Here is a cool 2000 Chick Corea interview with Marius Nordal from Downbeat. The interview was conducted just as the pianist was about to commemorate the 20th anniversary of jazz piano hero Bill Evans‘ death with a major two-week engagement called “Further Explorations” at New York’s Blue Note. Corea covers a number of Bill Evans related talk, and also manages to cover other topics as well. From the interview:
Nordal: Bill Evans generally had a gentle, lyrical approach to the piano – you’re often more dynamic, energetic and rhythmic. Did he influence your compositions or concept of touch and sound on the piano when you were developing musically?
Corea: It was Bill’s sound that I loved as soon as I heard it. He knew how to touch the piano gently and elicit such a beautiful and recognizable tone from the instrument. Up to that time, most jazz pianists were accustomed to playing inferior instruments: old, out of tune, out of regulation and generally beat up. That was the “club piano.” But Bill was aware of the fine sound that a well-prepared grand could deliver. It’s odd that Art Tatum is the only pianist I know of before Bill that also had that feather-light touch – even though he probably spent his early years playing on really bad instruments.
Bill’s harmonic sense and approach to the standards certainly made a big impression on me. I was more encouraged to produce a beautiful sound on the piano.
Click here to read Chick Corea: Further Explorations of Bill Evans