Liberal Arts (Novus 3058-2)
Clifford Carter (keyboards), Stan Samole (guitar).
Composed by Bill Evans.
Recorded: New York, February 1989
Rating: 90/100 (learn more)
Over the years, I have been a big fan of Elements, the band founded by bassist Mark Egan and drummer Danny Gottlieb. As a general rule, they have presented some very fine music. However, Liberal Arts is not one of their better records. There is still some good music to be heard. But the album pales in comparison to the band's fantastic Illumination.
The strongest tune is "Quetico." Its composer, Bill Evans (sax), is a frequent member of Elements' rotating cast and an avid fisherman. A peek at Wikipedia reveals that Quetico is a huge park in Ontario, Canada, famed for its fishing. I'd take a wild guess and say Bill Evans (sax) has spent time there. Egan's rolling bassline and Gottlieb's rhythms introduce Evans's syncopated melody. Carter and Evans (sax) play the fun-sounding but complicated lines in full unison. Samole cranks out an electric blitz. Evans (sax) returns with a screeching vengeance.
Quetico, the park, can't be this exciting. Then again, I don't fish, so maybe it is.
Reviewer: Walter Kolosky