Bill Evans – “Peace Piece”

Year: 1958

Album: Everybody Digs Bill Evans

This song is a dream. “Peace Piece” only has two chords, a C major 7 to a G9 suspended 4th, which Evans reused for Mile Davis’ “Flamenco Sketches” a year later. There’s no accompanying band. It’s solo jazz that’s both romantic and dissonant. It’s Impressionism contained in blue notes. It’s gorgeous.

The story goes that a teenage fan once said that listening to “Peace Piece” felt like standing all alone in New York. That teenager was right. That blissful, haunting aloneness is at the heart of this masterful piece, and it’s a testament to the power of the solo piano performer.

If you enjoy Miles Davis, Bill Evans is the pianist on his most famous record, Kind of Blue. He was the only white guy in Davis’ band, and Davis called him “quiet fire.” What a beautifully fitting nickname for such a tragic life.

Brady is the founder of Headphone Nation. He’s responsible for all this mess. Sorry about that. He’s also on Twitter @BradyWGerber

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