Waltz for Bill Evans

Bill EvansOn this day back in 1557, the Italian Baroque painter Agostino Carracci was born. He was also a printmaker. I’m not that fond of his work, but he is rather good. One of the earliest astronomers to make observations of “deep sky objects” (e.g. galaxies) Pierre Mechain was born in 1744. The Russian opera composer Yevstigney Fomin was born in 1761. Here is the Finale from The Coachmen at the Relay Station:

Psychology pioneer, Wilhelm Wundt was born in 1832. Russian illustrator Ivan Bilibin was born in 1876. Economist E. F. Schumacher was born in 1911.

Writer Charles Bukowski was born in 1920. I am torn on him. On the one hand, he really isn’t a bad writer. I get tired of some of his obsessions and his beat hipster attitude, but he was an interesting guy who worked his craft. On the other hand, every idiot who can’t appreciate any decent literature loves Bukowski. And among men, there is more than a hint of misogyny in their “appreciation” of his work. Regardless, I will be very happy to never read another line of his for the rest of my life.

And the hand behind Scooter, Beaker, and Statler, Richard Hunt was born in 1951. Here he is as Beaker singing “Feelings”:

Australian director who has made a number of good American films (e.g. Crimes of the Heart), Bruce Beresford is 73 today. Actor Lesley Ann Warren is 67. Jackass, but extremely talented director James Cameron is 59. My generation’s Marlene Dietrich, Madonna is 55. Actor Angela Bassett is too. Timothy Hutton is 53. And Steve Carell is 51.

The day, however, belongs to the great composer and pianist Bill Evans who was born on this day in 1929. I don’t have much to say about his life. Whenever people do talk about his life they focus far too much on the drugs. I think it was all and always about the music. And the music speaks for itself. Here he is with Eddie Gomez and Marty Morell (who both provide amazing solos) doing the Miles Davis tune “Nardis”:

Happy birthday Bill Evans!

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About Frank Moraes

Frank Moraes is a freelance writer and editor online and in print. He is educated as a scientist with a PhD in Atmospheric Physics. He has worked in climate science, remote sensing, throughout the computer industry, and as a college physics instructor. Find out more at About Frank Moraes.

1 thought on “Waltz for Bill Evans

  1. Ah Bill Evans. I recommend that every fan of his get the chance to watch or listen to any interview he gave on music or general outlook on life.

    Beyond his great music and his debilitating addictions – he was a unique soul. And there was no better Jazz pianist out there.

    Btw if one wants the musical equivalent for Jazz guitar – Lenny Breau is maybe the most underrated Jazz guitarist ever. Interestingly, his life challenges paralelled Evans in some ways.

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