The year was 2006 and during my freshmen year of college, a friend of mine handed me the album Undercurrent, a duet album featuring Bill Evans on piano and Jim Hall on guitar. This album changed my life. I had no clue who Bill Evans was, and frankly I had no idea who I was either. I would later learn that I was not alone in finding him to be outstanding. Bill Evans is known as one of the most influential jazz pianists of the 1960s. Making the piano sing with his beautiful melody lines, using French Impressionists’ chord structure and creating a dialogue in the world of the jazz trio, Bill Evans opened jazz up to a whole new audience.
Bill Evans also opened up a whole new world for me. At the time I was a theory/composition major and had not listened to much jazz. Listening to that album gave me an indescribable feeling, and I wanted to make people feel that same way. The following semester I switched my major to jazz studies.