Orrin Evans and Seed: Seed
While this outing is loaded with guests, the three trio tracks may be the highlights, showcasing a muscular attack and a time-changing interaction on “T.C.’s Blues,” “Commitment,” a three-directional, very modern jaunt, and “Libra” the most tender of ballads. Evans, like fellow young pianist Jason Moran, seem to have absorbed the theories of Herbie Nichols and Thelonious Monk and applied them to a concerted trio sound ala Bill Evans. They take group interplay and swinging group improvisation to crisp new heights.
If you are a fan of Evans, the trio’s 22-minutes is plenty of draw. But wait there’s more! His guest musicians augment the trio and add a distinct blowing session factor. Saxophonist Branford Marsalis, who doesn’t get enough attention for his soprano playing steps up on “Boffadem” (as opposed to ‘one-of-them’) to play smooth counter to the bands angles. Unknown (to me) alto saxophonist Jaleel Shaw joins wife of Evans and vocalist Dawn for a cover of Todd Rundgren’s “Hello It’s Me.” Slowing the time, like so many Cassandra Wilson cover projects, reworks his rock classic into a wholly believable jazz song. The highlight of the guest spots is the tag team saxophonist Gary Bartz and Ralph Bowen. They post a workout on two tracks, Bartz’ biting lines matched with Bowden’s perfect elocution. Trumpeter Duane Eubanks joins the pair on “When It Comes” for a post/hard/bop aggressive piece sure to frighten any musician even thinking of sitting in with the band in his seat.
Track Listing: T. C.
Personnel: Orrin Evans
Record Label: Imani / 88 Keys Productions