Bill Evans

Soul Insider

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Saxophonist Bill Evans gets funky in a "jam band" way with Soul Insider, exploring grooves reminiscent of James Brown, Eddie Harris, the Meters, and Les McCann, who contributes guest vocals on two tracks. There is of course a jazz edge to much of the material, allowing Evans to blow in a manner that brings his peers Michael Brecker and Bob Mintzer to mind. While the grooving can grow monotonous over the course of the hour, there are stellar musicians to recommend the album, including organist/pianist Ricky Peterson, guitarist Dean Brown, bassists James Genus and Tim Lefebvre, and drummer Steve Jordan. Late in the program, "Older Days" breaks up the prevailing funk feel with its moody minor cadences. John Scofield's two potent guest slots, on "Gimme Some" and "Thump," keep things interesting as well, particularly on the former, where the guitar celeb trades fours with Evans' tenor. Spicing things up along the way are the "Voodoo Horns" -- Evans, trumpeter Lew Soloff, and trombonist Conrad Herwig.

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