Bill Evans (sax): Jean Pierre

Bill Evans (sax) seems to have found a genre that is pleasing to him musically and offers some lucrative opportunities not usually afforded progressive or fusion sax players. He takes bluegrass music, mixes it with jazz, a little funk and a little bit o'soul to create a rich gumbo. The degree to which you accept this music is probably related to the proportion of bluegrass, jazz, funk and soul used in the recipe. The Grammy people seemed to like it. Soulgrass received a nomination. To me, the roux is a bit over-spiced with bluegrass. But perhaps it is an acquired taste. At any rate, there is enough good music coming through the aroma to try some extra sips.

"Jean Pierre" provides some jazz and bluegrass common ground. Evans (sax) played this tune many times with its composer Miles Davis. I am quite sure Miles never had a banjo player perform the opening bars. The sing-songy melody is evocatively captured by Evans (sax) the same way he did when he was in Miles's band. He is truly an impressive player. On this "Jean Pierre," he often doubles-up with fiddler Stuart Duncan. A contrapuntal section leads to a fluttering funk sax solo. Then short turns are given to fiddler Duncan and banjoist Leos. Wooten supplies a thick funk base. The tune is boiling over the pot now. Stir. Stir again. Take a spoonful. Blow it off. Have a taste. Miles would.

April 07, 2008 · 2 comments


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