Kind of Bill on the Palace Grounds 
Marking 40 Years since the Death of 
Bill Evans

The Larry McDonough Quartet 
Larry McDonough, piano, vocals, and arrangements
Richard Terrill, tenor and soprano saxes, and original poetry
Greg Stinson, bass
Dean White, drums
Eric Hanson, art

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"Kind of Bill on the Palace Grounds - Marking 40 Years since the Death of Bill Evans" is a new live recording covering the career of Bill Evans. The Larry McDonough Quartet performed the show during the pandemic to an outside social distance audience on September 2, 2020, on the grounds of Palace Art and Music Gallery, St. Paul, Minnesota, around the 40th anniversary of Evans’ death on September 15, 1980 at age 51. 

The recording begins with "Waltz for Debby," written by Evans in 1953 and first released on New Jazz Conceptions in 1957, and follows the course of his career through "I Will Say Goodbye" from the album of the same name released the year he died.

Jazz curator Steve Kenny has called Larry McDonough the Bill Evans scholar of Minnesota. Larry grew up listening and transcribing Evans’ music, having seen his live performances in the 1970s. His shows and recordings feature the music of Evans. Larry has become friends with Evans’ widow Nenette, who supports Larry’s projects and provides him with some of Bill Evans’ manuscripts. Larry is the only Minnesotan invited to study the Bill Evans Archive at the Center for Southeast Louisiana Studies of Southeastern Louisiana University. Movie director Bruce Spiegel chose Larry to host Minnesota showings of his documentary film “Bill Evans Time Remembered.”

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"The Evans family is so grateful that Larry McDonough has chosen to remember my late husband Bill Evans. I like what Max Gordon said about Bill Evans in his book concerning his experiences as owner of the famed Village Vanguard club, where Bill eventually became a regular: ‘The first time Bill Evans played the Village Vanguard, he was the intermission pianist for the Modern Jazz Quartet. The room was quiet when they played. When Bill Evans played the MJQ fans wondered, ‘Who the hell was that?' They'd never heard of him. He was filling space in between for the star attraction. Today Bill is the star attraction. When Bill Evans plays, the Village Vanguard becomes Town Hall.'" - Nenette Evans

"The quartet does more than replay the songbook. They relive it, reinterpret it for a new generation of jazz listeners, making then into now." - Eric Hanson, Author, Artist, and Jazz Historian

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Kind of Bill on the Palace Grounds - Marking 40 Years since the Death of Bill Evans

1. Introduction (0:33) by Larry McDonough

2. Waltz for Debby (8:27) by Bill Evans, Folkways Music Publishers, Inc., Arranged by Larry McDonough

3. Blue in Green (4:45) by Bill Evans, Downtown DMP Songs, Jazz Horn Music Corp. and East St. Louis Music, Inc., Arranged by Larry McDonough

4. Improvisations - Bill Evans (1:16) Poem by Richard Terrill

5. All of You (5:34) by Cole Porter, Chappell & Co., Arranged by Larry McDonough

6. My Foolish Heart (6:55) by Victor Young, Shapiro Bernstein & Co., Catherine Hinen Music, Patti Washington Music, and Chappell & Co., Arranged by Larry McDonough

7. Stella by Starlight (6:20) by Victor Young, Shapiro Bernstein & Co., Catherine Hinen Music, and Sony/ATV Harmony, Arranged by Larry McDonough

8. You Must Believe in Spring (5:54) by Michel Legrand, Marilyn Bergman, Alan Bergman, and Jacques Demy, EMI Blackwood Music, Inc., N.S. Beaujolais, Arranged by Larry McDonough

9. We Will Meet Again (4:50) by Bill Evans, Ludlow Music, Inc., Arranged by Larry McDonough

10. Bill Evans (1:21) Poem by Richard Terrill

11. I Will Say Goodbye (7:07) by Michel Legrand, EMI Catalog Partnership, N.S. Beaujolais Music, Inc., Arranged by Larry McDonough

12. Milestones (5:21) by Miles Davis, Screen Gems-EMI Music, Inc., Arranged by Larry McDonough

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Kind of Bill on the Palace Grounds - Marking 40 Years since the Death of Bill Evans


Available from Larry McDonough Jazz

Soon available from CD Baby, Itunes, and more.

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Liner Notes by Larry McDonough 

I grew up listening to the music of Bill Evans. I found his albums at the city library in the late 1960s when I was in junior high school. I wondered what to expect from this pianist who looked like an accountant. As a classically trained pianist, I immediately noticed his classical touch in jazz. I began transcribing his pieces and practicing them. When he came to Minnesota to perform when I was in high school, music school, and afterward, I had to attend. I sat 10 feet from him but was too shy to approach him on the breaks. His death in 1980 was as significant to me as the death of John Lennon the same year.

All of my recordings over the last 20 years were influenced by Bill. My first CD, Small Steps, included a solo piano arrangement of “All Blues” that he played on the Miles Davis recording Kind of Blue. My composition “Tuscarora” from my CDs Tuscarora: Short Stories for Jazz Piano and Simple Gifts is based on his composition “Blue in Green.” The waltz arrangement of “Ode to Joy” on Simple Gifts was based on many of Bill’s waltzes. On the CD Solitude, poetry in jazz, I combined Bill’s arrangement of “Some Other Time” with the poem “Bill Evans” by saxophonist Richard Terrill. The CD Angels, Kings, My Favorite Things includes a solo piano arrangement of “Jingle Bells” as a Bill Evans ballad. My last CD, Alice in Stonehenge and other AcoustElectric Adventures, was the most influenced by Bill, including “Alice In Wonderland,” “Flamenco Sketches,” and “You Must Believe in Spring.”

Over the years, I have become friends with Bill’s widow, Nenette, who has supported my projects and provided me with some of Bill’s manuscripts. I am honored to be the only Minnesotan invited to study the Bill Evans Archive at the Center for Southeast Louisiana Studies of Southeastern Louisiana University and to be chosen by movie director Bruce Spiegel to host Minnesota showings of his documentary film Bill Evans: Time Remembered.

As the 40th anniversary of Bill’s death approached during a pandemic in 2020, it seemed only natural to perform music from different periods of Bill’s life to an outside socially distanced audience on the grounds of Palace Art and Music in Saint Paul, Minnesota. The group included Larry McDonough, piano and voice; Richard Terrill, saxophones and poetry; Greg Stinson, bass; and Dean White, drums. Because any performance of Bill’s music could take days, we had to exclude many songs, but hopefully we captured enough to encourage listeners to explore the entire catalog.
After a short introduction, we began with “Waltz for Debby,” written by Bill in 1953 and first released on New Jazz Conceptions in 1957. Bill wrote it for his brother Harry’s daughter, and it became Bill’s most famous composition. We followed Bill’s arrangement, starting the song as a quiet waltz before it transitioned into an energetic 4/4 swing. Next up was “Blue in Green,” written by Bill in 1959 but often credited to Miles Davis. Miles recorded it with Bill on Kind of Blue and the Bill Evans Trio recorded it on Portrait in Jazz, both in 1959. We included Bill’s introduction and ending from Kind of Blue. 

Saxophonist Richard Terrill also is an accomplished poet, receiving the Minnesota Book Award for his poetry compilation Coming Late to Rachmaninoff. In his essay, “Improvisations - Bill Evans” from his book Fakebook, Richard discussed Bill’s sound. It is the perfect introduction to the next piece, “All of You,” written by Cole Porter but rearranged by Bill into a new piece with the same name and recorded on Sunday at the Village Vanguard in 1961. The album was one of two albums produced from the last live recording with Scott LaFaro on bass before Scott’s untimely death. The other album was Waltz for Debby, from which we played “My Foolish Heart” by Victor Young and Ned Washington. Bill played it for the rest of his life. We finished the early period of Bill’s music with “Stella by Starlight,” also by Young and Washington. He recorded it in 1963 on the album Conversations with Myself that featured layering up to three individual tracks of piano by Bill for each song. The album won him his first Grammy award. I started our version with my own conversation with myself, alternating the higher melody in octaves with lower block chords of harmony. We next moved from the mid-1960s to the mid-1970s to perform music from late in Bill’s life. Bill collaborated with singer Tony Bennett on two albums, The Tony Bennett/Bill Evans Album in 1977 and Together Again in 1977. The albums displayed Tony’s softer side and Bill’s skills as an accompanist. We chose “You Must Believe in Spring” by Michel Legrand, Alan Bergman, Marilyn Bergman, and Jacques Demy from Together Again. It is a complicated piece with an angular melody and intricate harmonies that rise a half-step in the middle of the second verse. It also was the most challenging piece for me, channeling both Bill and Tony at the same time. 

Bill wrote “We Will Meet Again” and dedicated it to his brother Harry who had killed himself. Bill recorded it on both You Must Believe in Spring, recorded in 1977 and released after Bill’s death, and We Will Meet Again, his last studio album and a Grammy winner. It is a waltz like “Waltz for Debby,” but unlike the optimism of Debby, it is a sad and deeply personal piece. We begin with solo piano and then the melody in bass before swinging as an ensemble. Richard’s poem “Bill Evans” from his book Almost Dark follows, comparing the heights of Bill’s music and the depths of his demons. Afterward, we performed “I Will Say Goodbye” by Michel Legrand from the album of the same name recorded in 1977 and released the year Bill died, another Grammy winner. The free introduction to each verse and the ritard ending each verse captures the sadness for Bill at the end of his life and of his fans about his death.

We finished by going back to a happier time in Bill’s life with “Milestones” recorded on Waltz for Debby in 1961. Written by Miles Davis in his modal period, it follows the harmonic structure of another Davis piece, “So What” but with power and energy. We hope our performance takes Bill’s fans to their happy place. For those new to Bill’s music, this recording can be your stepping stone to more of his music. 

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Recorded on September 2, 2020 on the grounds of Palace Art and Music Gallery, St. Paul, MN, and mixed, and mastered by Larry McDonough

CD Duplication by Copy Cats, Minneapolis, MN

Art and cover design by Eric Hanson

CD design by Larry McDonough, Palace Art and Music Gallery

Produced by Larry McDonough for LM Jazz
© 2021 Larry McDonough and LM Jazz - All Rights Reserved

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Larry McDonough Quartet 

Larry McDonough is a St. Paul jazz pianist and singer, performing around the world and recording with his group the Larry McDonough Quartet as well as solo, and in duos and trios. He has performed with legendary saxophonist and composer Benny Golson, Trombonist Fred Wesley, and trumpeter Duane Eubanks, as well as a who’s who of local jazz artists, and was inducted into the Minnesota Rock Country Hall of Fame for his work in the group Danny’s Reasons. He has released nine CDs and DVDs as a leader. Alice in Stonehenge and other AcoustElectric Adventures has played on radio stations and streaming services around the world. The CD charted #18 on the Roots Music Report’s Top 50 Jazz Album Chart. Simple Gifts reached number 29 on the CMJ Jazz Chart and also has been played on hundreds of stations around the country and throughout the world.

Richard Terrill, sax player and poet received the Minnesota Book Award for Poetry for his poetry compilation “Coming Late to Rachmaninoff” (University of Tampa Press, 2003). Richard has been performing with Larry McDonough since December 2001. He also has performed with guitarist Jim McGuire and with Chaz Draper’s Uptown Jazz Quartet. As a college student, Richard was a member of the award-winning University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire Jazz Ensemble and performed with later-to-be Pat Metheny keyboardist Lyle Mays in the Lyle Mays Quartet, winner of small group honors at the Midwest College Jazz Festival. He has also worked with pianist Geoff Keezer. Richard is a retired English professor from Minnesota State University, Mankato. 

Bassist Greg Stinson plays in several bands around the Twin Cities. He has been the bass player in the Century College Jazz Ensemble for more than 25 years. He also plays in the CC Septet, Shorn Hortz Quintet, Paul Berger Trio, the St. Croix Jazz Ensemble, and regularly subs with the Nova Contemporary Jazz Orchestra, Classic Big Band, and Cedar Avenue Big Band. Greg spent many years playing saxophones, guitar, bass, and vocals in jazz/rock and variety bands in the area. He is an active composer/arranger with jazz charts in the books of the Century Band, Nova, CC Septet, and others. He has also written a number of choral arrangements and compositions for school and church groups. Greg was a band and choir director in public and private schools before changing to his career in telecommunications technology, now retired.

Dean White grew up in Superior, Wisconsin, and played in various working bands while attending the University of Wisconsin, Superior. After graduating with a Bachelor’s degree in percussion performance, he moved to Hollywood, California, to attend Musicians Institute College of Contemporary Music. Half-way through the first year, Dean was offered a main showroom gig at the Imperial Palace in Las Vegas. He was the first drummer in the Legends In Concert Show that still performs in various incarnations across the country today. He left Las Vegas to join Tony Axtell and Toshi Hinata in Tokyo to write and play original music. Since settling back in the Twin Cities, Dean has performed with many groups, including Good, the Bad and the Funky; the Autobody Experience; Century Big Band; Nova Jazz; Big Time Jazz Orchestra; the Shorn Hortz jazz quintet; Power of 10; Jack Knife and the Sharps; Tubby Esquire; Hennessy Brothers jazz; and many others. He has also studied privately with Gordy Knudtson and his Open/Close hand technique. Dean feels blessed to be part of the rich music scene in the Twin Cities.

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                    Dean White                                    Bill Evans 

​ Larry McDonough    Greg Stinson                       Richard Terrill 

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Larry McDonough