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Bill Evans: Starfish & The Moon

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Eminently listenable but bubbling with cool moods and grooves, this acoustic project finds Evans soaring on soprano and tenor, supported by bassist James Genus, drummer Vinnie Colaiuta, percussionist Arto Tuncboyacian, keyboardist Jim Beard, and guitarists Adam Rogers and John Herington of Lost Tribe.

Slippery and slinky due to some effective slide guitar work paired with a simple folk-like melody, “Something In the Rose,” an Evans original, conjures an ancient atmosphere that contrasts markedly to the title track, a collaboration with Beard that percolates with Tuncboyacian’s hand drumming. “Whiskey Talk” and “Red Dog” provide funky relief, both vehicles for the leader’s gutsy tenor tendencies (the latter features a searing electric solo by Rogers). And Beard takes a fluid piano solo during “Big Blue Hat,” which mines an Afro-Cuban vein. The remaining material is equally consistent, with happening grooves and measured but dynamic improvisations. Killer work of a different sort.