Bill Stevens

Independent Artist

I wanted to say how much I enjoyed your CD. Great stuff! I really like the concept. It was refreshing to listen to.

I
wanted to say how much I enjoyed your CD. Great stuff! I really like the
concept. It was refreshing to listen to.

 

Independent Artist

Super killin, you guys all sound amazing but it's also one of those recordings where the whole is greater than the sum or the parts. Totally engaging at every level. Congrats, super job!

Taxi Critique on Thirteenth Station from the album lema sabachthani

"...attractive modal lines and the performances are excellent. I'm certainly impressed with your sterling trumpet work." - Taxi

KZSU Stanford

BILL STEVENS: Lema Sabachthani
Milesmiles, 2012

MODERN JAZZ – This wide-ranging suite in 15 parts takes trumpeter Stevens 

on a journey through Miles Davis style chromatic fusion, with a few diversions into more

straight-ahead postbop sounds. His electro-acoustic sextet has plenty of like-minded,

adventurous talent, and they keep it tight no matter where the music goes.

This is excellent work, especially on the darker-toned Disc 1.


For background, the suite was inspired by a series of abstract paintings by

Barnett Newman, who in turn was trying to relate the “stations of the cross” in the

Passion of Christ to a more universal parallel of human experience. Neither the paintings

nor this music are religious, but both have elements of yearning or contemplation.

The title comes from Jesus’ famous cry from the cross,“why have you forsaken me?”


Fo’s Picks: Disc I – 1, 3, 4, 5, 7 Disc II – 3, 4, 5 

DISC ONE

1. 12:30 – Uptempo Miles Davis fusion-funk; long solo stretches in the middle
2. 5:00 – dark fusion creep: keyboard moves gently in the gloom
3. 8:56 – solo bass intro, striding postbop w/bold optimism, even-keeled solos
4. 8:31 – slow, somber fusion w/bass clarinet: gradually rises over quiet drone
5. 9:48 – solo drums set up rolling, open postbop groove; calm piano ending
6. 4:00 – relaxed and ballad-like, short solos passed around the band
7. 6:14 – dragging pace & a very nice sound with a bluesy Miles Davis touch

DISC TWO

1. 6:10 – surprise! sort of a cheesy reggae lope with some sunny solos
2. 5:05 – upbeat fusion: chugging beat, a bit loose in the horn solos
3. 3:59 – dark marching beat, overlapping horn lines fall into catchy theme
4. 8:00 – brisk chugging pulse: trumpet drags, sax roams, guitar tweaks
5. 4:08 – relaxed acoustic piano/sax duet, a melodic pas de deux
6. 9:00 – thumping off-center beat, jabbing horns, melting keyboards, runs on
7. 5:44 – ambient crowd noise, percussion + some world-music accents
8. 8:24 – contemplative intro, flowing ballad; piano & bass solo, long ending 

[ Fo ] - May 2012

Independent Writer, Editor, Audiophile and Jazz Lover

The Music is so involving and moving. Everybody plays beautifully. The production has such wonderful sound quality in terms of instrument mix, sound stage, etc... I would love to attend a performance of this music with the paintings projected in high resolution.