The Bill Evans Tune Test(s)
Announcing The Bill Evans Tune Test(s).
Evaluate your knowledge of the music of one who many consider to be the fountainhead of modern jazz piano.
Warning: This test is aimed primarily at musicians who play an instrument and listen to Bill Evans. Some answers you'll know right away. Others might require some critical listening or research. Some of the answers can be looked up in a real book but to play fair you should listen to the indicated recording by Bill to discern the answer. There is no prize for having the best score other than the pride of knowing the subject matter. Above all else, have fun discovering the answers.
1. Name the key that Bill always played "My Foolish Heart."
2. Name at least four Earl Zindars compositions that Bill performed and recorded.
3. It is widely acknowledged that Bill was the composer of the tune "Blue In Green," not Miles Davis. First, how many measures is one chorus? Second, what were the intended performance instructions Bill attempted to communicate to the members of the Miles Davis Band on the album "Kind Of Blue?" You'll probably need to listen to the "Kind of Blue" track a few times to put this into words. Also it's helpful to listen to Bill's solo and trio recordings of the tune on other albums.
(The standards in questions 4, 5 and 6 are of the type that the second 16 measure segment of the total 32 measure chorus starts out exactly like the first 16 measures. Their structure is that there is no "bridge" but instead two 16 measure halves.)
4. The standard “Come Rain or Come Shine” has been screwed-up by many a musician. Bill's playing of thetune has pretty much codified the way most play it now.
Part One: What key did Bill play "Come Rain or Come Shine?"
Part Two: Sketch out the changes that Bill plays on the tune (omit the turn-around). Please do this from listening, not looking in some real book.
5. What was the ("in-chorus") modulation scheme that the last trio used for the
Mancini tune, "Days of Wine and Roses?" Bill Played an "in-chorus" modulation - the first half (16 measures) in one key, the second half (16 measures) in another.
6. Bill occasionally played the tune "Like Someone In Love" in the later concerts.
What was the "in-chorus" modulation scheme used with that tune?
(“In-Chorus” refers to actually changing keys within the tune, then returning to the starting key sometime before, or at the start of the next chorus.)
7. Bill's last trio performed the "Theme From M.A.S.H." quite often. What was the
arrangement or (complete-chorus) modulation scheme that Bill used with that
tune? Name the starting key and the subsequent keys the trio played the tune,
before returning the first key. Were there added measures to the tune?
8. There are three main "types" or qualities of chords used in jazz. Bill's
composition "Time Remembered" never uses a particular type of chord. Name the type of chord that never appears in this tune.
9. When performing the tune "Autumn Leaves" with bassist Eddie Gomez, there is a point in the playing of the head that Bill and Eddie always play a little sixteenth
note lick together in unison or sometime in thirds. In what measure of the 32 measure chorus does this always occur? (number between 1 and 32)
10. What are the origins of the tune "Sugar Plum?" This tune does have lyrics!
What 60'-70s folk singer conceived the title and lyrics of the tune?
Well that does it. There are many areas of Bill's which we have not covered. I
would love to have readers submit their own Bill Evans Tests questions to me and I'll publish them here. There's a wealth of music to explore and it's great fun to find new ways to experience it.