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William D. Evans (born February 8, 1958 in Clarendon Hills, Illinois) is an American jazz saxophonist who was a member of the Miles Davis group in the 1980s and has since led several of his own bands, including Push and Soulgrass.[1] Evans plays tenor and soprano saxophones. He has recorded over 17 solo albums and received two Grammy Award nominations. He recorded an award-winning album called Bill Evans – Vans Joint with the WDR Big Band in 2009.

Bill Evans
Bill Evans (saxophonist) 2004-07-24.jpg
Evans in Warsaw, Poland, July 24, 2004
Background information
Birth nameWilliam D. Evans
Born (1958-02-08) February 8, 1958 (age 61)
Clarendon Hills, Illinois, U.S.
GenresJazz, jazz fusion, bluegrass
InstrumentsTenor saxophone, soprano saxophone
Years active1979–present
LabelsElektra/Musician, Blue Note, Jazz City, Lipstick, ESC, BHM, Vansman
Associated actsMiles Davis, Elements, Mahavishnu Orchestra

He has played a variety of music with his solo projects, including bluegrass, jazz, and funk. His style is influenced by Michael Brecker, Bob Berg, Sonny Rollins, Joe Henderson, John Coltrane, Stan Getz, Steve Grossman, and Dave Liebman.



Evans's father was a classical piano prodigy and until junior high school Evans studied classical clarinet. He attended Hinsdale Central High School and studied with tenor saxophonist Vince Micko. Early in his studies he was able to hear such artists as Sonny Stitt and Stan Getz at the Jazz Showcase in Chicago.

Evans attended University of North Texas and William Paterson University, where he studied with Dave Liebman, an alumnus of trumpeter Miles Davis's early 1970s bands. Moving to New York city in 1979, he spent countless hours in lofts playing jazz standards and perfecting his improvisational style.

At the age of 22 he joined Miles Davis and was part of his comeback in the early to mid–1980s.[1] Notable albums recorded with Davis include The Man With The Horn, We Want Miles, Star People, and Decoy. Evans is unrelated to pianist Bill Evans (1929-1980), who played with Davis in the 1950s.

He has played, toured and recorded with artists such as Herbie Hancock, John McLaughlin,[1] Michael Franks, Willie Nelson, Mick Jagger, Les McCann, Mark Egan, Danny Gottlieb, Ian Anderson, Randy Brecker, The Allman Brothers Band, and Medeski Martin & Wood. He is featured on the Petite Blonde album[1] with Victor Bailey, Dennis Chambers, Mitch Forman, and Chuck Loeb.

During the 1980s and 1990s Evans was a member of the group Elements.[1] He joined the reformed Mahavishnu Orchestra in 1984 and performed with them until they broke up in 1987. Beginning in 1990 he toured with his own band.

Two of his albums, Soul Insider and Soulgrass, were nominated for Grammy awards. Soulgrass was combination of bluegrass and jazz fusion that featured Béla Fleck, Sam Bush, Bruce Hornsby, and Vinnie Colaiuta.


Bill Evans in Berlin
  • Living in the Crest of a Wave (1984, Elektra/Musician)
  • The Alternative Man (1986, Blue Note)
  • Summertime (1989, Jazz City)
  • Let the Juice Loose – Live at the Tokyo Blue Note Vol 1 (1990, Jazz City)
  • The Gambler – Live at the Tokyo Blue Note Vol 2 (1991, Jazz City)
  • Petite Blonde (1992, Lipstick)
  • Push (1993, Lipstick)
  • Bill Evans & Push – Live in Europe (1995, Lipstick)
  • Escape (1996, ESC)
  • Starfish & the Moon (1997, Escapade)
  • Touch (1998, ESC/EFA)
  • Soul Insider (2000, ESC/EFA)
  • Big Fun (2003, ESC)
  • Soulgrass (2005, BHM Zyx)
  • Soulbop Band – Live (2005, BHM/Zyx) with Randy Brecker
  • The Other Side of Something (2007, Intuition)
  • Vans Joint (2009, BHM/Zyx)
  • Dragonfly (2012, Vansman)
  • Live in Moscow (2015, Vansman)
  • Rise Above (2016, Vansman)
  • Beauty & The Beast - with Scottish National Jazz Orchestra (2016, Spartacus)

With Ron Carter

  • Etudes (Elektra/Musician, 1982)

With Elements

  • Blown Away (1985, Passport Jazz)

With Gil Evans

With Danny Gottlieb

  • Whirlwind (1989, Atlantic)

With Dino Betti van der Noot

With Ron Carter

  • Etudes (1982, Elektra/Musician)


  1. ^ a b c d e Yanow, Scott. "Biography: Bill Evans". Allmusic. Retrieved May 31, 2010.

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