* * 1/2 David Benoit, “Letter to Evan,” GRP. Two never-before-recorded compositions by pianist Bill Evans--the title track and “Knit for Mary F."--are the selling points here. But the real pleasure lies in Benoit’s earnest effort to do some serious mainstream jazz playing. He is hampered by the lack of stylistic consistency between three or four different rhythm section combinations. Also, his efforts to produce convincing improvisations often result in too many notes with too little breathing space. Nevertheless, it is Benoit’s best playing on record and makes a persuasive case for him as something more than a composer of attractive melodies.

Albums are rated on a scale of one star (poor) to four stars (excellent).