Bill Evans

bill evansRecorded in December 1958, Peace Piece is an unrehearsed modal composition that Bill Evans recorded for his Everybody Digs Bill Evans LP. It is hailed as one of the most beautiful and evocative solo piano improvisations ever recorded. The song has been used for soundtracks of motion pictures, as music for ballet choreography and inspired poets. The piece starts out spare and melodic and is also a modal tone poem equal to anything Erik Satie composed. This modest and ultimately quiet Peace Piece, is a timeless, meditational, reverent, pastoral improvisation that is more a mood than a composition.

Jacques Réda, a French poet and jazz critic, wrote 5 poems with the title “Tombeau de Bill Evans,” perhaps with reference to “Tombeau de Couperin” by Maurice Ravel. One of those poems was inspired by the Bill Evans’ Peace Piece.

Peace Piece by Jacques Réda
As the long golden rays of the evening that leave
The world a little wider and purer after them.
Under the ecstatic whistle of a thrush , I can
Go now without haste, without sadness:
Everything becomes transparent. Even the heavy day
lightens and in some places make sparkle a tear
Happy between the eyelashes of the night that moves.
Neither dream nor sleep. More waiting. Peace.