The Hot Box #015 – A to Z of Jazz Piano Part 5 – The Letter E

Continuing the epic series on piano players in jazz, Donald has reached the letter E, where he finds one of the most important and influential pianists of all time, Bill Evans. It is probably true that almost all piano players in the modern era have been, to some extent, influenced by Evans.

He was something of a prodigy and began earning money from his music whilst still a teenager, but it wasn’t until he was 30, in 1959, and recorded with Miles Davis on the biggest selling jazz album of all time, Kind of Blue, that he reached beyond a small base of aficionados and found a wider public.

The Hot Box follows Evans career from Kind of Blue, through the seminal trio recordings made at the Village Vanguard in 1961, to some of his later trios, also taking in important duo performances with Tony Bennett and Jim Hall along the way. The letter E also finds two young pianists of extraordinary skill, Russian born Eldar (now using his second name too, which is Djangerov) and the Californian, Taylor Eigsti. A recording by Brazilian Eliane Elias rounds out almost one and a half hours of Hot Box 15.