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Crosscurrents


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Audio CD, July 11, 1995
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

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It makes a certain, perfect sense that pianist Bill Evans would eventually enlist a pair of former Lennie Tristano collaborators to enlarge his sound. Saxophonists Lee Konitz and Warne Marsh were students of Tristano from the early 1950s, each adapting their teacher's abstract phrasing and fondness for skewed tonalities. For his part, Evans was enough of a Tristano acolyte that when the latter took his Marsh-Konitz quintet to New York for a stint at the Half Note in 1959, he asked Evans to sub for him on teaching days (check out Konitz's Live at the Half Note for evidence of this stellar group). Fast forward to Cross-currents, recorded in 1977, and you have a near-facsimile of the Half Note band, and they sound crisp and fresh when tackling both standards and somewhat unlikely--though not atypical of the band's collective stylistic sense--tracks like Steve Swallow's "Eiderdown." Evans sounds warmer than usual, perhaps because Marsh and Konitz find so much room in the world of cool tonalities and long, untempered lines. Filled with yearning and a certain heat in the band's mutual discovery, this is one of Evans's best appearances with horns. --Andrew Bartlett

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Samples
Song Title Time Price
listen  1. Eiderdown (Instrumental) 8:19Album Only
listen  2. Ev'ry Time We Say Goodbye (Instrumental) 3:31$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Pensativa 5:36$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Speak Low 6:32$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  5. When I Fall In Love 4:18$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  6. Night And Day (Instrumental) 6:06$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Eiderdown (Take 9) 5:35$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  8. Ev'ry Time We Say Goodbye (Take 7) 3:29$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  9. Night And Day (Take 9) 7:05Album Only

Product Details

  • Audio CD (July 11, 1995)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Original Jazz Classics
  • ASIN: B000000YX8
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #277,380 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

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17 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Stephen Silberman on February 16, 2001
Format: Audio CD
The problem with genius is that if you give this album five stars, what do you give the Village Vanguard sessions with Scott LaFaro and Paul Motian -- 500?
Because this is Bill Evans playing, friends, it's going to be worth five of anyone else's stars; but on his own terms -- and, frankly, and Konitz and Marsh's own terms -- it's a mediocre session that leaves this listener oddly unsettled. Konitz's astoundingly fertile lyricism sounds crimped by the arrangements here, and the horns are strangely unappealing-sounding. Evans' biographer believes that's because the horns are sharp and out of tune.
For this period in his career -- which is, alas, much less interesting than either the LaFaro or Chuck Israels periods, *or* the final trios with Marc Johnson -- Evans is giving it the old college try, playing a little brighter than he was in his by-then ruts with the otherwise fabulous Eddie Gomez. But I come away from this album depressed, rather than uplifted. Evans sounds like he's going through the motions with enthusiasm. I'd rather hear him on the terrifying edge of discovery.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Lazarus Stone on August 24, 2008
Format: Audio CD
I am so happy to have discovered this gem. It is a masterpiece. If you love piano, you're going to adore this work. Not only that, you're going to hear chord colors you have probably never heard before, and they're going to set your spirit aglow. Bill Evans is truly a MASTER of his trade, and this is one of many works that establishes him as a GIANT of jazz.

About the horns.. I would agree they sound a bit sharp.. however I would not be surprised if this was done intentionally. I know Led Zeppelin and many other greats intentionally detuned instruments by a few cents to give the music a sort of bluesy, smokey bar flavor and that may be what was intended here as well. Whatever they did, trust me, it works

Masterful
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Steven Katz on January 19, 2001
Format: Audio CD
The Bill Evans lyrical quality and versatility gains added expression with Crosscurrents as Lee Konitz adds a dimension to the Evans melodic lines that only someone who was on Bill Evans' wavelength could have mastered. It is important that this was a release that Bill Evans wanted to release during his lifetime, and therefore must have appreciated the Evans-Konitz connection on the album. This also become obvious when you compare the difference between an album like Crosscurrents and the posthumous release of Evans and Stan Getz.
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