Bill Evans (saxophonist)

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Bill Evans
Bill Evans (saxophonist) 2004-07-24.jpg
Evans in Warsaw, Poland – July 24, 2004
Background information
Birth name William D. Evans
Born (1958-02-08) February 8, 1958 (age 58)
Clarendon Hills, Illinois, U.S.
Genres Jazz, jazz fusion, bluegrass
Occupation(s) Saxophonist, songwriter, record producer, composer
Instruments Tenor saxophone, soprano saxophone, clarinet
Years active 1980s-Present[1]
Associated acts Miles Davis, Elements, Mahavishnu Orchestra
Website Bill Evans official Web site
Bill Evans in Berlin
Photo Hreinn Gudlaugsson

William D. "Bill" Evans (born February 8, 1958 in Clarendon Hills, Illinois) is an American jazz saxophonist.[2] His father was a classical piano prodigy and until junior high school Evans studied classical clarinet. Early in his studies he was able to hear such artists as Sonny Stitt and Stan Getz live at the Jazz Showcase in Chicago. He attended Hinsdale Central High School and studied with tenor saxophonist Vince Micko. His stylistic influences are wide ranging and include players such as Sonny Rollins, Joe Henderson, John Coltrane, Stan Getz, Steve Grossman, and Dave Liebman. He has stated that although he never transcribed solos, he was able to get a very deep intuitive feel and understanding of each of these players' styles.


He plays primarily tenor and soprano saxophones. Evans attended University of North Texas and William Paterson University, where he studied with Dave Liebman, a Miles Davis alumnus. Moving to NYC in 1979 he spent countless hours in lofts playing jazz standards and perfecting his improvisational style. At the age of 22 he joined Miles Davis and was part of his musical comeback in the early to mid-1980s.[2] Notable albums recorded with Miles include The Man With The Horn, We Want Miles, Star People, and Decoy. In addition he has played, toured and recorded with artists such as Herbie Hancock, John McLaughlin,[2] Michael Franks, Willie Nelson, Mick Jagger, Les McCann, Mark Egan, Danny Gottlieb, Ian Anderson, Randy Brecker, The Allman Brothers Band, and Medeski, Martin, and Wood among others. He is featured on the Petite Blonde album[2] with Victor Bailey, Dennis Chambers, Mitch Forman, and Chuck Loeb. Two of his most recent albums Soul Insider and Soulgrass were nominated for Grammy awards. Soulgrass was a ground breaking bluegrass/jazz fusion concept involving such musicians as Bela Fleck, Sam Bush, Bruce Hornsby, and drummer Vinnie Colaiuta.

During the 1980s and 1990s he was a member of the group Elements.[2]

Evans joined the reformed Mahavishnu Orchestra in 1984 and performed with them until they broke up in 1987.

Beginning in 1990 Evans has been touring with his own band playing close to 90 concerts a year worldwide. He has recorded over 17 solo CD's and received 2 Grammy Award nominations. He recorded an award-winning CD called Bill Evans – Vans Joint with the WDR Big Band in 2009. He has played a wide variety of music with his solo projects including bluegrass influenced jazz to funk to contemporary groove and is considered a renaissance man in many circles, stating "I like to use the instruments used in Americana like the banjo, fiddle, mandolin and steel guitar. I just write my music using those instruments."


  • Living in the Crest of a Wave (1984, Elektra/Musician)
  • The Alternative Man (1986, Blue Note)
  • Summertime (1989, Jazz City)
  • Let the Juice Loose – Live at the Tokyo Blue Note Vol 1 (1990, Jazz City)
  • The Gambler – Live at the Tokyo Blue Note Vol 2 (1991, Jazz City)
  • Petite Blonde (1992, Lipstick Records)
  • Evans, Bailey, Dennis Chambers, Mitchel Forman, Loeb – Petite Blonde (1992, Lipstick Records)
  • Push (1993, Lipstick Records)
  • Bill Evans & Push – Live in Europe (1995, Lipstick Records)
  • Escape (1996, ESC Records)
  • Starfish & the Moon (1997, Escapade)
  • Touch (1998, ESC/EFA)
  • Soul Insider (2000, ESC/EFA)
  • Big Fun (2003, ESC Records)
  • Soulgrass (2005, BHM Zyx)
  • Bill Evans, Randy BreckerSoulbop Band – Live (2005, BHM/Zyx)
  • The Other Side of Something (2007, intuition)
  • Vans Joint (2009, BHM/Zyx)
  • Dragonfly (2012, Vansman Records)
  • Live In Moscow (2015, Vansman Records)
  • Rise Above (2016, Vansman Records)

with Elements

  • Blown Away (1985, Passport Jazz)

With Gil Evans

with Danny Gottlieb

  • Whirlwind (1989, Atlantic)

with Dino Betti Van Der Noot

  • They Cannot Know (1986, Soul Note)


  1. ^ Biography allmusic. Retrieved April 28, 2013.
  2. ^ a b c d e Yanow, Scott. "Biography: Bill Evans". Allmusic. Retrieved May 31, 2010. 

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