Breakfast with Bill Evans

Bob Kenselaar By

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"I feel fortunate in the sense that my career and popularity, I have almost always been on the upswing," says Evans, turning to his now-cold eggs. "Even though I don't place as high on the polls as I used to perhaps, the money I make is much better, my audiences are larger, and my recording contracts are better. Jazz is almost like pro sports in a way; it's a 'young blood' thing very often. So, in that sense I feel very fortunate to be one of a few older jazz people to have attained an ascending position.

"I certainly feel gratified to have the position I have. I can play what I want to play; I can record what I want to record and make a nice living at it. I get a lot of ego support from the fans, and at the same time I don't have the lack of privacy or the kind of constant harassment that pop stars do."

Originally published in The Aquarian Weekly, May 9-16, 1979.

[For more on Evans' music, two especially notable books offer detailed explorations: Bill Evans: How My Heart Sings, by Peter Pettinger (1998) and Bill Evans: Everything Happens to Me, by Keith Shadwick (2002). For two fascinating accounts of Evans' personal life, see The Big Love: Life & Death with Bill Evans (2010) by Laurie Verchomin, and "The Two Brothers as I Knew Them: Harry and Bill Evans" (2011) by Pat Evans.]

Selected Discography (by original recording date)

Bill Evans, Turn Out the Stars: The Final Village Vanguard Recordings(Nonesuch, 1980)
Bill Evans, We Will Meet Again (Warner Bros., 1979)
Bill Evans, Paris Concert: Edition One (Blue Note, 1979)
Bill Evans, Affinity (Warner Bros., 1979)
Bill Evans, I Will Say Goodbye (Original Jazz Classics, 1977)
Bill Evans, You Must Believe in Spring (Warner Bros., 1977)
Tony Bennett/Bill Evans, The Complete Tony Bennett/Bill Evans Recordings (Concord, 1975-76)
Evans/Eddie Gomez, Intuition (Original Jazz Classics, 1974)
Bill Evans, The Sesjun Radio Shows (Out of the Blue, 1973)
Bill Evans, The Bill Evans Album (Columbia, 1971)
Bill Evans, Alone (Verve, 1968)
Bill Evans, Bill Evans at the Montreux Jazz Festival (Polygram, 1968)
Bill Evans, At Shelly's Manne-Hole (Original Jazz Classics, 1963)
Bill Evans, Conversations with Myself (Polygram, 1963)
Bill Evans/Jim Hall, Undercurrent (Blue Note, 1962)
Bill Evans, Interplay (Original Jazz Classics, 1962)
Bill Evans, The Complete Village Vanguard Recordings (Riverside, 1961)
Bob Brookmeyer/Bill Evans, The Ivory Hunters (United Artists, 1959)
Miles Davis, Kind of Blue (Columbia, 1959)
Bill Evans, Everybody Digs Bill Evans (Original Jazz Classics 1958)
Art Farmer, Modern Art (Blue Note, 1958)
Bill Evans, New Jazz Conceptions (Original Jazz Classics, 1956)
George Russell, The Jazz Workshop (RCA, 1956)

Photo Credit: Guy Fonck



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