Over Crystal Green

ARTIST: Will And Rainbow
Will Boulware (acoustic piano, Hammond B3 organ and synthesizer)
Will Lee (bass)
Steve Gadd (drums)
Peter Bernstein (guitar)
Jon Werking (synthesizers)
Michael Brecker (tenor saxphone)
Randy Brecker (trumpet)
Bob Berg (tenor saxophone)

Recorded at Avatar Studio, New York on January 15 and 16, 2002
Produced by Yasohachi "88" Itoh
Recorded and Mixed by David Baker
Assistant Engineers : Ross Petersen, Peter Doris and Naoto Tanemura
Mastering Engineer : Koji “C-chan” Suzuki / Sony Music Studio Tokyo
Coordinators : Kiyoko Murata and Akira Tanaka / Sound Wing Limited

The title of this album is Over Crystal Green, which has special significance. In 1976, at the height of the Fusion period, an album was released entitled Crystal Green by Rainbow featuring Will Boulware. Now, 26 years later, Will decided to record this album again with the intention to transcend Fusion and to pursue what the modern jazz sound could be and ought to be. He does not limit himself to traditional Fusion sounds. Rather, he features the excellent talents of his all-star band and thrills listeners with his limitless creativity.

Crystal Green, recorded in ’76, was a Fusion milestone. Players on the album included Michael Brecker (tenor sax) and Steve Gadd (drums). This happened before The Brecker Brothers and Stuff became well known. One could say that Will Boulware is one of the forefathers of New York Fusion.
There are West Coast and East Coast versions of Fusion. Early players of West Coast Fusion included Dave Grusin and Lee Ritenour. Reflecting the aura of the environment in California, the music is upbeat and light. East Coast Fusion has rhythms and beats that are heavier, with fuller, weightier sounds influenced by Soul and R&B. Some of the players of East Coast Fusion include The Brecker Brothers, Stuff, and Steps Ahead.

Of the nine tracks, all excluding track 1 were arranged by Will Boulware. Track 1 was arranged by Jon Werking.


  1. A Song for You
    Music and lyrics for this song were written by singer songwriter Leon Russell. Published in 1971, the song was made famous by Leon’s own performance as well as by Andy Williams. The song was arranged by Jon Werking and highlights Michael’s tenor. Will plays piano. Riding on the 8 beat rhythms, an attractive, contemporary jazz sound is created.
  2. I’ll Fly Away
    This is a Will Boulware original composition. This ballad features Randy Brecker’s solo performance on muted trumpet, showing his experience and maturity. The tradition of lyrical jazz expression is followed by Peter’s guitar and Will’s piano playing.
  3. Seascape
    This song is a composition by trombone player, composer, arranger, and successful film music scorer, Johnny Mandell. The tenor sax soloist is Bob Berg. The wild and powerful solo is contrasted with the smooth song progression. Peter’s guitar solo and Will’s piano solo adds to the mystical tone of the song.
  4. Appearance
    This is another Boulware original. Michael Brecker’s full-throated tenor is the main character and the song gradually and excitingly builds around him.
  5. Don’t Let Me Be Lonely Tonight
    This is the famous tune by singer songwriter, James Taylor. Bob Berg’s tenor sax gets featured here. He takes the beauty of the melody and and plays with rich feeling & full sound.
  6. Scenery
    This is the third Boulware original. Boulware hits a new sound, going beyond fusion here. The song is centered around the tenor sax solo and Will’s own piano solo, accompanied by pleasant guitar sounds.
  7. Waltz for Debby
    This is the classic tune by Bill Evans. Boulware’s arrangement makes it fresh jazz all over again. Boulware showcases his piano skills. Michael’s tenor solo is bold and thrilling.
  8. Voyage
    Composed by veteran pianist, Kenny Barron. Boulware plays the Hammond B3 organ with deftness and Bob plays powerful tenor sax.
  9. Bells
    The fourth Boulware original. Bob plays tenor sax. At the end, Bob ends the song with his easy and romantic playing à la Coltrane in “After the Rain”

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