Bill Evans (1929-1980)

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01Bill Evans Works with Miles Davis20131111

He was called the Poet of the Piano, and the Chopin of Jazz, this week Donald Macleod delves into the life and music of Bill Evans. Although Evans started off in the world of classical music, it wasn't long before he got the Jazz bug. His classical training wasn't wasted though, for it went on to influence the way he performed for the rest of his life. His touch at the piano became legendary, and his preferred ensemble for performing his own compositions, and those by others, was the Jazz trio combining piano, bass and drums. Evans came to prominence when invited to work alongside Miles Davis and, in time, Evans would go on to perform with the likes of Tony Bennett, Julian "Cannonball" Adderley, Stan Getz and Monica Zetterlund.

Family was very important to the composer Bill Evans. His earliest musical influences came from his mother, and his most famous work, Waltz for Debbie, was inspired by his niece. Evans won a scholarship to Southeastern Louisiana University, and around the same period he composed his earliest known composition, 'Very Early'. After a brief spell in the army, and by the time he was twenty-six, Evans recorded an album called New Jazz Conceptions, which included his new work, 'No Cover, No Minimum'. Bill Evans was starting to make quite a name for himself, and then came the call from Miles Davis offering Evans the chance of performing alongside the legendary trumpeter and his ensemble.

01Bill Evans Works With Miles Davis20131111

Donald Macleod on how Bill Evans's career took off after he began working with Miles Davis

He was called the Poet of the Piano, and the Chopin of Jazz, this week Donald Macleod delves into the life and music of Bill Evans. Although Evans started off in the world of classical music, it wasn't long before he got the Jazz bug. His classical training wasn't wasted though, for it went on to influence the way he performed for the rest of his life. His touch at the piano became legendary, and his preferred ensemble for performing his own compositions, and those by others, was the Jazz trio combining piano, bass and drums. Evans came to prominence when invited to work alongside Miles Davis and, in time, Evans would go on to perform with the likes of Tony Bennett, Julian "Cannonball" Adderley, Stan Getz and Monica Zetterlund.

Family was very important to the composer Bill Evans. His earliest musical influences came from his mother, and his most famous work, Waltz for Debbie, was inspired by his niece. Evans won a scholarship to Southeastern Louisiana University, and around the same period he composed his earliest known composition, 'Very Early'. After a brief spell in the army, and by the time he was twenty-six, Evans recorded an album called New Jazz Conceptions, which included his new work, 'No Cover, No Minimum'. Bill Evans was starting to make quite a name for himself, and then came the call from Miles Davis offering Evans the chance of performing alongside the legendary trumpeter and his ensemble.

01Bill Evans Works with Miles Davis20131111

Donald Macleod on how Bill Evans's career took off after he began working with Miles Davis

01Bill Evans Works with Miles Davis20131111

He was called the Poet of the Piano, and the Chopin of Jazz, this week Donald Macleod delves into the life and music of Bill Evans. Although Evans started off in the world of classical music, it wasn't long before he got the Jazz bug. His classical training wasn't wasted though, for it went on to influence the way he performed for the rest of his life. His touch at the piano became legendary, and his preferred ensemble for performing his own compositions, and those by others, was the Jazz trio combining piano, bass and drums. Evans came to prominence when invited to work alongside Miles Davis and, in time, Evans would go on to perform with the likes of Tony Bennett, Julian "Cannonball" Adderley, Stan Getz and Monica Zetterlund.

Family was very important to the composer Bill Evans. His earliest musical influences came from his mother, and his most famous work, Waltz for Debbie, was inspired by his niece. Evans won a scholarship to Southeastern Louisiana University, and around the same period he composed his earliest known composition, 'Very Early'. After a brief spell in the army, and by the time he was twenty-six, Evans recorded an album called New Jazz Conceptions, which included his new work, 'No Cover, No Minimum'. Bill Evans was starting to make quite a name for himself, and then came the call from Miles Davis offering Evans the chance of performing alongside the legendary trumpeter and his ensemble.

01Bill Evans Works With Miles Davis20131111

Donald Macleod on how Bill Evans's career took off after he began working with Miles Davis

He was called the Poet of the Piano, and the Chopin of Jazz, this week Donald Macleod delves into the life and music of Bill Evans. Although Evans started off in the world of classical music, it wasn't long before he got the Jazz bug. His classical training wasn't wasted though, for it went on to influence the way he performed for the rest of his life. His touch at the piano became legendary, and his preferred ensemble for performing his own compositions, and those by others, was the Jazz trio combining piano, bass and drums. Evans came to prominence when invited to work alongside Miles Davis and, in time, Evans would go on to perform with the likes of Tony Bennett, Julian "Cannonball" Adderley, Stan Getz and Monica Zetterlund.

Family was very important to the composer Bill Evans. His earliest musical influences came from his mother, and his most famous work, Waltz for Debbie, was inspired by his niece. Evans won a scholarship to Southeastern Louisiana University, and around the same period he composed his earliest known composition, 'Very Early'. After a brief spell in the army, and by the time he was twenty-six, Evans recorded an album called New Jazz Conceptions, which included his new work, 'No Cover, No Minimum'. Bill Evans was starting to make quite a name for himself, and then came the call from Miles Davis offering Evans the chance of performing alongside the legendary trumpeter and his ensemble.

01Bill Evans Works with Miles Davis20131111

Donald Macleod on how Bill Evans's career took off after he began working with Miles Davis

02Bill Evans Records With Cannonball20131112

Donald Macleod focuses on Bill Evans's performances with Julian 'Cannonball' Adderley.

Bill Evans performs alongside Cannonball Adderley

He was called the Poet of the Piano, and the Chopin of Jazz, this week Donald Macleod delves into the life and music of Bill Evans. Although Evans started off in the world of classical music, it wasn't long before he got the Jazz bug. His classical training wasn't wasted though, for it went on to influence the way he performed for the rest of his life. His touch at the piano became legendary, and his preferred ensemble for performing his own compositions, and those by others, was the Jazz trio combining piano, bass and drums. Evans came to prominence when invited to work alongside Miles Davis and, in time, Evans would go on to perform with the likes of Tony Bennett, Julian "Cannonball" Adderley, Stan Getz and Monica Zetterlund.

Performing alongside Miles Davis had brought Bill Evans to a much wider audience. Evans soon left the band though, and pursued his own career making a new album called Everybody Digs Bill Evans, which included a new work Peace Piece. Towards the end of the 1950s, things were looking good for Evans, although his addiction to heroin was starting to take its toll. He'd agreed to work with Davis again on the album, Kind of Blue, which included a work by Evans called Blue in Green, although Davis claimed it as his own. By the time Evans was thirty, he was well known, popular, and was soon to form his own historic trio including Paul Motian and Scott LaFaro. They gelled together perfectly, and went into studio to record works such as Autumn Leaves, and Evans's Peri's Scope. This pinnacle of perfection for Evans, though, was short-lived; bassist Scott LaFaro died in a traffic accident shortly afterwards.

02Bill Evans Records with Cannonball20131112

Donald Macleod focuses on Bill Evans's performances with Julian 'Cannonball' Adderley.

02Bill Evans Records with Cannonball20131112

Bill Evans performs alongside Cannonball Adderley

He was called the Poet of the Piano, and the Chopin of Jazz, this week Donald Macleod delves into the life and music of Bill Evans. Although Evans started off in the world of classical music, it wasn't long before he got the Jazz bug. His classical training wasn't wasted though, for it went on to influence the way he performed for the rest of his life. His touch at the piano became legendary, and his preferred ensemble for performing his own compositions, and those by others, was the Jazz trio combining piano, bass and drums. Evans came to prominence when invited to work alongside Miles Davis and, in time, Evans would go on to perform with the likes of Tony Bennett, Julian "Cannonball" Adderley, Stan Getz and Monica Zetterlund.

Performing alongside Miles Davis had brought Bill Evans to a much wider audience. Evans soon left the band though, and pursued his own career making a new album called Everybody Digs Bill Evans, which included a new work Peace Piece. Towards the end of the 1950s, things were looking good for Evans, although his addiction to heroin was starting to take its toll. He'd agreed to work with Davis again on the album, Kind of Blue, which included a work by Evans called Blue in Green, although Davis claimed it as his own. By the time Evans was thirty, he was well known, popular, and was soon to form his own historic trio including Paul Motian and Scott LaFaro. They gelled together perfectly, and went into studio to record works such as Autumn Leaves, and Evans's Peri's Scope. This pinnacle of perfection for Evans, though, was short-lived; bassist Scott LaFaro died in a traffic accident shortly afterwards.

02Bill Evans Records With Cannonball20131112

Donald Macleod focuses on Bill Evans's performances with Julian 'Cannonball' Adderley.

Bill Evans performs alongside Cannonball Adderley

He was called the Poet of the Piano, and the Chopin of Jazz, this week Donald Macleod delves into the life and music of Bill Evans. Although Evans started off in the world of classical music, it wasn't long before he got the Jazz bug. His classical training wasn't wasted though, for it went on to influence the way he performed for the rest of his life. His touch at the piano became legendary, and his preferred ensemble for performing his own compositions, and those by others, was the Jazz trio combining piano, bass and drums. Evans came to prominence when invited to work alongside Miles Davis and, in time, Evans would go on to perform with the likes of Tony Bennett, Julian "Cannonball" Adderley, Stan Getz and Monica Zetterlund.

Performing alongside Miles Davis had brought Bill Evans to a much wider audience. Evans soon left the band though, and pursued his own career making a new album called Everybody Digs Bill Evans, which included a new work Peace Piece. Towards the end of the 1950s, things were looking good for Evans, although his addiction to heroin was starting to take its toll. He'd agreed to work with Davis again on the album, Kind of Blue, which included a work by Evans called Blue in Green, although Davis claimed it as his own. By the time Evans was thirty, he was well known, popular, and was soon to form his own historic trio including Paul Motian and Scott LaFaro. They gelled together perfectly, and went into studio to record works such as Autumn Leaves, and Evans's Peri's Scope. This pinnacle of perfection for Evans, though, was short-lived; bassist Scott LaFaro died in a traffic accident shortly afterwards.

02Bill Evans Records with Cannonball20131112

Donald Macleod focuses on Bill Evans's performances with Julian 'Cannonball' Adderley.

02Bill Evans Records with Cannonball20131112

Bill Evans performs alongside Cannonball Adderley

He was called the Poet of the Piano, and the Chopin of Jazz, this week Donald Macleod delves into the life and music of Bill Evans. Although Evans started off in the world of classical music, it wasn't long before he got the Jazz bug. His classical training wasn't wasted though, for it went on to influence the way he performed for the rest of his life. His touch at the piano became legendary, and his preferred ensemble for performing his own compositions, and those by others, was the Jazz trio combining piano, bass and drums. Evans came to prominence when invited to work alongside Miles Davis and, in time, Evans would go on to perform with the likes of Tony Bennett, Julian "Cannonball" Adderley, Stan Getz and Monica Zetterlund.

Performing alongside Miles Davis had brought Bill Evans to a much wider audience. Evans soon left the band though, and pursued his own career making a new album called Everybody Digs Bill Evans, which included a new work Peace Piece. Towards the end of the 1950s, things were looking good for Evans, although his addiction to heroin was starting to take its toll. He'd agreed to work with Davis again on the album, Kind of Blue, which included a work by Evans called Blue in Green, although Davis claimed it as his own. By the time Evans was thirty, he was well known, popular, and was soon to form his own historic trio including Paul Motian and Scott LaFaro. They gelled together perfectly, and went into studio to record works such as Autumn Leaves, and Evans's Peri's Scope. This pinnacle of perfection for Evans, though, was short-lived; bassist Scott LaFaro died in a traffic accident shortly afterwards.

03Bill Evans Chased By Loan Sharks20131113

Donald Macleod focuses on Bill Evans's life during the early 1960s.

Donald Macleod explores Bill Evans's life during the early sixties

He was called the Poet of the Piano, and the Chopin of Jazz, this week Donald Macleod delves into the life and music of Bill Evans. Although Evans started off in the world of classical music, it wasn't long before he got the Jazz bug. His classical training wasn't wasted though, for it went on to influence the way he performed for the rest of his life. His touch at the piano became legendary, and his preferred ensemble for performing his own compositions, and those by others, was the Jazz trio combining piano, bass and drums. Evans came to prominence when invited to work alongside Miles Davis and, in time, Evans would go on to perform with the likes of Tony Bennett, Julian "Cannonball" Adderley, Stan Getz and Monica Zetterlund.

Evans was now frequently in and out of studio recordings. Quite simply he needed the money. He'd borrowed money from loan sharks who were now threatening to break his fingers. One of these financially driven projects included his work Interplay, which on top of his usual trio line-up, also included trumpet and guitar. Evans's need for money was partly due to his drugs habit and, at times, Evans found himself making albums he just wasn't happy with. One work he was pleased with was Fudgesicle Built for Four, referring to a popular chocolate ice-cream from the time. There were also some interesting collaborations for Evans during this period, including the saxophonist Stan Getz, the vocalist Monica Zetterlund who Evans had met on tour in Sweden, the orchestral leader and arranger Claus Ogerman, and also a collaboration with himself using multi-track techniques in his number, NYC's No Lark.

03Bill Evans Chased by Loan Sharks20131113

Donald Macleod focuses on Bill Evans's life during the early 1960s.

03Bill Evans Chased by Loan Sharks20131113

Donald Macleod explores Bill Evans's life during the early sixties

He was called the Poet of the Piano, and the Chopin of Jazz, this week Donald Macleod delves into the life and music of Bill Evans. Although Evans started off in the world of classical music, it wasn't long before he got the Jazz bug. His classical training wasn't wasted though, for it went on to influence the way he performed for the rest of his life. His touch at the piano became legendary, and his preferred ensemble for performing his own compositions, and those by others, was the Jazz trio combining piano, bass and drums. Evans came to prominence when invited to work alongside Miles Davis and, in time, Evans would go on to perform with the likes of Tony Bennett, Julian "Cannonball" Adderley, Stan Getz and Monica Zetterlund.

Evans was now frequently in and out of studio recordings. Quite simply he needed the money. He'd borrowed money from loan sharks who were now threatening to break his fingers. One of these financially driven projects included his work Interplay, which on top of his usual trio line-up, also included trumpet and guitar. Evans's need for money was partly due to his drugs habit and, at times, Evans found himself making albums he just wasn't happy with. One work he was pleased with was Fudgesicle Built for Four, referring to a popular chocolate ice-cream from the time. There were also some interesting collaborations for Evans during this period, including the saxophonist Stan Getz, the vocalist Monica Zetterlund who Evans had met on tour in Sweden, the orchestral leader and arranger Claus Ogerman, and also a collaboration with himself using multi-track techniques in his number, NYC's No Lark.

03Bill Evans Chased By Loan Sharks20131113

Donald Macleod focuses on Bill Evans's life during the early 1960s.

Donald Macleod explores Bill Evans's life during the early sixties

He was called the Poet of the Piano, and the Chopin of Jazz, this week Donald Macleod delves into the life and music of Bill Evans. Although Evans started off in the world of classical music, it wasn't long before he got the Jazz bug. His classical training wasn't wasted though, for it went on to influence the way he performed for the rest of his life. His touch at the piano became legendary, and his preferred ensemble for performing his own compositions, and those by others, was the Jazz trio combining piano, bass and drums. Evans came to prominence when invited to work alongside Miles Davis and, in time, Evans would go on to perform with the likes of Tony Bennett, Julian "Cannonball" Adderley, Stan Getz and Monica Zetterlund.

Evans was now frequently in and out of studio recordings. Quite simply he needed the money. He'd borrowed money from loan sharks who were now threatening to break his fingers. One of these financially driven projects included his work Interplay, which on top of his usual trio line-up, also included trumpet and guitar. Evans's need for money was partly due to his drugs habit and, at times, Evans found himself making albums he just wasn't happy with. One work he was pleased with was Fudgesicle Built for Four, referring to a popular chocolate ice-cream from the time. There were also some interesting collaborations for Evans during this period, including the saxophonist Stan Getz, the vocalist Monica Zetterlund who Evans had met on tour in Sweden, the orchestral leader and arranger Claus Ogerman, and also a collaboration with himself using multi-track techniques in his number, NYC's No Lark.

03Bill Evans Chased by Loan Sharks20131113

Donald Macleod focuses on Bill Evans's life during the early 1960s.

03Bill Evans Chased by Loan Sharks20131113

Donald Macleod explores Bill Evans's life during the early sixties

He was called the Poet of the Piano, and the Chopin of Jazz, this week Donald Macleod delves into the life and music of Bill Evans. Although Evans started off in the world of classical music, it wasn't long before he got the Jazz bug. His classical training wasn't wasted though, for it went on to influence the way he performed for the rest of his life. His touch at the piano became legendary, and his preferred ensemble for performing his own compositions, and those by others, was the Jazz trio combining piano, bass and drums. Evans came to prominence when invited to work alongside Miles Davis and, in time, Evans would go on to perform with the likes of Tony Bennett, Julian "Cannonball" Adderley, Stan Getz and Monica Zetterlund.

Evans was now frequently in and out of studio recordings. Quite simply he needed the money. He'd borrowed money from loan sharks who were now threatening to break his fingers. One of these financially driven projects included his work Interplay, which on top of his usual trio line-up, also included trumpet and guitar. Evans's need for money was partly due to his drugs habit and, at times, Evans found himself making albums he just wasn't happy with. One work he was pleased with was Fudgesicle Built for Four, referring to a popular chocolate ice-cream from the time. There were also some interesting collaborations for Evans during this period, including the saxophonist Stan Getz, the vocalist Monica Zetterlund who Evans had met on tour in Sweden, the orchestral leader and arranger Claus Ogerman, and also a collaboration with himself using multi-track techniques in his number, NYC's No Lark.

04Bill Evans and Helen Keane20131114

Donald Macleod focuses on the impact on Bill Evans of his manager, Helen Keane.

04Bill Evans and Helen Keane20131114

Bill Evans gets a new manager

He was called the Poet of the Piano, and the Chopin of Jazz, this week Donald Macleod delves into the life and music of Bill Evans. Although Evans started off in the world of classical music, it wasn't long before he got the Jazz bug. His classical training wasn't wasted though, for it went on to influence the way he performed for the rest of his life. His touch at the piano became legendary, and his preferred ensemble for performing his own compositions, and those by others, was the Jazz trio combining piano, bass and drums. Evans came to prominence when invited to work alongside Miles Davis and, in time, Evans would go on to perform with the likes of Tony Bennett, Julian "Cannonball" Adderley, Stan Getz and Monica Zetterlund.

Helen Keane had come into Bill Evans's life as his manager and, later on, also producer. Evans went on to dedicate two works to Keane, including One for Helen, and also Song for Helen. Evan's trio, what with touring and other pressures, was frequently changing in personnel. Soon, the bassist Eddie Gomez had joined the trio and he recorded a number of works with the Evans, including G Waltz, and Comrade Conrad. Evans kept up his collaborations with other musicians during the late nineteen-sixties, including the guitarist Jim Hall, recording a duo performance of Turn Out the Stars. Evans also sometimes invited musicians to expand his trio line-up to a quartet, including flautist Jeremy Steig who performed in Evans's composition, Time Out for Chris. This period was exceptionally busy, with frequent tours abroad and many studio recordings. One album won Evans two Grammy awards which featured his number, Sugar Plum.

04Bill Evans And Helen Keane20131114

Donald Macleod focuses on the impact on Bill Evans of his manager, Helen Keane.

04Bill Evans and Helen Keane20131114

Donald Macleod focuses on the impact on Bill Evans of his manager, Helen Keane.

04Bill Evans and Helen Keane20131114

Bill Evans gets a new manager

He was called the Poet of the Piano, and the Chopin of Jazz, this week Donald Macleod delves into the life and music of Bill Evans. Although Evans started off in the world of classical music, it wasn't long before he got the Jazz bug. His classical training wasn't wasted though, for it went on to influence the way he performed for the rest of his life. His touch at the piano became legendary, and his preferred ensemble for performing his own compositions, and those by others, was the Jazz trio combining piano, bass and drums. Evans came to prominence when invited to work alongside Miles Davis and, in time, Evans would go on to perform with the likes of Tony Bennett, Julian "Cannonball" Adderley, Stan Getz and Monica Zetterlund.

Helen Keane had come into Bill Evans's life as his manager and, later on, also producer. Evans went on to dedicate two works to Keane, including One for Helen, and also Song for Helen. Evan's trio, what with touring and other pressures, was frequently changing in personnel. Soon, the bassist Eddie Gomez had joined the trio and he recorded a number of works with the Evans, including G Waltz, and Comrade Conrad. Evans kept up his collaborations with other musicians during the late nineteen-sixties, including the guitarist Jim Hall, recording a duo performance of Turn Out the Stars. Evans also sometimes invited musicians to expand his trio line-up to a quartet, including flautist Jeremy Steig who performed in Evans's composition, Time Out for Chris. This period was exceptionally busy, with frequent tours abroad and many studio recordings. One album won Evans two Grammy awards which featured his number, Sugar Plum.

04Bill Evans And Helen Keane20131114

Donald Macleod focuses on the impact on Bill Evans of his manager, Helen Keane.

05 LASTBill Evans Leaves The Stage20131115

Donald Macleod explores Bill Evans's final years, blighted by ill-health.

Bill Evans plays his last gig.

He was called the Poet of the Piano, and the Chopin of Jazz, this week Donald Macleod delves into the life and music of Bill Evans. Although Evans started off in the world of classical music, it wasn't long before he got the Jazz bug. His classical training wasn't wasted though, for it went on to influence the way he performed for the rest of his life. His touch at the piano became legendary, and his preferred ensemble for performing his own compositions, and those by others, was the Jazz trio combining piano, bass and drums. Evans came to prominence when invited to work alongside Miles Davis and, in time, Evans would go on to perform with the likes of Tony Bennett, Julian "Cannonball" Adderley, Stan Getz and Monica Zetterlund.

Evans was starting to look quite ill. He needed to have all his teeth removed, which was done in the UK, between appearances at Ronnie Scotts, as it was cheaper. Another tour took Evans to Japan where he was given a film-star welcome. For that tour he had brought with him new repertoire, including the virtuosic Twelve Tone Tune Two. By the mid seventies, Evans had a son called Evan, later dedicating a work to him called Letter to Evan. Another huge event in his his family circumstances was the news that his brother Harry had committed suicide. Harry never knew that Evans had written a work for him called We Will Meet Again. By the late seventies Evans's health was in decline; he was suffering from hepatitis. Touring was making increasing demands upon Evans, including twenty-one European cities in twenty-four days. By nineteen-eighty, with his face gaunt, and his wrists and fingers bloated, Evans was too exhausted to perform, and a few days later he died.

05 LASTBill Evans Leaves the Stage20131115

Donald Macleod explores Bill Evans's final years, blighted by ill-health.

05 LASTBill Evans Leaves the Stage20131115

Bill Evans plays his last gig.

He was called the Poet of the Piano, and the Chopin of Jazz, this week Donald Macleod delves into the life and music of Bill Evans. Although Evans started off in the world of classical music, it wasn't long before he got the Jazz bug. His classical training wasn't wasted though, for it went on to influence the way he performed for the rest of his life. His touch at the piano became legendary, and his preferred ensemble for performing his own compositions, and those by others, was the Jazz trio combining piano, bass and drums. Evans came to prominence when invited to work alongside Miles Davis and, in time, Evans would go on to perform with the likes of Tony Bennett, Julian "Cannonball" Adderley, Stan Getz and Monica Zetterlund.

Evans was starting to look quite ill. He needed to have all his teeth removed, which was done in the UK, between appearances at Ronnie Scotts, as it was cheaper. Another tour took Evans to Japan where he was given a film-star welcome. For that tour he had brought with him new repertoire, including the virtuosic Twelve Tone Tune Two. By the mid seventies, Evans had a son called Evan, later dedicating a work to him called Letter to Evan. Another huge event in his his family circumstances was the news that his brother Harry had committed suicide. Harry never knew that Evans had written a work for him called We Will Meet Again. By the late seventies Evans's health was in decline; he was suffering from hepatitis. Touring was making increasing demands upon Evans, including twenty-one European cities in twenty-four days. By nineteen-eighty, with his face gaunt, and his wrists and fingers bloated, Evans was too exhausted to perform, and a few days later he died.

05 LASTBill Evans Leaves The Stage20131115

Donald Macleod explores Bill Evans's final years, blighted by ill-health.

Bill Evans plays his last gig.

He was called the Poet of the Piano, and the Chopin of Jazz, this week Donald Macleod delves into the life and music of Bill Evans. Although Evans started off in the world of classical music, it wasn't long before he got the Jazz bug. His classical training wasn't wasted though, for it went on to influence the way he performed for the rest of his life. His touch at the piano became legendary, and his preferred ensemble for performing his own compositions, and those by others, was the Jazz trio combining piano, bass and drums. Evans came to prominence when invited to work alongside Miles Davis and, in time, Evans would go on to perform with the likes of Tony Bennett, Julian "Cannonball" Adderley, Stan Getz and Monica Zetterlund.

Evans was starting to look quite ill. He needed to have all his teeth removed, which was done in the UK, between appearances at Ronnie Scotts, as it was cheaper. Another tour took Evans to Japan where he was given a film-star welcome. For that tour he had brought with him new repertoire, including the virtuosic Twelve Tone Tune Two. By the mid seventies, Evans had a son called Evan, later dedicating a work to him called Letter to Evan. Another huge event in his his family circumstances was the news that his brother Harry had committed suicide. Harry never knew that Evans had written a work for him called We Will Meet Again. By the late seventies Evans's health was in decline; he was suffering from hepatitis. Touring was making increasing demands upon Evans, including twenty-one European cities in twenty-four days. By nineteen-eighty, with his face gaunt, and his wrists and fingers bloated, Evans was too exhausted to perform, and a few days later he died.

05 LASTBill Evans Leaves the Stage20131115

Donald Macleod explores Bill Evans's final years, blighted by ill-health.

05 LASTBill Evans Leaves the Stage20131115

Bill Evans plays his last gig.

He was called the Poet of the Piano, and the Chopin of Jazz, this week Donald Macleod delves into the life and music of Bill Evans. Although Evans started off in the world of classical music, it wasn't long before he got the Jazz bug. His classical training wasn't wasted though, for it went on to influence the way he performed for the rest of his life. His touch at the piano became legendary, and his preferred ensemble for performing his own compositions, and those by others, was the Jazz trio combining piano, bass and drums. Evans came to prominence when invited to work alongside Miles Davis and, in time, Evans would go on to perform with the likes of Tony Bennett, Julian "Cannonball" Adderley, Stan Getz and Monica Zetterlund.

Evans was starting to look quite ill. He needed to have all his teeth removed, which was done in the UK, between appearances at Ronnie Scotts, as it was cheaper. Another tour took Evans to Japan where he was given a film-star welcome. For that tour he had brought with him new repertoire, including the virtuosic Twelve Tone Tune Two. By the mid seventies, Evans had a son called Evan, later dedicating a work to him called Letter to Evan. Another huge event in his his family circumstances was the news that his brother Harry had committed suicide. Harry never knew that Evans had written a work for him called We Will Meet Again. By the late seventies Evans's health was in decline; he was suffering from hepatitis. Touring was making increasing demands upon Evans, including twenty-one European cities in twenty-four days. By nineteen-eighty, with his face gaunt, and his wrists and fingers bloated, Evans was too exhausted to perform, and a few days later he died.