The saga of Duke Ellington's orchestra is an epic that lasted from the 1920s to the 1970s and has spanned the history of jazz itself. It is not only the story of a man and his music, but of the musicians that he wrote for and that interpreted his songs. Ellington prided himself on knowing his musicians' individual sounds so well that he could tailor each composition to the specific musical identity of each his sidemen. So to say that one or two musicians were standouts from the most fabled orchestra in American history is no small statement indeed. Yet ...read more
Bill Evans (1929-1980) was a musician of the highest caliber. He delved into the art of jazz and took it apart, dissecting it with an appreciation for the music of Ravel and Debussy, a superior command of the piano, and a God-given talent for jazz that was augmented by stints with the greatest musicians of his era, including Miles Davis, John Contrane, and Cannonball Adderly. Evans released his first album as a leader, New Jazz Conceptions, in 1956. But it wasn't until he joined Miles Davis' group in 1958 that he achieved notoriety. Evans is credited with ...read more
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