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Hearing Voices

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Album Review

There is both good and bad news where Bill Easley's résumé is concerned. The good news: Easley has an impressively long list of sideman credits and has been featured extensively by many jazz heavyweights over the years. The bad news: the veteran saxophonist has recorded only sporadically as a leader. But Easley's work as a leader — although sporadic — has generally been solid, and Hearing Voices is no exception. This acoustic quartet date (Easley is joined by pianist Danny Mixon, bassist J.J. Wiggins [a.k.a. Hassan Shakur], and drummer Greg Bandy) finds him doing what he does best: hard bop with a touch of soul-jazz. Hearing Voices is a tribute album, although Easley doesn't pay homage to one artist specifically; instead, he salutes a variety of tenor and/or alto saxophonists who have influenced him along the way. And that means acknowledging everyone from Coleman Hawkins on "Coleman" (an Easley original) and Lester "The Prez" Young on "Lester Leaps In" to Charlie "Bird" Parker on "Confirmation" and "Scrapple from the Apple." Illinois Jacquet is acknowledged on Sir Charles Thompson's "Robin's Nest," while Cannonball Adderley is acknowledged on Sam Jones' "Unit 7." This 63-minute CD is heavy on overdone warhorses, but that's understandable because Hearing Voices is, in a sense, autobiographical for Easley. Hearing Voices is not only about Bird, Hawk, or the Prez's contributions to jazz in general, but also their impact on Easley. So it makes sense that he would want to include a lot of standards that have been a part of his musical life over the years. Easley, of course, is a fine saxophonist in his own right, and his excellence prevails on this 2009 release.


Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s

An extremely versatile and gifted reed player, Bill Easley's displayed a polished, forceful sound on alto, tenor and baritone saxophones; flute; and clarinet. He attended Memphis State University during the '60s, and later worked with Isaac Hayes and did sessions at Stax. Easley moved back to New York and has recorded sessions for Sunnyside and Milestone. He's played with Sir Roland Hanna, James Williams, Bill Mobley,...
Full bio
Hearing Voices, Bill Easley
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  • 9,99 €
  • Genres: Jazz, Music, Rock
  • Released: 01 September 2009

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