Bill Evans Listening List for TranscribersJan 06, 2023
Bill Evans listening list for transcribers
I have all of my intermediate to advanced students listen to and transcribe the works of several great jazz piano legends.
I've found transcribing combined with Piano Phraseology produces the fastest result for gaining a deeper understanding of jazz theory and phrasing.
This Bill Evans top 10 listening list barely skims the surface of what Bill teaches us yet still provides the perfect starting point for those wanting to master more advanced techniques.
It is not enough to simply transcribe these pieces. You must dissect, explore, emulate, assimilate and innovate your transcriptions in small pieces.
Keeping it small makes learning doable and rather easy.
I promise once you've transcribed these recordings you will have gained a deeper understanding of Bill's thought process as a composer, theorist, and performer.
Bill's style will rub off, greatly influencing your playing for the better.
No music college or book can hold a candle compared to combining transcription and Piano Phraseology.
Before we begin the recommended list, here are the ten things you will learn from it.
1. Seventh chords and substitutions
2. Use of upper structure triads
3. Open voicings
4. Shell Voicings
5. Drop 2 voicings
6. Close voicings
7. Altered voicings
8. Montuno voicings
9. Quartal voicings
10. Stacked fourths voicings
Bill Evans was well known for his unique and complex piano voicings. So now let's begin with the listening list for these ten examples.
"Waltz for Debby". Evans' voicings on this tune are notable for their smooth-flowing nature, with a focus on seventh chords and substitutions.
"Nardis". This tune features Evans' use of upper structure triads, which are chords built using the upper notes of a seventh chord.
Peace Piece". This solo piano piece showcases Evans' use of open voicings, which are chords with wide intervals between the notes.
Blue in Green". This ballad features Evans' use of shell voicings, which are chords with only the root, third, and seventh notes.
"My Foolish Heart". This ballad features Evans' use of drop 2 voicings, which are chords with the second highest note in the chord dropped an octave.
"Very Early". This tune features Evans' use of close voicings, which are chords with notes played close together.
"Peri's Scope". This fast-paced tune features Evans' use of altered voicings which are chords with notes outside of the diatonic scale.
"Blue Bossa". This Latin-influenced tune features Evans' use of montuno voicings, which are block chords played in octaves.
"Funkallero". This tune features Evans' use of quartal voicings, which are chords built using intervals of fourths.
"Spartacus Love Theme". This ballad features Evans' use of stacked fourths voicings, which are chords built using intervals of stacked fourths.
I hope you found this brief listening list for transcribing helpful. I promise more are on the way.
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