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Soul Bop Band (Live)

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Album Review

During the summers of 2004 and 2005, saxophonist Bill Evans and trumpeter Randy Brecker co-led the Soul Bop Band on tours. The music that they created was funky, heartfelt, and full of strong jazz solos. With a top-notch and versatile rhythm section comprised of guitarist Hiram Bullock, keyboardist David Kikoski, bassist Victor Bailey, and drummer Steve Smith, the sextet performed consistently stirring music. This two-CD set has plenty of heated instrumentals along with occasional ballads, all of it original music coming from either Evans, Brecker, or Bullock. Unfortunately a few of the selections have vocals from Brecker that are primitive at best and an acquired taste although the words to Bullock's "Greed" are worthy. If it were not for the singing, this two-fer would be rated higher, but it does contain some of the best playing of the era from Bill Evans and Randy Brecker, who consistently bring out the best in each other.


Born: 16 August 1929 in Plainfield, NJ

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s

With the passage of time, Bill Evans has become an entire school unto himself for pianists and a singular mood unto himself for listeners. There is no more influential jazz-oriented pianist -- only McCoy Tyner exerts nearly as much pull among younger players and journeymen -- and Evans has left his mark on such noted players as Herbie Hancock, Keith Jarrett, Chick Corea, Brad Mehldau. Borrowing heavily from the impressionism of Debussy and Ravel, Evans brought a new, introverted, relaxed, lyrical,...
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