopin of Jazz

Bill Evans and niece Debby Evans (at her 3rd Birthday Party)

"Waltz for Debby" (1956)

Bill's most well known song.

Frédéric Chopin (1810-1849)

Berlioz: Chopin "was dying all his life."

Bill Evans (1929-1980)

Gene Lees: "the longest suicide in history."

The Tragic Life of Bill Evans

Frédéric Chopin (1810-1849)

Zal - Bittersweet Melancholy

Bill Evans (1929-1980)

Blue in Green

dguerson on www.reddit.com, BLUE IN GREEN: "To me, blue in green, is when, all of the sudden, a sentiment of nostalgia or melancholy strikes you in a time when you should be happy. It's that feeling after a moment of pure bliss when you're on the top of the world, like when you finally achieved that important goal that you have been pursuing for a long time, and then you realize that all the effort and hopes were narrowed down to just a moment that inevitably has to pass. That's when you find the blue in the green."

Miles Davis and Bill Evans:
Miles and Bill in Black & White


Miles Davis and Bill Evans (1959)

John Coltrane, "Cannonball" Adderley, Miles Davis, Bill Evans

Maurice Ravel (1875-1937)

Piano Concerto for Left Hand (1929-1930)

Peri Cousins

First Love of Bill Evans
Late 1950s

Peri Cousins
(d. 2004)

The Bill Evans Trio: Peri's Scope (1960), named for girl friend Peri Cousins

Bill Evans (piano), Scott LaFaro (bass), Paul Motian (drums
Bill Evans (1929-1980), Scott LaFaro (1936-1961), Paul Motian (1931-2011)

Scott LaFaro (1936-1961), Bill Evans (1929-1980), and Paul Motian (1931-2011)

Scott driving to parents' home in upstate NY, car skids, hits tree, killed instantly (7/6/1961).

After Scott LaFaro's death, Bill Evans became numb with grief; it took him months to recover, and there are people who think that he never did recover. Paul Motian: "Bill was in a state of shock. Look at my gig book: nothing, nothing, nothing with Bill, until December. Bill was like a ghost."

Evans played "I Loves You Porgy" by Gershwin over and over again, almost obsessively without bass.

Source: That Sunday by Adam Gopnik

Bill Evans Trio, Berlin 1965 with Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen on Bass and Alan Dawson on Drums

"Beautiful Love" (1931) by Wayne King, Victor Young, Egbert Van Alstyne (music), Haven Gillespie (lyrics)

Ellaine Schultz (Common Law Wife of Bill Evans)

Ellaine, Love of Bill Evans c. 1960-1973

Photo Courtesy Brian Hennessey

Brother Harry Evans (1927-1979) and Bill Evans (1929-1980) Brothers

From "The Universal Mind of Bill Evans - Creative Process and Self-Teaching" (1966)

Bill Evans (the Teacher): Sugar Plum (1971)

Bill Evans and Nenette Zararra

Married August 5, 1973 at a Lutheran Church in Manhattan

Bill Evans (1929-1980) and
Claus Ogerman (1930-2016)