Bill Evans: How My Heart Sings

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9780300097276: Bill Evans: How My Heart Sings

This enthralling book is the first biography in English of Bill Evans, one of the most influential of all jazz pianists. Peter Pettinger, himself a concert pianist, describes Evans’s life (the personal tragedies and commercial successes), his musicmaking (technique, compositional methods, and approach to group playing), and his legacy. The book also includes a full discography and dozens of photographs.

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Perhaps it was a white jazz musician's need to negate his very ordinary American boyhood, or maybe it was in the genes he inherited from his alcoholic father--no one can be quite sure--but Bill Evans, one of the most influential American jazz pianists ever, was a drug addict. He picked up his habit shortly after joining the Miles Davis Sextet in the 1950s, but it took Evans more than 20 years to be swallowed by the abyss of heroin, methadone, and cocaine. Sitting at the piano in the shadow of Davis, John Coltrane, Cannonball Adderley, Paul Chambers, and Philly Joe Jones--the era's paragons of cool--could not have been easy for the retiring musician who suffered harsh ribbing at the hands of both bandmates and fans. Ironically, as the drugs distorted Evans's body and soul, his fingers coaxed ever more sublime music from his keyboard. Biographer Peter Pettinger was himself a professional pianist and a longtime listener of Evans, so he is expert at articulating the nuances of the music. He is perceptive too in exploring the forces that imbued in one life so much beauty and so much pain. The result is a book that is both a memorial to a burdened man and an homage to his transcendent music.

From the Back Cover:

"[A] fine new biography... packed with... shrewd critical commentary." -Terry Teachout, New York Times Book Review

"Pettinger sets out to catalogue and explain Evans' wide-ranging genius... The making of every important Evans recording is discussed, and as he follows the extreme ups and downs of a career vexed by heroin addiction and other problems, Pettinger shows how the personal helped shape the artistic sensibility of this jazz innovator." -Tom Moon, Philadelphia Inquirer

Selected as a 1998 Notable Book of the Year by the New York Times Book Review

Winner of the 1999 ASCAP-Deems Taylor Award in the Pop Books Category

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Book Description Yale University Press, United States, 2002. Paperback. Book Condition: New. New ed. Language: English . Brand New Book. This enthralling book is the first biography in English of Bill Evans, one of the most influential of all jazz pianists. Peter Pettinger, himself a concert pianist, describes Evans s life (the personal tragedies and commercial successes), his musicmaking (technique, compositional methods, and approach to group playing), and his legacy. The book also includes a full discography and dozens of photographs. Bookseller Inventory # AAH9780300097276

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Book Description Yale University Press, United States, 2002. Paperback. Book Condition: New. New ed. Language: English . Brand New Book. This enthralling book is the first biography in English of Bill Evans, one of the most influential of all jazz pianists. Peter Pettinger, himself a concert pianist, describes Evans s life (the personal tragedies and commercial successes), his musicmaking (technique, compositional methods, and approach to group playing), and his legacy. The book also includes a full discography and dozens of photographs. Bookseller Inventory # AAH9780300097276

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