Tuesday, 6 November 2012

1961 Bill Evans - Sunday at the Village Vanguard

'Waltz for Debby'

Info: William John Evans, or Bill Evans, as he was commonly known, was born on 16th of August, 1929 in New Jersey to a Welsh father and Ukrainian mother, and died in September, 1980. Evans was a classically trained pianist and from the ages of 6-13 he would only play classical music scores, citing Mozart, Schubert and Beethoven as his preferences. In his early career he generally operated as part of a trio, and rejected the new waves in jazz such as free-form and jazz fusion. In 1958 he joined Miles Davis' sextet, which he heavily influenced, and was a key member of the band when they recorded Kind of Blue, the biggest selling jazz album of all time. Evans left Miles Davis' group in late 1959 and went on to record no less than 10 critically acclaimed albums over the next 4 years, an immense output, starting with Everybody Digs Bill Evans in 1959 to Conversations With Myself in 1963. In 1961 Evans released Sunday At The Village Vanguard, followed shortly after by Waltz For Debby, a track from which I've featured in the video above, purely because there are no performed videos of any of the songs on this album available at present that I can find. Inevitable success was unfortunately followed by tragedy, as both Evans' long-term girlfriend, Elaine, and his brother, Harry, committed suicide, leading to him succumbing to both cocaine and heroin addictions, which would eventually get the better of him and lead him to his early death in 1980. 

Track Listing:

1. Gloria's Step
2. My Man's Gone Now
3. Solar
4. Alice In Wonderland
5. All of You
6. Jade Visions

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