The inventive jazz pianist and noted Miles Davis collaborator Bill Evans made lasting impact from the mid-195os. After a New Jersey childhood disrupted by his father’s alcoholism, Evans obtained a scholarship to study composition in Louisiana. Arriving in New York in the ‘50s, he began working with the composer and multi-instrumentalist, George Russell, releasing his debut solo album, New Jazz Conceptions, in 1956. Evans’ true breakthrough came through his membership of Miles Davis’ sextet, where his intense and melodic playing helped make Kind of Blue an outstanding landmark, during a time when he was also contributing to Chet Baker’s self-titled LP.
Following collaborations with Cannonball Adderly, Shelley Manne and Gary McFarlane, the 1964 Swedish release Waltz For Debby saw Evans backing Swedish actress and vocalist Monica Zetterlund on a lovely collection of cool, smooth jazz ballads. Zetterlund’s quietly soaring vocals add a stunning melodic contrast to Evans’ playing, helped along by understated rhythmic work from bassist Chuck Israels and drummer Larry Bunker.