Bill Evans: Living in the Crest of a Wave


Living in the Crest of a Wave


Bill Evans (sax)


Living in the Crest of a Wave (Wounded Bird WOU 349)

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Bill Evans (sax),

Mitch Forman (keyboards), Mark Egan (bass), Adam Hussbaum (drums), Manolo Badrena (percussion)


Composed by Bill Evans


Recorded: New York, November 1983


Rating: 93/100 (learn more)

I much prefer the music Bill Evans (sax) was playing in the 1980s and early '90s over most of his stuff since. But if you are a great musician you are compelled to move on, and move on is what Evans has done. Over the last several years he has been playing "soulgrass" music, which is a jazz-blues-bluegrass hybrid. He plays it well but there is too much twang for my tastes. Yet even soulgrass is an improvement over his earlier experiments combining jazz and rap. Yuck. Sorry, Bill.

"Living in the Crest of a Wave" is perhaps my all-time favorite Evans (sax) composition. It has "fusion anthem" written all over it. The in-your-face syncopated horn and synthesizer blasts splash over you instantly. (Loud and aggressive) "De Da. De Da. De….. Da…… De Da!" They are simple notes and chords. But they are played with the full power of a monster wave. The opening crash is followed by Evans and his crew wailing away. Finally we catch the perfect wave and find ourselves in the safety of the tube. As we ride enveloped our lonely but invigorating feeling is interrupted by the sparse and disparate sounds of nature's electrical short circuits. A drum roll signifies our wave has hit the shore and the main theme returns to fully take us in the rest of the way.

I would have rated this cut even higher, but I have heard Bill Evans (sax) perform it better than heard here.

Reviewer: Walter Kolosky

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  • 1 Lorri Paulucci // Jan 05, 2009 at 02:10 AM
    I have been looking for this since CDs came along. I looked at Tower Records and then Amazon and then gave up until today by happenstance, checking out Freddie Hubbard's musical history. This is one of my favorite jazz albums. It sounds as fresh today as when I first heard it in '83.