Reviewer: Mark Johnson - June 22nd, 2011
Score: 4 stars
The Odd Gets Even is a collaboration of keyboardist Bill Cornish and drummer Bill Ray. Bill Cornish was a member of the band Crystal, and has opened for bands like Kansas, Joan Jett, Pat Travers, and the Romantics. He describes his music as Chill/Jazz/New Age/World Music. Bill Ray has spent years touring with Ike Turner has created an extensive discography of music, including the Grammy winning 'Risin' with the Blues'.
Together they have made a funky, groove oriented jazzy chill album with twelve tracks that are full of soul. The keyboard work and drums are truly inspired and drive the production well. Chris Hale's guest bass is a great addition to the sound, providing depth and the guitar highlights. 'Trance Dance' is an excellent opener getting things off to a fast rhythmic start. The percussion work takes songs like 'Revenge of the Odd' and 'Insomnia' to the top of the class on this album. There are great reminders of some of Steely Dan's instrumental sections running throughout the production making this a must buy for any fan of their sound set to jazzier rhythms. This is great backyard party jazz for the summer. The title track with its blistering guitar solo is one of the highlights, along with 'Noir', 'B-Side Shuffle', 'Into the Wild' and 'Jambalaya'. Heck there are no bad tracks on this album.
They do a great job laying down some groovy jazz that will fill your afternoon or evening full of rhythm.
"Revenge of the Odd"
"Objects in Motion"
"Into the Wild"
"Sign of the Times"
Reviewer: Wilbert Sostre - March, 2010
Featured Artist: The Odd Get Even
CD Title: The Odd Get Even
Record Label: Independent
Review: The Odd Get Even The Odd Get Even is a Funk/Jazz fusion collaboration between keyboardist, composer Bill Cornish and drummer Bill Ray.
The album starts with a funky track, an energetic keyboard playing by Bill Cornish and Christopher Michael Hale playing bass. On Kinetics the keyboard sound like an electric guitar and the music dance groove is reminiscent of the disco era.
On Eccentric Circles the violin sounds on keyboard is backed up with funk rhythms on drums. The track slows down with beautiful piano melodies and then goes back to the violin main theme. The keyboard sound effects on Tibetan Boogaloo are reminiscent of Tibetan Chants in a sort of psychedelic way.
Life of Leisure is a reggae with nice jazz, bluesy keyboard solos by Bill. Attention Deficit brings us back to the Rock/Jazz fusion of the 70’s with an Egyptian feel in the melodies. Anthony Sarain on sax plays the main melodies in the soul, bluesy track, Down Home. The xylophone effects on the track On the Run gives the sensation of being on a trip.
Iconoclast is another reggae with more xylophones effects on keyboards. Precipice is a gorgeous solo piano piece that proves Cornish can play slow and sensitive melodies. The last track is Psychlone, another fusion tune with an almost mystical feel.
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf - August 14th 2010
Score: 4 Stars
The Odd Get Even is a project consisting of Bill Ray (drums) and Bill Cornish (keyboards, percussion). Cornish has opened for the likes of Kansas, Pat Travers, Joan Jett, The Romantics plus many more and has released several solo albums. Ray has toured with the celebrated Ike Turner and has played at the prominent Montreux Jazz Summit in Switzerland. His 2007 album Risin' With The Blues was a recipient of a Grammy Award and he also has many albums credited to his name. The Odd Get Even mix the sounds of jazz, funk and fusion and have created a highly enjoyable album.
The album started out as improvised drum tracks upon which Cornish worked his keyboard magic. He is an excellent player and is able to generate a myriad of sounds both vintage and modern. At times the keyboards really pop reminding me of Fagan's keyboard work with Steely Dan and although the music here is quite a bit different than that band there is a smoothness to the band's sound that makes this album go down nice and easy.
The jazzy opener "Esperanto" features plenty of skillful keyboard work and the funky bass lines of guest musician Christopher Michael Hale. The next track "Kinetics" carries an element of, dare I say it, disco, particularly in the keyboards. It is totally 70s retro but quite endearing never the less. Violin keyboard sounds dominate the melodic smooth jazz of "Eccentric Circles" before the song slows down and jazzy piano noodling emerges out of the pulsating rhythms. "Attention Deficit" is tinged with a subtle Eastern melody and the drumming of Bill Ray is very good. "On the Run" and "Iconoclast" both feature xylophone keyboards with the former having a funky bass groove and the latter a subtle reggae beat. The album ends with "Psychlone" with its spacey intro and fine keyboard display.
The Odd Get Even is a solid album and should appeal to fans of jazz and fusion. I really liked it and I hope you will too.
Reviewer: Ryan Bradford - 2010Link to original article.
Remember that episode of Freaks and Geeks when the Neil Peart-obsessed kid experiences the revelatory drumming of Buddy Rich for the first time? While snobs argue about the differences between lo-fi, sh*tgaze and post-whatever, these musical veterans bust out a combination of B-movie sleaze, sexploitation and prog that can awe the most jaded hipster.
Reviewer: Ronald Jackson - 2007
CD Title: Sojourn
Record Label: This Recording
Style: Various Jazz Styles
Musicians: Bill Cornish (piano, synth, organ, percussion), Anthony Sarain (sax, flute), Filippo Bertacche (drums), Tony Rogers (cello, viola, violin), Frank Lazzaro (percussion), Rodney Zinnen (drums), CM (trumpet), Michael Tagart (violin)
Link to original article.
Bill Cornish shines here with strong synth and piano work on selections that make Sojourna truly diverse and illustrative project. It proves worthy of its boast that it’s an exercise in “cinematic storytelling” and that Cornish’s music defies easy categorization. There are strong flirts with blues, jazz, and world touches. Surprisingly for one with such rock roots (he’s a current member of a rock group known as the Thomas Connor Band and has opened for rock heavy-hitters Kansas, Steppenwolf, Joan Jett, Pat Travers, and others), no cut here hints heavily at rock at all. Believe it or not, that’s a big feat, a temptation hard to resist for many so-called crossover artists. Many have tried and have failed miserably.
So where do we go on this journey with Cornish? Well, we travel along some road to witness a Denali Sunrise in all its glory on track 5. We walk in Cairo on track 8 and witness the wails and percussion intermixed with some modern jazz sax and synth for a unique traipse. We experience the ice, the cold, the frigidity, and the wind in “Beneath the Ice”. This is a reflective, mellow, touching; oddly caressing piece that almost seeks to comfort us in the cold, in the dark. I was really quite impressed with its vividness, its imagery. Its unspoken message was loud and clear through its daunting feel. It’s followed by another gentle tune called “Fragile” with a piano lead, beckoning one to follow, if cautiously. Very serene and inviting, indeed.
Cornish blends the jazz & blues elements nicely in this melting pot of aural experiences. A unique jazz/blues/world ditty called “Maneki Neko, “New Day Dawning (Part I),” and “Olla Padrida” are great examples. Of course, the album is simply laced throughout with examples of world music at its most panoramic (to add to “Denali Sunrise/Little Susitna” and “Walking in Cairo,” there’s “Harajuku” and “The Caves By the Sea,” for example). Diverse journey? In a word, yes. Very much so and with taste and mental collages.
Tracks: Earth and Sky, Maneki Neko, New Day Dawning - Part I, New Day Dawning - Part II, Denali Sunrise/Little Susitna, Cheetah, Second Chances, Walking in Cairo, Beneath the Ice, Fragile, Olla Padrida, The Veldt, Harajuku, The Caves By The Sea
ACM: Which three tracks are your favorites from your album and why?
BC: Each song is a personal statement, so I think that you could get a completely different answer from me on a different day. But my favorites are almost always the ones that best capture the images in my head when I am writing them. Here's today's answer -
Shinto - I spent some time in Japan in the mid-90s traveling with a band. One of the highlights was visiting some of the ancient Shinto shrines there. They convey such a sense of history and peace and a connection between the natural world and the world of people. Whenever I hear that track now, it takes me back to Japan.
First Snow - This is yet another memory from traveling with my old band, Crystal. I can remember very clearly waking up in a little one room cabin where I was staying while playing in Alaska and watching a light snow start to fall outside my window. Although I didn't have that specific image in mind when I wrote it, it is image I now associate with First Snow.
Days of Summer - This one's all about the groove. Playing or listening to this one just makes me feel relaxed and upbeat like the day is full of possibilities.
ACM: How or where you get the idea/inspiration when you compose your music?
BC: I've never had a set routine that I follow. Inspiration can come from anywhere. Sometimes songs start with a chord progression, sometimes with a sound that takes me off in a different direction.
ACM: How do you define your music? Or what would you want the listener to get from them?
BC: I've always resisted categorizing my solo work. It definitely crosses the boundaries between new age and jazz. But like most musicians, I'm influenced by everything around me so there are a lot of bits and pieces of other genres in there as well. When people ask me to describe "Horizons" I usually say that it's an eclectic mix of jazz, new age, world and orchestral. Instrumental music is different from a lot of pop music in that its meaning is less concrete. The listener plays a more active role in what the piece ends up meaning to them. The main thing any form of art has to do is touch your emotions. If I can make the listener feel something, then I'm successful.
ACM: Tell us about yourself a bit, how do you start as a musician?
BC: I started out playing organ when I was young and later switched over to piano and synths. In high school I played violin in the orchestra and piano in the jazz band. After high school I have always been in at least one band. I took a 12 year hiatus from my original career direction as a programmer to make my living playing in a rock band called Crystal. We spent about a third of the time traveling on the road.
ACM: What does make you different than other musicians?
BC: I think that I'm a little less genre oriented than a lot of people. I just like exploring. Although in live situations, I've been in more rock projects than anything else, I'm interested in almost every kind of music.
ACM: What do you proud of from your music experience?
BC: I got to make my living playing music for quite a while. That was a special time having my life having career aligned with something that was important to me instead of just showing up from 8 to 5 at an office somewhere.
Plus, over the years I've opened shows and played with some interesting people - Kansas, Steve Lukather, Zakk Wylde, Skunk Baxter. John Elephante from Kansas sang backups on some Crystal releases. Jerry Goodman from the Dregs played violin on a couple tracks of my current band's album.
ACM: Who are your admired musicians?
BC: I'm not good at picking favorites. As far as keyboardists, the players who really blow my mind are people like Chick Corea and Herbie Hancock. In general, what grabs me is any musician who pours their soul into their music and goes their own direction. In terms of influences, I grew up listening to prog-rock keyboardists like Kerry Livgren and a lot of the old CTI jazz artists like Deodato and Bob James.
ACM: On your private time, what kind of music you would like to listen to?
BC: I listen to a wide variety. Rock, jazz, classical, film scores, a lot of world music. Also a lot of Indie artists. There is an amazing amount of great music out there most of which will never be heard on traditional radio.
ACM: What is your goal as a musician?
BC: To create interesting music. To touch people's emotions.
ACM: Are you currently working on the new album? What is your plan or do you have anything in mind for the next album?
BC: I'm planning on having a new CD out late this summer. It's tentatively called "Fragile." It will be similar to "Horizons" in that it runs that gamut of styles from ambient to jazz-fusion. Sometimes the variety throws people, but the albums that I personally enjoy the most are the ones that a ren't restrained to going in only one direction for an hour. "Fragile" will also feature more guest musicians than I've used previously.
Reviewer: DJ Come of Age - 2005
Link to original article.
Horizons by Bill Cornish is a hidden
gem. A longtime fan of jazz, this is my testimony that beautiful music and freeform expression
are alive and doing rather well. Cornish's sound is very mellow, soothing and peaceful. Initial
impressions will have one comparing him to the jazz greats of old. His delivery in melody is
flawless, and timing presented on tracks such as Precis and Song for Tracey will
garner a smile or two.
In a world replete with commercial influence, it's comforting to witness originality and nouveau melody in one package. I applaud Bill Cornish for this marvelous work. If you're a fan of jazz or seek the eclectic in sound, lend this an ear. It easily garnered my attention and is nothing short of brilliant!
Reviewer: Derick Winterberg - 2004
Some scientists say that the very landscapes around us can be converted into musical phrases. To prove this point Bill Cornish transports us into a world of musical mountains and valleys, rivers and oceans. The very cover of Horizons reflects the depth to which we are taken in this musical journey. Although many of these songs tend to be a bit on the longish side with the title track itself coming in at 7:52, it's not an undertaking that you'll regret. It will, however, help you clear your mind and soul of the drudgery of daily life. This album goes perfectly with a hot bath, candles and a glass of wine. The album opens with the gentle flutes of the song Precis which, about a minute in, quickens the pace with strong percussion and synth work. We then get into the title track, Horizons with it's native sounding rhythms and beat. As I stated before, this song clocks in at over seven minutes long but how else would you do justice to something as wide as the world's horizon itself? The Days of Summer follows with a more up-tempo beat that may actually have you boppin' your head a bit.
"Two roads diverged in a wood
And I took the one less traveled by
And that has made all the difference"
With it's eerily provocative melody, The Road Less Traveled evokes the spirit of these words by Robert Frost. The sensation of discovering something unexpected from taking a chance in life is as good an advertisement for this album than anything any copywriter could come up with.
Having spent a year in Alaska I feel that I'm qualified to comment on the song, The Last Frontier. Again, Bill uses the sounds of Native Americans to convey the feeling of being in this unspoiled territory. The song builds in tempo as every mile through the tundras is more spectacular than the last, with the majesty of tremendous mountain ranges and the creeping giants of glaciers creating a landscape that no human mind or hand could have envisioned. On the next song Bill definately does a little swinging with the tune Ten 'Till Ten with guitar work provided by Grady McGrew. The album concludes with the song Shinto, refering to a Japanese religion that is characterized by veneration of nature spirits and ancestors. A very appropriate finish for an album that is itself a loving tribute to the discovered and undiscovered beauty of the world we currently populate.
Is Horizons a little off of the beaten path? Perhaps. Should that deter you from discovering the beauty that lies within its digital codes of 1's and 0's? Certainly not. Do yourself a favor and take a journey to the unknown and at the end of that journey you can say to yourself, "And that has made all the difference."
Reviewer: Sheldon T. Nunn - 04-20-2004
Link to original article.
One of the more stimulating aspects surrounding jazz as an art form is the music's ability to stimulate the intuitive spirit that comes from within. For the most part, creativity plays a primary role in that process. What begins as an idea that is etched in sound activated energy, does somehow become a tapestry of colorful melodies and harmonic rhythms. At various times during an artist's career, he or she is able to pull every creative dynamic into a cornucopia of improvised influences. One CD in particular entitled Horizons by pianist Bill Cornish, every ingredient that allows a musician to delve into the creative spirit coming from within has definitely manifested itself.
For the most part, Horizons is a very difficult recording to classify. Not that it is irregular in approach, the CD flows aesthetically and fluidly from one style of jazz into the other. What is even more apparent is the level of imagination Bill Cornish exhibits in making this release a reality. At first glance, Bill begins his journey into sound with an expedition into synthesized harmonics. The first track Precis is definitely along those lines of influence. That tune provides a vintage view of new age stylized techno panoramics. From that point on, the CD exhibits a multi-faceted view of Bill's creative ideas, which is the real reason why classifying the recording becomes rather difficult. While listening to this release, the feel of contemporary melodies, generous grooves and improvised effervescence are very apparent. Horizons is an album that allows for spontaneity, mesmerizing harmonies and a qualitative perspective in getting the message across to his listeners. Collectively, these ingredients can be found in new age, contemporary and smooth styles. Cornish makes life interesting by including all three of these approaches in making a personalized 14-track statement.
Horizons is a nice piece of work, as well as a warm listening experience. The CD appeals to the innermost processes that allows jazz to be an artistic endeavor. With this release, Bill Cornish has painted a jazzscape into sound that is most pleasing to the ear. In approach, there is a formula that allows the intuitive spirit to come from within, which is truly the stuff of jazz in all of its wonderful flavors. Make no mistake about it, this is a true indication of a genre that has evolved and re-invented itself any number of times over the last 100 years. Bill Cornish may well be one of the primary influences carrying the genre to even greater heights during the 21st century. In the mean time, Horizons is a major step in that direction.