Robben Ford and Bill Evans: The Sun Room

Expression and skill come through a somewhat polished veneer in a varied bill of jazz, blues and funk led by the renowned guitarist and saxophonist

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In 2019, veteran musicians Robben Ford and Bill Evans, joined by Keith Carlock on drums and James Genus on bass, released The Sun Room, coming as a result of Robben and Evans touring together in Japan. The Sun Room is now released for the first time as an LP, a 180g vinyl available later this year.

The opening track is titled Star Time, with Robben and Evans weaving a complex, somewhat dissonant unison melody over an uptempo rhythm. The following track, Catch A Ride, takes on a more gritty blues with Ford’s twanging, modulated guitar, but Evans’ saxophone adds a distinct jazz twist, and the track is completed with a blistering solo from Ford.

Something In The Rose is a more gentle and laid-back piece, taking a straightforward chord progression on acoustic guitar and a sparse rhythm arrangement, and adding a saxophone melody from Evans, who is then joined by a vocal chorus. The track crescendos with an overdriven solo from Ford.

By contrast, Pixies is a more classic jazz guitar composition, with Ford’s clean electric guitar playing a grooving melody alongside Evans, before each takes a solo. In contrast to both of these, Insomnia is vocally led, with some saxophone accompaniment and short passages of improvisation toward the end, with very limited guitar other than the subtle rhythm.

Fans of the two musicians will certainly enjoy The Sun Room. The album is a varied and interesting recording, and ultimately, while not as raw as some of the pair’s previous releases, the more polished sound still showcases their superb ability.

Discography
Star Time; Catch A Ride; Big Mama; Gold On My Shoulder; Pixies; Something In The Rose; Insomnia; Strange Days; Bottle Opener (55.33)
Ford (elg, g, v); Evans (s); Rob Aries (kyb); James Genus (b); Keith Carlock (d); Laurie Wheeler (v). Nashville, no date, c. 2019.
earMUSIC / 0217775EMU