Bill Evans Live in Munch Museum, Oslo (1966 Live)


William John Evans (August 16, 1929 – September 15, 1980) was an American jazz pianist and composer who mostly played in trios. His use of impressionist harmony, inventive interpretation of traditional jazz repertoire, block chords, and trademark rhythmically independent, ‘singing’ melodic lines continues to influence jazz pianists today.  … In late 1959, Evans left the Miles Davis band and began his career as a leader, with bassist Scott LaFaro and drummer Paul Motian, a group now regarded as a seminal modern jazz trio. In 1961, ten days after finishing an engagement at the New York Village Vanguard jazz club, LaFaro died in a car accident. After months of seclusion, Evans reemerged with a new trio, featuring bassist Chuck Israels. In 1963, Evans recorded Conversations with Myself, a solo album using the unconventional technique of overdubbing himself. In 1966, he met bassist Eddie Gómez, with whom he worked for 11 years. … Bill Evans is seen as the main reformer of the harmonic language of jazz piano. Evans’s harmonic language was influenced by impressionist composers such as Claude Debussy and Maurice Ravel. His versions of jazz standards, as well as his own compositions, often featured thorough reharmonisations. Musical features included added tone chords, modal inflections, unconventional substitutions, and modulations. One of Evans’s distinctive harmonic traits is excluding the root in his chords, leaving this work to the bassist, played on another beat of the measure, or just left implied. ‘If I am going to be sitting here playing roots, fifths and full voicings, the bass is relegated to a time machine.’ This idea had already been explored by Ahmad Jamal, Erroll Garner, and Red Garland. In Evans’s system, the chord is expressed as a quality identity and a color. Most of Evans’s harmonies feature added note chords or quartal voicings. Thus, Evans created a self-sufficient language for the left hand, a distinctive voicing, that allowed the transition from one chord to the next while hardly having to move the hand. With this technique, he created an effect of continuity in the central register of the piano. Lying around middle C, in this region the harmonic clusters sounded the clearest, and at the same time, left room for contrapuntal independence with the bass. …”
Wikipedia
YouTube: Live in Munch Museum, Oslo (1966 Live Video) 30:14
YouTube: Universal Mind of Bill Evans (1966 Documentary) introduction and Commemtary by Steve Allen 44:15


Bill Evans (p) Eddie Gomez (b) Alex Riel (dr)

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