Bill Evans (sax): Push
Bill Evans (soprano sax, keyboards, drum loops)
Push (Lipstick Records LIP 8922)
Bill Evans (soprano sax, keyboards, drum loops),
Clifford Carter (keyboards, drum loops), Jeff Golub (acoustic and electric guitars), Chris Ming Doky (bass), Billy Ward (drums).
Composed by Bill Evans.
Recorded: New York, spring 1993
Rating: 83/100 (learn more)
I would not be understating to say that I hated Push when it came out in 1993. Bill Evans (sax) was always someone I could count on to produce a great jazz or fusion album. But I knew I was in trouble when I opened the CD and saw lyrics and credits for rap singers. NO! NO! Evans (sax) had decided to incorporate hip hop and rap into his music. I still gave it a chance, though, since Evans (sax) said in the liner notes that the music was a marking a "new direction in my life." Yuck. What a god-awful shame that was. I listened once and said goodbye to another great musician who had decided to go over to the dark side.
It is 15 years later. I take out the Push CD from my collection expecting to hate it all over again. The tunes featuring the rapping are still bad. But I realize my distaste for those particular numbers years ago made me overlook some very good fusion cuts. The title piece has hip-hop influences in its heavy bass 'n' drum sound. It is possible I hated that then too. Now it seems that Evans may have been ahead of his time. This music now sounds quite contemporary, even infectious. The sound on Push is heavily compressed, which takes some getting used to. The same is true for the electronic drum loops. But Evans's composing is as strong as ever, and the melody and his wonderful playing of it win out in the end. This is not my favorite Bill Evans music, but it deserves to be listened to. This is one time I would say Thank God for individual track downloads.
Reviewer: Walter Kolosky