Bill Evans (sax): My Favorite Little Sailboat
My Favorite Little Sailboat
Bill Evans (sax)
Let the Juice Loose – Bill Evans Group Live at Blue Note Tokyo (Jazz City PCCY-00054)
Jim Beard (keyboards), Darryl Jones (bass), Dennis Chambers (drums).
Composed by Chuck Loeb.
Recorded: live at the Blue Note, Tokyo, Japan, September 9, 1989
Rating: 90/100 (learn more)
Bill Evans (sax) is an avid fisherman. So it's no surprise that many of his song titles refer to the outdoors or nautical themes. Knowing this, I wrongly assumed that "My Favorite Little Sailboat" was another Evans composition. Wrong again, Fish Breath! The piece was actually written by his buddy, guitarist Chuck Loeb. Is Loeb into sailing and water sports too? Did he write the tune in honor of Evans? Was he recalling a toy sailboat from his youth? Next time you see Chuck, ask him.
Loeb's title suggests that "My Favorite Little Sailboat" would be a fun toss-off number. Instead, the tune comes across more as a "My Secret Drug-Smuggling Sailboat" blues. Our fictitious characters are up to no good. Dennis Chambers's backbeat and Darryl Jones's revolving funk basslines draw some yells from the live audience. A mysterious guitar enters briefly as Jim Beard lays low with some synthesizer work below the waterline. Evans delivers the tune's melody in a somewhat dark and pensive manner. Deception and evasion are major components of this performance. There is risk involved when you do something you're not supposed to. Jim Beard's piano solo implies second thoughts. But the further on you sail, the more you feel the warm wind in your face, the slight taste of salt on your tongue, and the promises of a big ill-gotten reward. This is an adventure from the dark side, and these actors are determined to play it out to the hilt.
Reviewer: Walter Kolosky