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Donald Edwards: Evolution of An Influenced Mind (2014)

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Donald Edwards: Evolution of An Influenced Mind How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.

With Evolution of An Influenced Mind , drummer Donald Edwards makes a piercing statement about his percussiveness and musicality. Having gained attention for his craftsmanship on a number of noteworthy Criss Cross dates— Introducing Opus 5 (2011) and Orrin Evans
Orrin Evans
Orrin Evans
b.1975
piano
's excellent It was Beauty (2013)—Edwards's debut on the prolific Dutch jazz label is a cohesive work of forward thinking music.

Dedicated to the memory of the great New Orleans clarinetist Alvin Batiste
Alvin Batiste
Alvin Batiste
1932 - 2007
clarinet
who mentored Edwards at Southern University in the 1980's the release exudes optimism and a modernist savor, illuminated by a killing ensemble of rising leaders that includes tenor saxophonist Walter Smith III
Walter Smith III
Walter Smith III
b.1980
sax, tenor
, guitarist David Gilmore
David Gilmore
David Gilmore

guitar
, and unfaltering heavies —Orrin Evans and bassist Eric Revis
Eric Revis
Eric Revis
b.1967
bass
. A musical reflection of Edwards's experiences can be heard within the eleven tracks found in the drummer's inventive soloing over sampled church voices in "American Drum Call To Mama" or the incendiary tempo in "The Essential Passion" which bubbles with energy.

There's plenty of meat on the bones on every track; heard in the bluesy lament of instruments in Evans's cerebral "When" and a mix of straight ahead funkiness in "Dock's House" which bops and jumps with a hint of reggae. Edwards steps outside the box with an imaginary dialogue between Ornette Coleman
Ornette Coleman
Ornette Coleman
b.1930
sax, alto
and Charles Mingus
Charles Mingus
Charles Mingus
1922 - 1979
bass, acoustic
in the eccentric "Nightmare Of Fun" with alternating melodies. Its split personality shifts between a creeping rock-like groove and heady swing tempo as Gilmore and Smith provide decisive solos before Edwards brings the house down with inventive traps.

Literally from head to toe—Edwards's thoughtful compositions, impressive sticks, clever foot pedal technique and contributions from a top notch band—the Evolution of An Influenced Mind bursts with vigor.


Track Listing: American Drum Call To Mama; History Of The Future; Niecee; The Dream; The Essential Passion; Dock's House; Nightmare Of Fun; When; Culmination For Now; Not Really Gumbo; Truth Or Consequence.

Personnel: Donald Edwards: drums; Walter Smith III: tenor saxophone; David Gilmore: guitar; Orrin Evans: piano; Eric Revis: bass.

Record Label: Criss Cross


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