Monday, October 27, 2008

The Bill Evans Trio: “How Deep Is The Ocean?” (1965)

This is the Bill Evans Trio – Bill Evans on piano, Chuck Israels on bass and Larry Bunker on drums – performing Irving Berlin’s “How Deep Is The Ocean?” on the UK television program Jazz 625. The MC is Humphrey Lyttelton. This recording was made on March 19, 1965.

William John Evans -- better known as Bill Evans -- (1929 – 1980) was one of the most famous and influential American jazz pianists of the 20th century. He was well known for his use of impressionist harmony, his inventive interpretation of traditional jazz repertoire, and his syncopated and polyrhythmic melodic lines.

Bill Evans developed in his duos and trios a unique conception of ensemble performance and a classical sense of form and conceptual scale in unprecedented ways. The Bill Evans Trio became one of the most acclaimed piano trios, and jazz bands in general, of all time. With this group, Evans's focus settled on traditional jazz standards and original compositions, with an added emphasis on interplay among the band members that often bordered on collective improvisation and blurred the line between soloist and accompanist.

Evans died in 1980 due to complications related to his lifelong problems with drugs. However, his musicianship has been a model for many pianists in various genres. Evans' music always displayed his creative mastery of harmony, rhythm, and interpretive jazz conception. His work fused elements from jazz, classical, and ethnic music.

The works of Bill Evans continue to influence pianists, guitarists, composers, and interpreters of jazz music around the world. Many of his tunes, such as "Waltz For Debby", "Turn Out the Stars", "Very Early" and "Funkallero" have become often-recorded jazz standards.

You can watch and listen to him here perform “Waltz for Debby” and here performing “Someday My Prince Will Come.”

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