Bill Evans plays “Django” (with sheet music to download)
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“Django” is a 1954 jazz standard written by John Lewis as a tribute to the Belgian-born jazz guitarist Django Reinhardt. It was a signature composition of the Modern Jazz Quartet, of which Lewis was the pianist and musical director.
Lewis wrote “Django” in 1954 as a tribute to his friend, the Belgian-born jazz guitarist Django Reinhardt, who had died the previous year. It begins with a 20-bar theme that was described by Ted Gioia in his book The Jazz Standards as dirge-like and mournful. The entry for “django” in the original edition of the Real Book only contained the chord changes for this theme.
It is followed by solo sections in modified Thirty-two-bar AABA form, where the first two A sections contain six bars instead of eight, the eight-bar B section contains a pedal point on the tonic, and the final twelve-bar A section contains a boogie bass motif. The solo sections are separated by interludes in double-time derived from the introductory theme. The composition ends with a full repeat of the introductory section.
William John Evans (August 16, 1929–September 15, 1980) was an American jazz pianist and composer who mostly played in trios. His use of impressionist harmony, inventive interpretation of traditional jazz repertoire, block chords, and trademark rhythmically independent, “singing” melodic lines continue to influence jazz pianists today.
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