Widely regarded as one of the greatest jazz pianists of all time, Bill Evans' use of harmony and his inventive, impressionistic interpretation of the jazz repertoire have few equals. Born in 1929 in New Jersey, Evans' influence on the genre is undeniable, with his compositions and recordings still being played today. His unique style of playing has been credited with laying some of the most important foundations of modern jazz piano. In 1945, a policeman hit him on the head, which contributed to exacerbating the psychiatric problems that plagued him for the rest of his life, and the consistency of his later work is irregular compared to his fickle early recordings.
Despite this, Evans' legacy lives on through his many recordings, including Conversations With Myself, which uses unusual overdubbing techniques, and the duet sessions with singer Tony Bennett, which we highlight in our roundup of Bill Evans' 10 best albums. As a kind of intermediate point between the previous albums with more direct rhythm sections and the classic but extremely introspective live sessions of Village Vanguard, this first trio album with Scott LaFaro & Paul Motian serves as an excellent introduction to Bill Evans' playing.Fats Waller is also credited as one of the best jazz pianists of all time. Born in 1904, Waller wrote hundreds of songs, including some, such as Honeysuckle Rose and Ain't Misbehavin, which are still being played today, and achieved great popular success. However, it is Bill Evans who is widely considered to be one of the greatest jazz pianists ever.Herbie Hancock was just 24 years old when he recorded this 1965 classic.
Count Basie may be best known as the famous leader of the big band that propelled jazz fans through the 1940s and beyond, but his piano skills also deserve some time in the spotlight. Other notable jazz pianists include Errol Garner, whose album Concert By The Sea is considered to be one of the three best and perhaps the best with Art Tatum, Bill Evans and Oscar Peterson. Chick Corea and Keith Jarret are also renowned for their musical knowledge of classical and contemporary music.Brad Mehldau began to succeed on the New York jazz scene in the early 1990s, graduating from the New School around the same time as guitarist Peter Bernstein and pianist (and now owner of a jazz club) Spike Wilner. He adopted a jazz fusion that pleased the public with his bands Return To Forever and, later, with the Chick Corea Electrik Band, recording compositions known as “Spain”, influenced by Latin jazz, and “Armando's Rumba”.Money Jungle by Duke Ellington has proven to be very influential and many consider it to contain some of Ellington
's most advanced jazz pianoperformances.
Mary Lou Williams was a pioneer in comping (a way of playing chords to support the soloist) and her scarce but effective way of playing influenced generations of great jazz pianists.With more than 100 recordings in her discography, she also acted as a mentor to future jazz piano star Thelonious Monk. And, if you want to go deeper, don't miss our selection of the 10 most essential jazz piano albums. While she is also known as a harpist and organist, her contribution to free jazz piano and experimental cosmic sounds have demonstrated her legacy.It was after meeting John Coltrane in the early '60s and becoming deeply spiritual that she developed the freer style of jazz piano, first with her groups and then with her own name, for which she is now famous. He spent a year honing his piano skills at his parents' house before showing up again to play with local dance bands and as a companion to small jazz groups.The Count's skillful piano still produced a contagious rolling swing, but many jazz fans considered this elegant unit to be a different creature from KC's slender and wicked cat.In conclusion, it is clear that Bill Evans is one of the greatest jazz pianists ever.
His unique style has influenced generations of musicians and his recordings are still being played today. While there are many other great jazz pianists such as Fats Waller, Herbie Hancock and Count Basie who have made significant contributions to the genre, it is Bill Evans who stands out as one of its greatest innovators.