Evans, Bill

Evans, Bill

Evans, Bill, 1929-80, American jazz pianist and composer, b. Plainfield, N.J., as William John Evans, Southeastern Louisiana Univ. (B.Mus., 1950). Evans began playing piano when he was very young, and was working professionally in his teen years around his hometown; he also played flute. After graduating from college, he moved to New York and then to Chicago, Il., where he worked in local bands and small groups. He was drafted into the Army (1951-54), serving in the Army band at Fort Sheridan. On his discharge, he returned to New York to pursue postgraduate studies at the Mannes School of Music, and began playing with Jerry Wald’s band, making his first recordings with that group. Composer George Russell, who was experimenting with modal composition, admired his playing and hired Evans for recording and performing his compositions, leading to Evans being signed to Riverside Records as a solo artist. Evans joined Miles Davis’s group in April 1958, composing for and performing on Davis’s most famous recording, Kind of Blue (1959). Evans became famous for his piano trio recordings, with bass and drums, from the late ‘50s through the ‘60s. His cool, cerebral playing and harmonically complex compositions were highly influential; several became favorites, including “Waltz for Debby,” as well as his reworking of older jazz standards, including “Some Other Time.” Evans began using heroin in the ‘60s, and his habit ebbed and flowed over the following years; eventually he kicked the habit, but then became a heavy user of cocaine. He continued to record and tour until his death.

Bibliography

See the biographies by P. Pettinger (1999), K. Shadwick (2002); memoirs by L. Verchomin (2010), J. LaBarbera and C. Levin (2021).

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Evans, (William John) Bill

(1929–80) jazz musician; born in Plainfield, N.J. He was a classically-trained pianist whose delicate, introspective style established him as one of the few major white innovators in jazz history. Beginning in 1955, he played with George Russell, Charles Mingus and Miles Davis, collaborating on the latter's historic 1959 recording "Kind of Blue." From 1961 until his death, he led a succession of highly interactive trios.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.
References in periodicals archive ?
Among previous Finnegan honorees are George Halas, Ernie Banks, Chick Evans, Bill Veeck and Mike Ditka.
The current COO of Evans, Bill Culbertson, will become president/CEO of Evans.
By the end of four rounds, surprise leaders were the team of Gay Evans, Bill Davies and Rose Feria, the only team to manage four wins.
Jim Richards, Moss Richards, Tony Parsons, Mike Soloman 20 Royston Andrews, Martin Preedy, Mick Foster, Tony Ridpath 18, Martin Evans, Bill Fox, Clive Andrew, George Smith 18 David Eden, Ron Rutherford, Peter Benbridge, Ivor Fennell 17, Alan Kemp, Roger Eaton, Mike Westell, Peter Parker 16 Derrick Pratt, Brian Hunt, Graham F.
The line-up includes Alan Carr, Lee Evans, Bill Bailey, Jack Dee and Rob Brydon.
The month's line-up includes a first Big Mouth visit for ANVIL SPRINGSTIEN, the former compere of the legendary Horses Mouth Comedy Club and Stockton Riverside Festival who introduced Lee Evans, Bill Bailey and Caroline Aherne, virtual unknowns at the time, to a Teesside audience.
Ray Martin (66-5-61) won a senior medal from Nigel Moore (70-8-62) and Reg Taylor (70-8-62) and Mike Turner, Barry Evans, Bill Parry and Tony Harcombe won a senior yellow ball comp with 161 points.
Contact: Bill Evans, Bill Evans Dance, University of New Mexico, Carlisle Gym Dance Center, Albuquerque, NM 87131, USA; 505.277.1856.
Here's why: Frank Skinner, Lily Savage, Lee Evans, Bill Bailey, Harry Hill, Jonathan Ross, Alan Davies, Jack Dee, Bobby Davro, Brian Conley, Stan Boardman and Bradley Walsh were all given their first mainstream TV appearance on his show Des O'Connor Tonight.
Past presidents and honorary members attending included: Norris Anders, Allan Coolsaet, Jeff Coolsaet, Paul Evans, Bill Honey, Charles H.
They are (above, from left) Norman Evans, Bill Haywood, Bert Hewitt, Philip Heawood, Gordon Crompton, Ray Hickling, Dennis Gallimore and George Davey.