Bill Evans’ influences include Bud Powell, Lennie Tristano, and European keyboard music. Bill’s first important work was with band leader George Russell. Russell was one of the most forward thinking musicians of the 1940’s and 1950’s who was always looking for new modes of expression in jazz. Russell started thinking about improvising on modes 10 years before Miles Davis’s album Kind of Blue. Evans was also thinking about modal music before he joined Miles Davis in 1958—it’s probable that he and George Russell (Gil Evans, too) had discussed it. In hindsight the track “Peace Piece” from the 1958 album Everybody Digs Bill Evans is a major turning point in modern jazz. It does not really fit the mood the album even though he includes some other reflective unaccompanied ballads; “Peace Piece” bears little or no similarity to the other tracks— you be the judge. Bill Evans is probably best known for the albums recorded with bassist Scott LaFaro and drummer Paul Motian between late 1959 and 1961. The playing on those trio albums helped re-define modern jazz rhythm section playing.