Picks and Pans Review: The Alternative Man

updated 12/02/1985 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 12/02/1985 AT 01:00 AM EST

Bill Evans

Full of nervous energy and calmly exploratory solos, this is the perfect album for 3 a.m. problem pondering. Evans, the saxophonist whose sideman credits include Miles Davis' group and John McLaughlin's Mahavishnu Orchestra, plays synthesizers as well as his flute and saxes on his second LP under his own name. His solos are focused and restrained—he's not one to use 37 notes when one will do—and he rounded up a nicely compatible group of musicians for this set. Notable among them is Davis' bassist, Marcus Miller, whose loose, simmering lines run through three of the nine tracks, including the lovely Evans composition Miles Away. McLaughlin also shows up to cerebrate through a couple of tunes. One or two ideas are left unfinished on this album, and there's some tension unresolved, but on the other hand something interesting is always going on. (Blue Note)

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