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Bill Evans Transcriptions

 

      TRANSCRIPTIONS FROM BILL EVANS RECORDINGS

 All are accurate note-for-note transcriptions (and not mere arrangements, though I had to make some arranging for the pieces from "New Conversations" played in re-recording).

 -  "C.T."  for  "Complete transcription"

 -   "H.O."  for  "Head only"

This material has not been published yet, but is available for publication. Many musicians are looking for Bill Evans transcriptions. Unfortunately I cannot provide my transcriptions for copyright reasons, but I welcome any suggestion and help to get them published: I do wish they were available to all Bill Evans fans.

 

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       TRANSCRIPTIONS OF BILL EVANS COMPOSITIONS

 

B Minor Waltz (For Ellaine) ("You Must Believe In Spring" 1977) C.T. - 4 pages. Bill Evans dedicated this beautiful and nostalgic minor waltz to his wife for twelve years, Ellaine who died tragically several years before this recording. He had previously evokated Ellaine in another composition, There Came You, a ballad written on february 23, 1962.  

Children's Play Song ('"From Left To Right" 1970) H.O. - 1 page.

Comrade Conrad ("The Bill Evans Album" 1971) H.O. - 2 pages. Bill Evans liked this composition written for Conrad Mendenhall, a friend who helped him and Ellaine a lot and died in a car accident: a sixteen-bar minor tune in 4/4, repeated in 3/4, then transposed to an ascending fifth, and so forth during the solos. The changes are those of Autumn Leaves, a diatonic cycle of fifths:  IV - VII - III - VI - II - V - I - VI - V - I

A perfect warm up in all keys.

For Nenette ("New Conversations" 1978) C.T. - 7 1/2 pages.  Written by Bill Evans for his second wife Nenette Zazzara. I arranged for one piano the transcription of this "conversation" between three pianos, two acoustic and one electric.

Funkallero ("The Bill Evans album" 1971) H.O. - 2 pages. It is the first trio version of this 16 bar tune in C minor which had been previously recorded by Bill Evans in 1962 in quintet for "Loose Bloose", in 1964 with Stan Getz, and in February 1966 with an orchestra led by Al Cohn on the second half of the concert "at Town Hall", a never issued recording.

Fun Ride ("Piano Player" 1971) H.O. - 3 pages. Taped for "The Bill Evans Album (1971), then left out, this very chromatic tune, hard to improvise on, had been first recorded in quintet ("Loose Bloose, 1962). Warren Bernhardt, a good friend of Bill, recorded this tune on April 15, 1982  for the "Bill Evans - A Tribute" album(1983).

G Waltz ("California Here I Come" 1967) H.O. - 3 1/2 pages.  Of the dozen of waltzes written by Bill Evans, it is one of the less known. It would not stay in his book, and this is the only recording we have

Laurie ("We Will Meet Again") H.O. - 2 pages.  A piece written by Bill on May 31, 1979 for his girlfriend Laurie Verchomin who stayed with him till the end. After some changes the final version is dated July 29, 1979. I transcribed the first head (piano solo) of this quintet rendition. There are several trio versions recorded in 1979-1980, since the tune stayed in Evans's book,  my favorite being the one  from "The Paris Concert, Edition II".

Letter To Evan ("Paris Concert Edit. II") H.O. - 2 pages.  Bill Evans wrote this song - music and lyrics - as a gift to his son Evan for his fourth birthay (September 13, 1979). His leadsheet is in the key of F, but he used to explore the tune in many other keys. A particularity of this 4/4 theme: the melodic stress point is placed in a recurrent manner on the fourth beat, that let think he may have thought initially this tune in 3/4

Maxine ("New Conversations" 1978) H.O. - 4 pages.This waltz was written for Bill's stepdaughter (eleven at the time) and recorded with two acoustic pianos and one electric in re-recording. My transcription is arranged for one piano.

My Bells ("Bill Evans trio w/ Symph. Orch.", 1965) C.T. - 5 pages. My Bells has probably been written early 1962 and was recorded for the first time aug.22, 1962 in quintet for "Loose Blosse". The initial arrangement was simplified for this trio recording with the Claus Ogerman orchestra.

My Bells ("The Universal Mind Of Bill Evans", 1966) C.T. - 1 page, solo piano.

The Opener ("I Will Say Goodbye", 1977) C.T. - 7 pages. A trio version after a first try in piano solo, during the recording session for "Alone Again" (dec. 1975). This tune was never part of the repertoire of the trio.

Remembering The Rain ("New Conversations", 1978) C.T. - 5 pages. A beautiful composition written in 1977, recorded with three pianos, two acoustic and one electric; my transcription is arranged for one piano.

Since We Met ("Since We Met", Jan. 1974) H.O. _ 4 pages.

Since We Met ("Eloquence") H.O. - 9 pages. Like The Opener this piano solo was recorded during the session for "Alone Again" and released later on.

Song For Helen ("New Conversations", 1978) C.T. - 4 pages.The second tune written for Helen Keane.

Sugar Plum ("The Bill Evans Album", 1971) H.O. - 3 pages. It was not exactly "composed" by Bill Evans: John Court, listening to Angel Face, a ballad by Joe Zawinul and Ben Raleigh on "Intermodulation" , the Jim Hall - Bill Evans album, had the idea to take and repeat four mesures at the end of Bill' s solo and wrote a lyric. A song was born. (In fact the lyric was credited to John Court, but Richie Havens who recorded Sugar Plum years ago said HE really wrote it).

34 Skidoo ("Blue In Green" Aug. 1974) H.O. - 2 pages.

34 Skidoo (Paris Concert edit. 2, Nov. 1979) H.O. - 3 pages.

Time Remembered ("Since We Met" 1974) C.T. - 8 pages.Written in July 1962, this Bill Evans classic was recorded for the first time Aug.21, 1962 in quintet for "Loose Bloose".

Turn Out The Stars  ("Since We met" 1974) C.T. - 10 pages. Title by Gene Lees. A very good version of one of the most famous Evans compositions which stayed in his repertoire during fourteen years: not less than twenty-three recordings have been released, like for Waltz For Debby.

T.T.T. (Twelve Tone Tune) ("The Bill Evans Album", 1971) H.O. - 1 1/2 page. A medium-up swing  tune written by Bill Evans using the Schoenberg technique as a challenge: the melody is made of a twelve-note row, played three times, in twelve measures of course ! The harmony remains traditional.  A second tune was written later: Twelve Tone Tune Two., T.T.T.T.

The Two Lonely People ("The Bill Evans Album", 1971) C.T. - 12 pages. Bill Evans wrote this beautiful F minor waltz in November 1966 to a lyric sent by Carol Hall. With its 72 measures it is his longest  recorded composition (an eighty-bar tune, Carnival,  has never been recorded).

Very Early ("Quiet Now", 1969) C.T. - 10 pages. A very pure version of this remarkable composition in 3/4, written by Evans during his third year at Southeastern Louisiana College. He was nineteen years old.

We Will Meet Again("You Must Believe In Spring" ,1977) C.T. - 5 pages.  In this nice 3/4 tune Bill Evans used  for fourteen measures one of his favorite devices: a super-imposed rhythm between melody and pulse: a three half-note melodic rhythm in two measures, placing the melody on the strong beat every two bars.   

We Will Meet Again ("We Will Meet Again", 1979) C.T. - 5 pages. Solo piano. McCoy Tyner  too recorded  a piano solo version of this tune on July 2, 1982 for the "Bill Evans - A Tribute" album.

Your Story ("Turn Out The Stars", 1980) C.T. - 6 pages. Bill Evans: "is kind of unusual": "it only has one idea in it. It is a repetition idea. The harmony and the form move in such a way that it gives different meaning to that idea as it appears each time"...This song is "almost a mantra because of the constant repetition of the same melodic figure. It is the harmonic movement more than the melody that hopefully moves the listener, and a special space is created for the listener to become part of the story too".

He always played the theme rubato, piano solo, then one more time with the bass, to conclude without improvising. Listen to the great version from the concert in Molde (DVD, "The Oslo Concerts", Aug. 1980).

 

 

 

       TRANSCRIPTIONS  OF STANDARDS  BY  BILL  EVANS

 

 

 

After You   ("New Conversations")  H.O.- 5 pages. Bill Evans liked this Cole Porter Song from the musical comedy "Gay Divorce" (1932). He played  the theme piano solo, in Ab, the solo in C  with two acoustic pianos: I had to arrange a few bars for one piano only. There is another piano solo recording in "The Last Waltz" CD1 - Aug.31, 1980.  

The Bad and The Beautiful ("Together Again", 1976) C.T. - 3 pages. The main theme of "The Bad And The Beautiful" by Vincente Minnelli (1952), composed by David Raksin, author of many film scores and of the famous Laura, was interpreted piano solo by Bill Evans for the second album recorded - September 1976 - by the Tony Bennett - Bill Evans duet. A short -2'14"- masterpiece.

A Child is Born: 3 1/2 pages.

Danny Boy ("Conception" April 10,1962)) C.T. -  16 pages. A long -10'41" - solo version of the irish traditional which was part of a forgot solo session for Riverside issued in 1981.

Danny Boy ("Empathy" Aug. 1962)) C.T. - 3 pages.  A second recording a few months later, in trio this time. 

The Dolphin ("From Left To Right", 1970) C.T. - 6 pages. Originally a ballad, composed by Luis Eça, a rare occasion for two reasons: Bill Evans playing a bossa-nova, and his solo on electric piano being doubled with flutes and piccolo.

Easy To Love ("Conception" April 4,1962) T.C. - 10 pages. Solo piano. Bill makes use all through this excellent swinging solo of his technique of chord displacement, then concludes with a freely disarticulated final theme. This session is Bill's first attempt of a solo recording.

For All We Know ("We Will Meet Again", 1979) C.T. - 6 pages. This old 1934 song by J. Fred Coots and Sam M. Lewis (Lyrics) had been recorded by many musicians. Bill Evans did a remarkable work of reharmonization and arrangement for this piano solo version: two choruses, in two different keys, F and Eb..

Gary's Theme ("You Must Believe In Spring", 1977) C.T. - 6 pages. Gary McFarland who died tragically in 1971 had written this waltz for Gary Peacock who had been member of the Bill Evans trio in 1963..

A House Is Not A Home ("I Will Say Goodbye" 1977) C.T. - 6 pages. This 1964 song written by Burt Bacharach and Hal David had been recorded by other jazzmen like Sonny Rollins ("The Cutting Edge, 1974).

I Fall In Love Too Easily ("Moonbeams") C.T. - 3 pages. A short trio version, the only one we have by Bill of this ballad by Jule Styne.

I Loves You Porgy ("At The Montreux Jazz Festival" 1968) C.T. - 11 pages. Bill Evans always played the Gershwin masterpiece piano solo, after the 1961 trio performance at the Village Vanguard.

listen to the recording of this transcription by EFNK on the Music page

I Loves You Porgy ("Paris Concert Edit. I" - Nov. 26, 1979) H.O. Another great version.

In Your Own Sweet Way ("Alone Again", 1975) H.O.

Lucky To Be Me ("Everybody Digs Bill Evans",1958) C.T. - 4 pages. This song was written by Leonard Bernstein for the musical "On The Town", first produced on December 28, 1944. Bill Evans did a fine work of arranging and harmonizing. He played the theme piano solo, first in the key of F without improvising,but with a modulation in Ab in the last section, then a second time in B (three keys in  minor third relationship).

Make Someone Happy ("Town Hall Concert", 1966) C.T. - 6 1/2 pages.

Theme From M*A*S*H* ("You Must Believe In Spring", 1977) C.T. - 11 pages.

Midnight Mood ("Since We Met", 1974) H.O.

Milano ("Montreux III", July 20, 1975)) T.S. - 2 pages. One of the two John Lewis compositions played during this concert of the Evans - Gomez duo.. Milano was written about 1948 -titled "Navarize"- for the trumpet player Fats Navarro  and became a classic of the John Lewis and M.J.Q.'s repertoire.

Minha (All Mine) ("The Paris Concert,1976" ) C.T.- 5 pagesMy favorite version of  this nice song by the brazilian composer Francis Hime (lyricist: Ruy Guerra). Moving.

My Man's Gone Now ("Letter To Evan, July 1980) H.O. incomplete.

Morning Glory ("The Tokyo Concert", 1973) C.T. - 8 pages. My favorite version of the song written by the country singer Bobbie Gentry (1968), recorded during a great concert of the trio with Eddie Gomez and Marty Morell. Bill Evans made some reharmonization but remained rather close to the original.

Never Let Me Go ("Alone" 1968) C.T. - 22 pages. A long - 14'28" - and wonderful piano solo concluding Bill' s first solo album. A complete transcription achieved in Dec. 2008, 21 p. 

Noelle's Theme ("The Paris Concert Edit. I", Nov.1979) C.T. - 6 pages. A stunning  solo rendition of  the theme written by Michel Legrand for the Twentieth Century-Fox film "The Other Side of Midnight" (1977) during an exceptional concert of the last Bill Evans trio.

The Peacocks ("You Must Believe In Spring", 1977) C.T. - 9 pages. The now classic by Jimmy Rowles who probably drew his inspiration from Czerny Op.3, n°23.

Peau Douce ("I Will Say Goodbye", May 1977) C.T.- 6 pagesPeau Douce is the third composition by Steve Swallow that has been recorded, with success, by Bill Evans, after Hullo Bolinas (1973, "The Tokyo Concert") and  Falling Grace (1974, "Intuition"). 

People ("Alone Again", 1975) C.T. - 20 pages. A long -13'25''- and magnificent piano solo rendition of  the song written by Jule Styne for "Funny Girl" (Broadway, 1964). Bill Evans was evidently inspired by the instrument at the Fantasy studio and played eight choruses in two different keys without improvising: a real tour de force and a challenge for the transcriber!

Polka Dots and Moonbeams ("Moonbeams") 6 1/2 pages

Quiet Now ("Quiet Now", 1969) C.T. - 8 pagesOne of the best version by the Bill Evans trio of this great Denny Zeitlin composition.

Reflections In D ("New Conversations", 1978) C.T. - 7 pagesThe Duke Ellington's composition played piano solo: another masterpiece.

listen to the recording of this transcription on the Music page

Sareen Jurer ("Since We Met", Jan.1974) C.T. - 8 pages. An interesting  tune by Earl Zindars alternating 4/4 and 3/4. Listen to Dorian Ford's trio version on the Music page

Saudade do Brasil ("Eloquence, Nov. 1974, Berkeley, CA) A duo recording with Eddie Gomez  

- 10 pages.                                                                                                                                 Second Time Around ("Quintessence", 1976) H.O. - 2 pages.

See-Saw ("Since We Met ",1974)  H.O. - 2 pages.

Sometime Ago ("You Must Believe In Spring", 1977) C.T. - 6 pages.

Some Other Time ("Everybody Digs Bill Evans") C.T. - 4 pages. 

Spartacus Love Theme (The Solo Sessions vol. 1, Jan. 1963) It is Bill's  first recording of this theme from the famous movie, then he made another take the following month. - 4 pages.

When I Fall In Love ("Portrait In Jazz", 1959) C.T. - 2 pages.

Why Did I Choose You ("From Left To Right", 1970) H.O. - 3 pages.  Michael Leonard wrote this song (which has been sung by Barbra Streisand) for the musical "The Yearling" (1965).

Without A Song  ("You Must Believe In Spring") H.O.  - 3 pages. The mastery of Bill Evans, or "how to play a song" ! 

Yesterday I Heard The Rain ("The Tokyo Concert", 1973) H.O. - 2 pages.

You Must Believe In Spring ("You Must Believe In Spring") C.T. - 8 pagesThe english title for"La Chanson de Maxence" , a song written by Michel Legrand for the 1967 film The Young Girls of Rochefort by Jacques Demy

 

 

 

                                           HIGHLIGHTS

 

                             

      You Must Believe In Spring

                                           Aug. 23, 24, 25, 1977

 

 I have transcribed  the entire album, a gem in the Bill Evans recording legacy: A good choice of tunes and not less than three waltzes. The title tune is by Michel Legrand.

Complete transcriptions, except Without A Song   

 

B Minor Waltz (Bill Evans)

You Must Believe In Spring (Michel Legrand)

Gary's Theme (Gary McFarland)

We Will Meet Again (Bill Evans)

The Peacocks (Jimmy Rowles)

Sometime Ago (Sergio Mihanovich)

Theme From M*A*S*H (Johnny Mandel)

 

Without A Song (Vincent Youmans) -  Bonus track -   H.O.

 

                          

      I Will Say Goodbye

                                May 11-13, 1977

 

I made the complete transcription of six tunes from the fine last Evans trio recording for Fantasy. The title tune is also by Michel Legrand, like "You Must Believe In Spring" recorded three months later.

 

I Will Say Goodbye (Michel Legrand)

Dolphin Dance (Herbie Hancock)

Seascape (Johnny Mandel)

Peau Douce (Steve Swallow)

The Opener (Bill Evans)

A House Is Not A Home (B. Bacharach - David)

 

      NEW CONVERSATIONS

                                     Jan.- Feb., 1978

 

Of the three "Conversations" in re-recording, this is my favorite (like it was for Bill Evans himself; in fact he was not satisfied with the heavy texture he got in the first two "Conversations").

I transcribed and arranged for one piano four Evans originals never played in concert:

Song For Helen (Bill Evans)

Maxine (Bill Evans)

For Nenette (Bill Evans)

Remembering The Rain (Bill Evans)

I made a complete transcription of a masterpiece: the rendition on one piano this time by Bill Evans of the Duke Ellington's composition:

Reflections in D (Duke Ellington)

 

 

 

   SINCE WE MET

                     Jan.11-12, 1974

 

I transcribed every tune from this great live recording of the Bill Evans trio with Eddie Gomez and Marty Morell (complete transcriptions, except  H.O. -  Head Only as indicated).

 

Since We Met  (Bill Evans) H.O.

Midnight Mood  (Josef Zawinul)H.O.

See-Saw (Cy Coleman) H.O.

Sareen Jurer  (Earl Zindars)

Time Remembered  (Bill Evans)

Turn Out The Stars  (Bill Evans)

But Beautiful  (Burke- Van Heusen)

 

  The Bill Evans Album

                                 May- June  1971

 

 All compositions by Bill Evans

 

Funkallero  H.O.

The Two Lonely People  C.T.

Sugar Plum  H.O.

Waltz For Debby  C.T.

T.T.T. Twelve Tone Tune  H.O.

Comrade Conrad H.O.

From the same session, but  released on "Bill Evans - Piano Player":

Fun Ride  H.O.

 

 

 

 

                   INCOMPLETE TRANSCRIPTIONS

 

Most of these were made when preparing the lead sheets of standards

"as played by Bill Evans".

 

Displacement (New Jazz Conceptions")

Django ("Montreux III")

Five

Gloria's Step ("The Tokyo Concert")

Grandfather's Waltz (W/ Stan Getz)

How about You ("Solo Sessions" 1963)

Hullo Bolinas ("The Tokyo Concert")

I Believe in You ("Empathy")

Invitation ("Intuition")

In Your Own Sweet Way ("Alone Again")

Israel ("Trio 65")

Make Someone Happy ("At Town Hall")

Mother of Earl ("Montreux 68")

On A Clear Day ("Alone")

On Green Dolphin Street (Miles Davis - Jazz Track)

Quiet Light ("I Will Say Goodbye")

Second Time Around ('Quintessence")

See-Saw ("Since We Met")

Soirée ("From Left To Right")

Someday My Prince Will Come ("Live in Paris" - 1972)

The Touch of Your Lips ("The Touch of Your Lips")

Walkin'Up ("Montreux 68")

What Kind of Fool Am I ("Alone Again")

When I Fall In Love ("Portrait in Jazz")

Yesterday I Heard The Rain ("The Tokyo Concert")

 

 

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