The Prog Mind Reviews Moments of Light and Dark

I've been meaning to share this lovely album from Bill Cornish for some time. This is a gorgeous New Age affair with lots of delicious synth and interesting world music twists. There isn't a weak track on the album. I have found myself putting this on while I work just to bask in its ambience.

Sea of Tranqulity Reviews Nonverbal Behaviors

The (cleverly named) Odd Get Even is a funky jazz-fusion collaboration between Chicago-based keyboardist Bill Cornish and Seattle-based drummer Bill Ray, and Nonverbal Behaviors is the duo’s fifth album. This lively collection features eight songs, which began life as Ray’s improvised drum tracks. Cornish then built arrangements and added musical details. Along the way, this fluid album features guests on guitar (Bruce Williams on “Travels”), trumpet and saxes (Mitch “The Lip” Goldman and Robbert-Jan Zanvoort, respectively, on the vintage Chicago-influenced “Shakti”) and trombone (Victor Fuenmayor on “South Loop Hustle”).

No two songs sound alike, and the duo takes listeners from the smooth funk of opening track “Spark” to the spooky and cinematic “Visionquest” to the groovy “South Loop Hustle” and its Windy City jazz vibe. Lovers of instrumental jazz fusion with flair will dig Nonverbal Behaviors. And for casual fusion fans, the album clocks in at a solid 35 minutes -- long enough to appreciate The Odd Get Even’s musical dexterity without losing interest.

Sea of Tranqulity Reviews Gratitude

We last heard from keyboardist Bill Cornish in 2019 with the release of his excellent album Waking Dreams. Well, he’s back with a follow up album titled Gratitude. Of course Cornish’s keyboards and piano are all over the album but he lets all the musicians beside him shine as there are tremendous solo spots throughout the album’s thirteen tracks.

Gratitude is a very accessible jazz/fusion album and the opening track “Zócalo” is very melodic with rousing feel good grooves and excellent sax, trumpet, synth and guitar solo spots. Everything flows so naturally and there is never a sense of showboating, especially since the melody is always close at hand. Next is the more restrained and slightly funky “Say What?” which includes a smoking sax solo from Joe Difiore. Cornish brings it down a little more with a couple of mellower tracks, the lovely “Gratitude” which includes another sublime sax solo, this time from Marius Trapp, and the smooth “Warm House On A Cold Day” featuring Cornish’s inviting piano work and, you guessed it, another fine sax solo courtesy of Robbert-Jan Zandvoort. The easy going “Serenidade” and the keyboard heavy “Echidna” are more excellent tracks. Cornish really makes his present felt on the latter, an up-tempo number that has a retro ‘70s flair. The next couple of tracks, “Snow Dance” and “Restless Sands” feature the violin work of Jessie Morgan and Maria Grig, who also adds cello. Both are slightly darker in tone, invoking a wistfulness that is easily felt.

Gratitude is another fine album from Mr. Cornish, very easy on the ears with finely crafted melodies and superb musicianship. As such, this one comes highly recommended.

Smooth Jazz Ride Reviews Gratitude

With a heavy shot of eclecticism, pianist/keyboardist Bill Cornish embraces the irresistible feel and mood of funk, c-jazz, fusion, Latin, swing and even classical in the form of a beautiful up-tempo waltz-like number on this new release 𝘎𝘳𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘵𝘶𝘥𝘦. I, for one, am full of gratitude for the refreshingly unique blend of melodies that sing to your heart and your entire musical sense of being.

Placing an emphasis on the voice of the piano/keys/synth as it should be heard on a journey like this with an arena like your ears, Cornish makes a bold and pointed statement about the beauty of music as a whole.

There’s much to enjoy here, from the high-mucin’, driving, Hammond-laced lead track “Zόcalo” to the funky, mid-tempo thickness of “Say What?” to the Latin-tinged title track to that wonderful classical gem I mentioned earlier titled “Snow Dance” to the journey back to Swingland with “Swang Thang” to the rather worldly appeal of “Afterimage,” and all points in between. A genuine work of diverse art with some abstract pieces and some conventional work. It’s all worth the ride.

For those of you who aren’t sure if you are familiar with Cornish’s work, you may recall him opening for the likes of Steppenwolf, Joan Jett, Kansas, Foghat and others noted in the classic rock era. His taste for the “mixed bag” groove has since driven him under the wide umbrella of c-Jazz and its cohorts. It’s turned out to be a happy home for him and a great addition for jazzers.

Settle back and let this wave of eclecticism take you on an unforgettable adventure.

Sea of Tranquility Reviews Waking Dreams

Bill Cornish is a name I have been familiar with a few years now having reviewed his solo album Kaleidoscope and some of his work in his fusion band The Odd Get Even. His new disc is titled Waking Dreams and will be a delightful listen for fans of melodic jazz.

The opening track “Zephyr” features only Cornish on piano, synth and percussion. The keyboards float along in tasteful fashion as the sound remains crisp and ultimately relaxing. A Latin feel can be heard on “Palapa” with its rollicking piano and world flavoured percussion. The excellent organ solo is an album highlight. “Catamaran” is another laid back piece, very catchy and featuring some great saxophone courtesy of Ian East. The funky groove in “Incognito” and its wonderful flute and sax solos, again laid down by East and the mesmerizing cosmic-like “Axial Tilt” where the huge drum sound reminded me of Gabriel’s Security album are more album highlights.

Cornish proves he is an exceptional keyboardist with Waking Dreams. Anyone into the melodic side of jazz would do well to give this one some spins. It will be well worth your time.

Smooth Jazz Ride Reviews Waking Dreams

The very prolific pianist/keyboardist Bill Cornish is most impressive not just as a c-jazz artist but as one who incorporates so many other genres in his music (e.g., rock, funk, orchestral, and World fusion) in his projects. He is also a member of the fusion group The Odd Get Even. So, to say the man embraces music in general would certainly be clearly stating the obvious. Add to that the manner in which he applies such eclecticism to his material, as is the case on his latest release Waking Dreams, and you’ve got the consummate musician and some very impressive work.

Cornish wears diversity like a second skin. There’s the lead track “Zephyr,” a smooth and melodic number that just saunters along with an air of silkiness. Add in the saucy and rhythmic Latin-flavored “Palapa,” the funk-driven “Incognito,” the cosmic/World air of “Axial Tilt,” the tender, sweet, and bluesy “In A Secret Place,” the fusion mix of jazz, blues, and rock in an up-tempo experience called “Quatro De Mayo,” the Latin-laced “Pura Vida,” the celestial “Color of Light,” a taste of Asian exoticism with “Fujiyama,” and the appropriately-titled “The Next Chapter” — a sweet, expressive, and reflective short track that serves as a sort of “see you later with another journey on another album” kind of statement — and more, and you’ve got a great and colorful musical collage.

I’m sure that Cornish prides himself on being able to express himself via so many genres in such a diverse and passionate manner. You would do well to avail yourself of this rich adventure in music.

Sea of Tranquility Reviews Oddio

The Odd Get Even is an American fusion duo consisting of Bill Cornish (keyboards, seaboard, voice, assorted noisemakers) and Bill Ray (drums). Guest guitarist Bruce Williams appears on one track. I first became familiar with the band after reviewing their debut self-titled effort released in 2009. I also reviewed their 2014 release Happy Critters. The band recently released their fourth album titled Oddio.

The duo continues their brand of jazz rock and funky sounds, creating another melodic and smooth sounding fusion album. A funky beat underlies the catchy "A Spanish Rose by Any Other Name". The tempo is upbeat with melodic keyboard soloing all over the place. The electric piano chords in "Return to Babylon" have a Steely Dan vibe and guest guitarist Bruce Williams adds lightly hued background guitar giving depth to the soundscape. Keyboard and guitar solos follow suit. "Terminal Velociraptor" boasts a heavy funky groove whereas a lighter touch is displayed on the catchy "Floating in Space" as well as on the lovely "Anthem" with the smooth keyboard solos soaring to new heights. "Red Dragon" ends the disc on a heavier note as the drums and keyboards really get a workout before a delicate and softer touch is displayed half way through.

Fans of melodic fusion with a heavy emphasis on keyboards will probably want to check this out.

Sea of Tranquility Reviews Soliloquy

Already known for his time with jazz and fusion outfits Crystal and Giant Shadows, keyboard player Bill Cornish has gathered together an album's worth of material that didn't fit with his other outfits, and fashioned the band Reason's Edge. Soliloquy is the act's debut, Cornish heading down a slightly rockier path than he's been known for in recent times, a west coast meeting a poppy, jazz-rock meld, the results. Cornish also adds vocals, his enthusiastic efforts, while never going to go down in history as a classic performance, certainly conveying the vivacious approach of the music.

Also credited with keyboards and programming, there's no doubt this album is Cornish's baby and yet the collection of drummers and percussionists that bring their undoubted talents are a huge reason for the success of Soliloquy. Between them Ike Turner drummer Bill Ray, Will Jones and Ron Wikso play on half of the ten tracks presented, while percussionist Javier Perez brings his magic touch to "Voices". Credit however must also go to Cornish for his programming, for while his drummers do him proud, the natural sounding beats elsewhere on the album are thoroughly convincing and engaging. "Changes" especially drawing you in with its popping snare and interesting dynamics. Although the same can be said for the song itself, the album's protagonist utilising strings, sitar and all other manner of effects to get his smooth message across. It's a feature oft repeated, the funky thrum of "Snake Oil" a shimmering stab of horns (courtesy of Jon Attel on sax), while Mike Hackbert brings a trumpet sheen to the enigmatic echo of "Voices".

The mood ebbs from upbeat good times, to introspective grooves, hints of Latin flavours and jazz sprinkled throughout, although with the piercing guitar and piano sounds of "Reflections", Cornish can also do uplifting introspection. Lyrically, "Angry Man", which opens with some instantly recognisable voices from current world events, sums Soliloquy up well, an extremely sideways, if still insightful, look at the world we live in the order of the day. Although the 'message' at no point makes any effort to overshadow the musical structures expertly laid out.

Sitting somewhere between the more jazz fuelled side of Toto and the less obtuse output of Steely Dan, Reason's Edge proves to be a hugely engaging, and gently challenging prospect. That it's also an accessible and memorable journey is where Soliloquy really wins out, an instantly eye catching set of songs constructed in such a way that little nuances and subtleties are revealed with every subsequent re-listen. Oh and I should also mention that Cornish's keyboard work is superb throughout, his deftness of touch equaled, when the need arises, by his exuberant attack. Allowing this excellent side-project to really shine. Maybe there's a chance Reason's Edge will become Cornish's main focus? We can only hope!

IndieMunity Reviews Happy Critters

The Odd Get Even is a collaborative project between Bill Cornish and Bill Ray, two remarkably talented performers. Cornish has made a name for himself in recent years with excellent instrumental records such as 2013's 'Kaleidoscope,' an album that highlighted his keyboard skills accented by a top notch backing band. Ray has been touring as a professional drummer for years; his discography is extensive and includes a Grammy-winning record. On 2014's 'Happy Critters,' the two combined their skills to record an album that's quite funky and fresh.

If you've dabbled at all in Cornish's discography, then 'Happy Critters' won't be entirely foreign to you. It has elements of 'Kaleidoscope,' the album he put out a year prior. With that said, the inclusion of Ray into the mix provides a stark contrast to his previous work. The two combine into a magnificent force of instrumental strength unlike anything I've heard.

If the music that you're writing (or improvising) includes percussion, your recording or performance is only going to be as good as your percussionist. A good drummer makes a world of difference and that element of a solid record is often overlooked. Ray isn't a flashy drummer, but man, he's on fire on this record. Listen to the song 'No Borders' and ignore the prominent electric guitar riffing, synthesizers, and organ. Behind that is an unbelievably fantastic drum track. Every song is like that in its own regard.

While still excellent, Cornish's studio work felt a bit like quality backdrop music to me. It didn't throw itself into the middle of the road to stop me in my tracks. 'Happy Critters' enamors me in that sense, because it absolutely does. That great percussion backing grouped with the zany and funky keyboard performances results in a mesmerizing listening experience. I love it, and in my opinion, that culminates in tracks like 'Ocean Breeze,' my personal favorite on the album.

'Happy Critters' is so well done; I can't emphasize that enough. It's the best indie instrumental record I've reviewed in months and is a poignant statement about the status of good instrumental jamming: it's alive and well. Cornish and Ray are an irresistible match made in heaven.

Sea of Tranquility Reviews Happy Critters

The Odd Get Even is a fusion project of just two musicians; Bill Cornish (keyboards, percussion) and Bill Ray (drums). Cornish has toured with numerous bands and artists including Kansas, Pat Travers, Joan Jett, The Romantics and many others. Ray won a Grammy with his album Risin' with the Blues and has played with many musicians including Ike Turner. Guest musician Mike James adds guitar on the last two tracks.

They released their self-titled debut in 2009 which was followed by Objects in Motion in 2010. Their new album Happy Critters is the subject of this review.

Happy Critters is an amalgamation of fusion, jazz rock and funk filled with great melodies and excellent musicianship. The album's first track "Chill Pill" is a funky jazz rock tune with a Steely Dan vibe and great keyboard work. "Contusion" hits the mark with an excellent fusion inspired guitar solo and trippy keyboards whereas "No Borders" features outstanding organ and a cool synth solo. For a slice of the blues try the sultry "Greasy Spoon" oozing with piano and mind bending keyboards while the duo twist and turn their way through the introspective and jazzy "Stumbling Toward Nirvana", the album's longest track at over ten minutes. Big organ and keyboard fills, excellent guitar work from Mike James and a fusion soundscape that should delight fans of the genre.

Happy Critters is ideally suited for fans of fusion and jazz rock. The melodies, level of musicianship and overall musicality here is hard to deny. An excellent four stars it is.

IndieMunity Reviews Kaleidoscope

In this review we're going to rewind to 2013, back to the release of 'Kaleidoscope,' a record that the accomplished keyboardist Bill Cornish put out. The record is an eclectic collection of instrumental music that boasts a wide variety of influences. Cornish describes the album as one that will appeal to fans of jazz, new age, and contemporary world fusion music. 'Kaleidoscope' is a power outing of that musical cocktail.

Though Cornish is only on the keys for the majority of the record, he's surrounded himself with one of the strongest session bands I've heard in quite some time. Guitarist Eric Davies bounces between jazz, blues, and rock riffs all in one song. This music is the definition of 'fusion' music and that becomes abundantly apparent from the start with the terrific 'Cruise Control.'

Given that it is Cornish's record, listeners may find that the more sparse tracks are actually the most rewarding. The jazz-influenced 'Solitude' showcases Cornish as a masterful performer. It's a hauntingly beautiful ballad that lets him shine in his solidarity. As soon as you're comfortable with the sound, however, the band switches it up and before you know it, you're knee deep in a world-fusion jam like 'Left Coast' with a brass section.

That may be what makes 'Kaleidoscope' better than its independent instrumental counterparts: it's so diverse. The inherent problem with instrumental albums is that you don't want the music to become stale or repetitive. That's a challenge for many performers, usually because eleven or twelve tracks in the same genre highlighting the same instrument can easily blur together. As a result of such a variety of influences and a stellar backing band, though, 'Kaleidoscope' avoids this pothole.

Smooth Jazz Ride Reviews Kaleidoscope

Keyboardist Bill Cornish has stepped forward with another fine project full of creativity, imagination, and diversity. Walking along the paths of fusion and World music, Bill Cornish. Kaleidoscope is as its name suggests - a project of changing colors and patterns.

From the fiery, driving lead track, "Cruise Control," to the cool island feel of "Sidewinder" with its melodic vibe presence and solidly integrated fusion moments (an excellent example of how Cornish changes the pattern and mood mid-song, capturing a little of this and a little of that) to the interesting odyssey called "Five Sides to Every Story" to the captivating Caribbean-tinged dance he calls "Left Coast," and on through the other well-conceived and performed tracks found here, Cornish does a wonderful job of engaging listeners of varying tastes. For example, in addition to the tracks I've mentioned, a must-hear is the gritty, funky jam called "A Little Bit O Funk." I would ordinarily say that the song title is appropriate but, in this case, it actually understates the amount and intensity of the funk found here. Check out Cornish's synthesized B3 organ action on this track. Mean.

The album even has an air of mystique about it as the flautist who provides a certain soothing warmth on "Left Coast" and "Waltz for San Carlos" chooses to remain anonymous. Intriguing, to say the least.

This album embraces and, in a sense, pays homage to the desires of those artists in the genre who are always looking deeper within for more of that coloring-outside-the-lines approach. It's what keeps many contemporary jazz fans solidly in the corner of the genre. It strikes me as a somewhat humble, unassuming project that hits hard and effectively. Two thumbs up.

All About Jazz - Take Five with Bill Cornish

Meet Bill Cornish:
In addition to producing solo CDs, which are an eclectic blend of jazz, funk, orchestral, and world fusion, Bill Cornish is also the keyboardist for the jazz-rock fusion project The Odd Get Even.

From the early '80s through the mid '90s, Cornish was the keyboardist for Crystal, a band where he spent 12 years touring throughout the United States and Japan. During that time, Bill Cornish opened for artists like Kansas, Steelheart, Joan Jett, Steppenwolf, Firehouse, The Romantics, Pat Travers, and many others.


Teachers and/or influences?
Big influences on my playing are Eumir Deodato, Jan Hammer, and Bob James.

Your dream band:
I have a hard time staying within one genre. My dream band would be a groove-oriented jazz group with Middle Eastern, Indian, and African influences. It would balance composition and improvisation with a rock attitude and be backed by a horn section and percussion. Maybe a violinist and a cellist; I'm not sure why have a hard time finding that.

Road story: Your best or worst experience:
Best experiences: getting to share the stage and jam with some talented musicians like Steve Lukather, Zack Wylde, and Skunk Baxter. Also, being inspired by the many talented people I've been fortunate to be in projects with.

Humourous: Dragging one half of Milli Vinilli on stage to sing. Showing up with a jazz band at a venue that wanted to hear metal. Showing up with a hard rock band at a venue expecting a '50s revue.

Worst: Being stranded on the side of the road in the 80s because the equipment truck broke down - sadly not an unusual occurrence. Once, the transmission went out while we were crossing through Donner Pass in the middle of winter. Fortunately, no cannibalism ensued.

Favorite venue:
Back when I was living in San Diego my favorite room was Anthology - just a class presentation across the board. Unfortunately it is closed down now. Humphrey's was also a big favorite and one I got to play quite a bit.

What do you think is the most important thing you are contributing musically?
A refusal to focus on only one kind of music.

CDs you are listening to now:
George Duke, Dream Weaver (Heads Up International, 2013);
Jazziz, Fall Into (Jazziz, 2005);
Billy Cobham, Alivemuthaforya (Columbia, 1978).

Desert Island picks:
If I ever get stranded on a desert island but somehow manage to have access to power so that I can listen to music, I would hope that I have my iPod with me so that I don't have to pick and choose. I don't do well without variety.

What is in the near future?
My fusion project with drummer Bill Ray, The Odd Get Even, is releasing our third album early next year. I am also working with several Chicago-based groups on new recordings for 2014.

What song would you like played at your funeral?
Something grooving and happy with a lot of gratuitous soloing.

Sea of Tranquility Reviews Stories Without Words

You have to hand it to musicians like American multi-instrumentalist Bill Cornish who choose to release albums that don't just rely on one particular style of music. Cornish, who's primary instrument is piano and keyboards, prefers to branch out in as many different directions as possible in order to showcase his diverse musical influences, and his latest release Stories Without Words is no exception.

Like the title implies Stories Without Words is an all instrumental affair and the fourteen tracks served up here range from up tempo funk and R&B, jazz, with elements of classical and world music thrown in as well. Cornish handles most of instruments himself although some songs do feature additional accompaniment performed by a few guest musicians. The album is a seamless balance of bouncy, up tempo tracks and quieter more introspective sounding compositions. The opening cut "Spectral Dancers" along with "Chi-Town Funk" and "Ikimasho" are highlighted not only by their shimmering arrangements, but also by the infectious melodies that remain with the listener long after the songs have finished. However, as much as I enjoyed these buoyant, feel good sounding cuts, the big payoff for this listener was definitely the aforementioned other half of the album, or the more tranquil tracks. "Sunset Cliffs" is a gorgeous piece of music that features a superb, contemplative piano performance, amid an expansive string arrangement that is complimented by the slow burn of the emotional guitar solo that runs throughout. There is no mention of guitars anywhere within the credits of Stories Without Words, so one can only assume that this is Cornish spinning his magic once again. The one-two combination of "The Lake Effect", on which guest musician Joanne Campbell lends some heartfelt violin playing, and "What We Leave Behind", a sparse but highly effective composition containing some fantastic electronic atmospherics, definitely came across as high-points for this reviewer. Other tracks in this vein that are worthy of mention include "Winter, Diamond Lake" and the sparkling final track "Stark".

Stories Without Words is an absolutely stellar listening experience from beginning to end. If you've yet to discover the deep and richly rewarding music of Bill Cornish, then this album is great place to start.

Inner Visions makes a Producers Top 10 of 2011 list

Bill Cornish - Inner Visions (Cornish) Bill Cornish is a pianist who has a varied musical background in Rock, World and Jazz music. His self-release is marvelously eclectic and very stimulating ranging from solo piano to rhythmic ensembles. It's a joyful work and available on line at his website or from CDBaby.com.


Comments, inquiries, diatribes, complaints, etc can be mailed to --

Email: info@billcornish.com


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