Bill Evans & Robben Ford "Common Ground" - the album of the week


Bill Evans & Robben Ford "Common Ground" - the album of the week
70-year-old Californian Robben Ford has played with colleagues such as Chick Corea, Miles Davis, Joni Mitchell and Kiss over the years. And now a formidable jazz/rock album with Bill Evans: "Common Ground"

Bill Evans & Robben Ford's "Common Ground" - the album of the week

Is that jazz or rock? Both - and in fact a formidable fusion of two stars of the scene: guitarist Robben Ford and saxophonist Bill Evans recorded an enthrallingly fluid work with celebrity colleagues such as Keith Carlock and Darryl Jones. Bill Evans & Robben Ford "Common Ground" is our rhythmically valuable album, which also scores with class sound.

Jazz is a wide field with many facets. Very many, we know that. And even more protagonists who have been promoting, expanding, changing or revolutionizing this wonderful musical language for well over a century. From New Orleans and Chicago to Latin or hard bop areas, to free or acid jazz. Or has been listening to for a long time: Jazz-Rock - in addition to other genre departments, also the ideal playground for the Grammy-nominated US musicians Bill Evans and Robben Ford, saxophone players and guitarists with high performance sovereignty plus a creative vita, who sit up and take notice and lists colleagues like Mick Jagger, Herbie Hancock, Chick Corea, Joni Mitchell - or Miles Davis.

Bill Evans: "Every once in a while, like-minded musicians manage to get together in the studio or on the same stage and create interesting music together. It is the blending of each other's influences and styles and the will to create something new and fresh that can make this 'creative meeting' special. I think Robben and I share the same ideology. We both love all kinds of music, be it classic blues, soul, rock 'n' roll, you name it. This open-mindedness to combine different styles of music and to create something musical and at the same time special is what brought me and Robben together in the first place. He composed some of the most inspirational pieces I've played in a long time. Our compositional styles flow seamlessly into each other. “There doesn’t seem to be a strict set of rules. "It's unknown territory without any guarantees."

Bill Evans & Robben Ford "Common Ground" - the album of the week

Robben Ford: “Bill and I have worked together quite a bit over the last few years. We also had the rare pleasure... to record with Rolling Stones bassist Darryl Jones, who has a history of his own with Bill and I playing with Miles Davis as well as many others. It is always a great and long-awaited pleasure to work with some of the best musicians on today's scene...".

The right musicians with the same vision. "Darryl Jones and Keith Carlock are just that kinds of musicians... They have that certain something that sets them apart from many others. Their histories read like a who's who of music - they've played with Miles Davis, Sting, Madonna, Herbie Hancock, The Rolling Stones to name a few." I would also like to mention Steely Dan, whose drummer Keith Carlock is touring with.

Oh yes. One was there too. Max Mutzke, the German hope at the "Eurovision Song Contest" took eighth place in the cross-country effect show in 2004. The soul/pop singer was at least one musical ray of light among a few at the time. And today, the native of Baden-Württemberg maintains first-class international contacts. For example with Bill Evans. “When I was a little boy, I went to Bill Evans concerts with my father. I've listened to his music over and over. Bill has always been a musical inspiration for me.” But the story goes even further: “Now he's my boyfriend and that's an incredible joy for me. What a great person. Now, at his request, I'm singing a song on his album with Robben Ford. It's a dream come true," exults Max.

The music of Bill Evans & Robben Ford's "Common Ground"

The audio engineering did a great job in the Southern Ground and Compass Studios in Nashville, as well as in the mixing and mastering: The sound image radiates with true colors in a three-dimensional room ambiance, and fine resolution, pressure, and drive are just as right. Produced by Bill Evans and Clifford Carter (Bruce Springsteen, Art Garfunkel, Paul Simon, Linda Ronstadt), who also played piano and organ on the title track.

Max Mutzke embellishes "Common Ground" with his sonorous, relaxed soul voice in a beautifully velvety way. The groove is relaxed, and saxophone and piano dabs accompany casually. Cool. "Dennis The Menace" spices things up with a jagged, bitchy saxophone in dialogue with Ford's electric guitar. upsetting thing. "Stanley", on the other hand, sneaks up cautiously, purrs, and gets lost in cleverly staged sax and string gimmicks, while "Crabshaw Don't Care" discreetly gets down to the funk and "Hearts Of Havana" keeps the mood going for eight minutes sunny flow, including dazzling saxophone passages and loose, fluffy percussion, creates an entertaining pleasure.

Robben Ford: “I feel that the music we present here is 'fresh' both in composition and performance. All musicians are versatile, have real talent for improvisation and also have a strong sense of groove. These are qualities that really make you want to play!” The man is undoubtedly right.

Bill Evans & Robben Ford "Common Ground" - the album of the week

Bill Evans & Robben Ford featuring Darryl Jones, and Keith Carlock with "Common Ground" will be released by MPS - Edel / Kontor New Media as CD, double LP, or as stream and MP3 download, e.g. at

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