WTJU's Aer Stephen talks with Bill Evans
for a "Soulgrass" exclusive feature
on Folk & Beyond
Thursday, February 8th at 6PM
Left of Cool, with Larry Minnick
Wednesday, February 21st, 11AM
Fresh from a sold out week long stand at New York City's premier jazz club, "The Blue Note", and a short jaunt to Russia,
will bring his 'Soulgrass' band to Charlottesville on Wednesdy, February 21st, at the Gravity Lounge. Not to be confused with the deceased great piano player, or the banjo player, this sax playing Bill Evans has twice been nominated for a Grammy and an innovator and master musician in his own right. Having been referred to as "the Flecktones on steroids", the Soulgrass project is touring the States. Bill has toured Europe extensively for years, but has rarely toured in the United States.
Sam Bush and Bill Evans at the Blue Note, January 2007
Bill Evans first joined miles Davis group at the age of 22 in 1980. He went on to record 6 records with Davis, as well as tour the world with him many times over a 4 year period. The stint with Davis was followed by 3 years with John McLaughlin and the Mahavishnu Orchestra that went on to tour and record 3 CDs.
Since his tenure with Davis and McLaughlin, Bill has recorded and toured with Herbie Hancock, Lee Ritenour, Dave Grusin, Mick Jagger, to name but a few.
Bill has been touring almost exclusively with his own band since 1990, playing well over 100 concerts per year worldwide, and has produced, arranged and recorded 14 solo CDs as a leader. His 2001 release 'Soul Insider' which featured Les McCann on vocals, received a Grammy nomination.
The follow up to 'Soul Insider' was the highly acclaimed 2002 release 'Big Fun' featuring McCann and Willie Nelson. Bill has been quoted as saying he has a 'short attention span' and a 'thirst for something new and inspiring'.
Bill has been known to record hip-hop, acoustic groove, and Americana flavored jazz that included guest appearances by Willie Nelson (whom Evans has recorded and played with numerous times over the years) Bruce Hornsby, John Scofield, Hiram Bullock etc.
Bill's latest recording called 'Soulgrass' is a blend of Bluegrass, jazz, and Americana soul. It features the steller cast of Bela Fleck on banjo, Sam Bush on mandolin, Jerry Douglass on Dobro, Bruce Hornsby on piano, Victor Wooten bass, Vinny Colaiuta on drums. Bill recorded the CD in Nashville.
Bill also co-leads a band called the Randy Brecker/Bill Evans Soulbop band that have released a live double CD called Bill Evans/Randy Brecker and Soulbop 'live'. They have also toured extensively with 'Soulbop' when not touring with their own band.
[Reproduced here with permission.]