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Bill Evans is the fine wine of jazz pianists: smooth yet potent, dry yet detailed, subtle yet profoundly nuanced. Classically trained and naturally gifted, Evans was known for introducing new shades of harmony into the jazz chordal palette, and his work with “cool jazz” giants of the mid- to late 1950s — from Chet Baker and Stan Getz to Lee Konitz and Miles Davis — would establish him as one of the most virtuosic accompanists in jazz.
But Evans was also a marvelous bandleader in his own right, and his first trio with bassist Scott LaFaro and drummer Paul Motian is considered by many to be the pinnacle of the form. Subsequent trios with bassists Chuck Israels and Eddie Gomez, as well as some lovely solo piano recordings, only helped cement Evans’ role as a harmonic innovator. Until his death in 1980, he remained one of jazz’s true geniuses. This playlist covers the entire spectrum of his fascinating, colorful career.
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