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Bill Evans: How My Heart Sings Paperback – September 1, 2002
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
The result is a flash of light that glows into the mid sixties, but then dies out in a sea of repetition, hemming in his style into a smaller and smaller box as he went along. We see the mind of an intelligent, educated man, drawing on his classical influences to create a unique voice; we see perhaps his initial exposure to drugs producing a shimmering impressionistic sound that is forever recognizable, and then we see it all wear off into a self imposed life sentence, cutting off his imagination, if not all of his feelings. Bill Evans did not take care of himself, and for that we are all worse off. That he could die partially of malnutrition just underscores the very sad point.
One does see a curiously ascetic individual-drug abuse notwithstanding-who simply doesn't seem to care about much other than his art (as he states in his video, The Universal Mind of Bill Evans).Read more ›
Admittedly, the book is essential reading primarily for the listener who already counts himself among Evans' admirers and is aware of the pianist's artistry and influence. More than likely, such a reader will find many of his suspicions validated--from the pianist's rigorous classical training to his self-effacing personality to his discomfort as a member of Miles Davis' Quintet to his creative rejuvenation during the last year and months of his life. In addition, he will undoubtedly discover, on practically every page, something unexpected--Evans' affinity for Russian language and culture (clearly demonstrated on the pianist's brooding, darkly dramatic, extended introductions to "Nardis"), his curious attraction to garish '70's clothing styles, his strange personal and musical relationship with "speed" buddy Philly Joe Jones.
Pettinger knows enough about music, pianos, and piano playing to insure that his discussion of the music is accessible and instructive without becoming erudite or pedantic. Although it would be, in my opinion, impossible to overstate the influence, sophistication, and singular beauty of Evans' music, Pettinger wisely does not try to do so.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Interesting guy, white guy classically trained invited by Miles Davis to be in his band, starts own trio, survives drug use. Really good book. Read morePublished 2 months ago by AGaul
Pettinger, who is a classical concert pianist and teaches at Cambridge, has written a detailed and sympathetic biography of the great jazz pianist Bill Evans (1929-80), who... Read morePublished 9 months ago by David Keymer
17 February 15 — HOW MY HEAR SINGS by Peter Pettinger
There are few books on jazz that make me wish I were formally schooled in music; this is one of them. Read more
I agree with many others here that one can learn a lot about Evans' music in this book, and that in itself makes it worthwhile, and worthy of three stars. Read morePublished 17 months ago by Old Dog
Amazing book, Pettinger has so much insight into the Genius of Evans....Published 22 months ago by Rodrigo T
This book gives an in depth analysis of both Mr Evans music and the personal issues he dealt with during his outstanding career.
Essential reading for any Evans fan.
Excellent biography of Evans and a nice history of Jazz. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this as a Bill Evans fan. Read morePublished on November 2, 2013 by Peter A. Johnson
I enjoyed this look at the greatest jazz pianist of all time. The is an incredible amount of detail and interviews with people who were around Bill during his life. Read morePublished on August 21, 2013 by Michael L Warner
I had to smile occasionally at the biographer's amazing range of superlatives as he described the wonder of Bill Evans's playing and composing, and the narrative slows a bit... Read morePublished on January 30, 2013 by Dr. Willie