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Liner Notes

Thomas Marriott: Live From the Heat Dome

Read "Thomas Marriott: Live From the Heat Dome" reviewed by Paul Rauch

A “heat dome" is created when an area of high pressure hovers over an area for days or weeks, trapping warm air underneath. The meteorological phenomena is much like a lid on a boiling pot. In late June of 2021, residents of the Pacific Northwest became plainly aware of what a heat dome is by experiencing three days of severe heat topping 108 degrees, in an area more accustomed to temperatures in the low to mid seventies. The three days ...

Album Review

Thomas Marriott: Live From the Heat Dome

Read "Live From the Heat Dome" reviewed by Dan McClenaghan

Trumpeter Thomas Marriott settled into his groove on the Seattle-based Origin Records. He released more than a dozen discs under his own name there, including the gorgeous Romance Language (2020), a striking ballad set, and Trumpet Ship (2018), a high-energy bop workout. And then there was Crazy: The Music of Willie Nelson (Origin Records, 2008), described as having “a distinctly modern and often brash tone." And “Favoring some serious musical adventurousness." With Live From The Heat Dome that ...

Album Review

Caleb Wheeler Curtis: Ain't No Storm

Read "Ain't No Storm" reviewed by Paul Rauch

Caleb Wheeler Curtis is a noted voice in the modern world of alto saxophone, in large part due to his association with fellow artists. Most significantly, his work with Philadelphia-based pianist Orrin Evans and the “village" of creative participants within has put a spotlight on his style which attaches itself to tradition while exhibiting a willingness to explore new territory. On his most recent release Ain't No Storm, he presents eleven original compositions that feature fellow Evans bandmates Mark Whitfield ...

Album Review

Orrin Evans: The Trio Live In Jackson, Mississippi

Read "The Trio Live In Jackson, Mississippi" reviewed by Edward Zucker

Orrin Evans has recorded for the Criss Cross and Palmetto labels, but he always seems to venture back to Imani Records, his own label. This is where Evans convenes his musicians and material of choice, whether working with his “funk-fusion-R&B-electric band Luvpark, in a piano trio setting, or with a larger acoustic group, as on Live at Widener University (Imani, 2005). This independent streak has resulted in Evans failing to receive the public acclaim he is due, but it has ...

Album Review

Orrin Evans/The Band: Live at Widener University

Read "Live at Widener University" reviewed by Terrell Kent Holmes

Live At Widener University, a two-disc set by The Band, led by pianist and educator Orrin Evans, exemplifies cohesiveness, and shows just how exciting jazz can be when a gathering of stellar musicians step up to the plate and knock it out of the park. “Two Faces of Nasheet," composed by drummer Nasheet Waits' father, Freddie, opens with a straight-up theme, then quickly branches off into what Evans likes to call “structured confusion." Tenor man J.D. Allen, Waits ...

Album Review

Orrin Evans Trio: Deja Vu

Read "Deja Vu" reviewed by Mark Corroto

Pianist Orrin Evans has always been (what am I saying? He was in high school in the early 1990s) a kind of undiscovered favorite of piano jazz fans. His recordings for the Dutch label Criss Cross have shown a maturity in playing and composing beyond his tender years. Like his stablemate at Criss Cross records Bill Charlap, expect Evans to break out soon with a major US exposure.

It may sound a bit odd that the yet-to-be-famous Evans would reissue ...

Album Review

Orrin Evans and Seed: Seed

Read "Seed" reviewed by Mark Corroto

The sound of Orrin Evans’ piano is restless. His latest trio, Seed, features original compositions that have an unsettled quality. Like Horace Tapscott’s explorations of the 1970’s or Andrew Hill in the 1960’s, this band pushes an expansive enthusiasm for new jazz. Evans keyboard work reminds me of a very propulsive Thelonious Monk mixed with the percussive elements of Herbie Hancock. His prior records, all four on the Criss Cross label (and all worth searching for), showcase a superstar in ...

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