If you could see me now

Bill Evans

Live ’66 In Oslo

The early life of Bill Evans

Born in Plainfield, N.J., in 1929, Evans grew up watching his mother and older brother play the piano. At age 6, he began classical piano lessons, and later played flute and violin during his childhood. Throughout high school playing boogie-woogie piano and dance hall gigs around his hometown. Evans attended Southeastern Louisiana University on a music scholarship and graduated with a degree in piano performance and music education.

After a tour in the Army from 1951-54, Evans made the scene in New York City. In 1956, in addition to making a critically acclaimed first album, New Jazz Conceptions, Evans also found himself recording alongside artists such as Art Farmer, Lee Konitz and Bob Brookmeyer. Evans caught the ear of Miles Davis, who liked the pianist’s impressionistic approach so much that he asked him to join his now-legendary sextet. The group also featured John Coltrane and Cannonball Adderley. Though he was only with the group for a short time, Evans and Davis helped usher in modal jazz with the seminal recording Kind of Blue; Evans is credited for co-writing the song “Blue in Green,” also wrote the liner notes for the album.