Bill Evans (sax): The Path of Least Resistance


The Path of Least Resistance


Bill Evans (sax)


The Alternative Man (Blue Note CDP 7 46336 2)

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Bill Evans (sax),

Clifford Carter (keyboards and vocals), Sid McGinnis (guitar), Danny Gottlieb (drums), Manolo Badrena (percussion)


Composed by Bill Evans


Recorded: New York, January-May 1985


Rating: 92/100 (learn more)

As 2008 draws to a close, I have written more than half a thousand reviews for During this time, I discovered a few things that I was not expecting. First, there are far more creative young jazz artists on the scene today than I expected. There is no shortage of new good jazz music. I hear it every day. The problem is getting that music out to the masses so they can hear it, too. Second, I have always believed there was nothing greater than the initial moment of discovery. In regards to music, I can pinpoint my most important MOD (moment of discovery) to an early morning viewing of a TV concert show in 1973. It is a point in time I can never replicate. It changed my life. But I have discovered to my great joy that there is such a thing as rediscovery. In its own way it can be just as powerful as the original revelation.

One of my tasks here at is to help fill out the history of progressive jazz and fusion. That gives me the chance to go back and listen to some music I have not heard in 20 or 30 years. I do so with a new perspective. New emotions arise that I was not equipped with the first time around. Life experience is a powerful force. It changes you in many ways. So when I listen to Bill Evans's (sax) "The Path of Least Resistance" after so many years, it is almost like listening to it for the first time. The music is the same, but the person with the headphones on is not. I enjoy subtlety more now than I did then. This tune is full of it. The band takes an unaggressive stance. Instead they are hooked into a nonthreatening groove that is part jazz shuffle and part pop without crossing over into banality. The melody is reassuringly beautiful. Let there be no mistake, this is still fusion music. There are chops enough to cut a cord of wood.

I loved this music, and music like it, the first time I heard it over three decades ago. Re-listening is a journey of confirmation and rediscovery.

Reviewer: Walter Kolosky

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