7

Janet Evra: Ask Her to Dance

Mackenzie Horne By

Sign in to view read count
Janet Evra: Ask Her to Dance
When bassist Janet Evra dropped her debut solo record in the fall of 2018, she gifted something special to the residents of her adopted hometown. A veteran of the St. Louis circuit, Evra has made a name for herself on the scene vis-à-vis her Brazilian-heavy repertoire and charming voice. Many hours spent poring over the discographies of Antonio Carlos Jobim, Stan Getz and Astrud Gilberto have manifested alongside Evra's distinct brand of modern pop to form Ask Her to Dance, the bassist's amiable prescription against the Midwest's most washed-out November days.

There's nothing complex about the album; it is a straightforward, uncontrived, light-hearted venture. But as effervescent as it may be, it is a work worth taking seriously. Evra has a strong songwriting sense and she has the technical abilities to transform would-be marginally acceptable pop tunes into things more substantial. More than this, she has an ability to pull musicians together in a powerhouse ensemble.

All of the tracks featured on Ask Her to Dance are Evra originals and her literal and figurative voices ring clear on each track. Every part of her performance is warm, clean, and consistent—this is one of the great joys of Evra and the project as a whole. The bossa fiend will enjoy dissecting the album's influences, but it is easy to be taken in by the bassist's featured colleagues. On "You or Me," drummer Montez Coleman lays down a hypnotic beat ahead of pianist Adam Maness's Hammond B3. Buchanan and Evra work in soft tandem, creating the glowing groundwork for Khamali Cuffie-Moore's whispered trumpet sound. "Summer Smile" is the highlight of the album. Evra's lyrics are endearingly infectious, but it is the sheer musicianship of the track that makes it worth filing away in the mental Rolodex. Each player is in top form, while Evra's every vocal phrase seems to be punctuated with a smile that cheekily gives away the tone of the whole record.

Ask Her to Dance is everything a debut needs to be.

Track Listing

Paris; You or Me; Blue and White; Tonight; Baila; Summer Smile; Just Playing; Thinking of You; Ask Her to Dance.

Personnel

Janet Evra: bass; Will Buchanan: guitar; Adam Maness: piano: Khamali Cuffie-Moore: trumpet; Kwane Johnson: saxophone; R. Scott Bryan: percussion; Montez Coleman: drums.

Album information

Title: Ask Her to Dance | Year Released: 2018 | Record Label: Janet Evra

Post a comment about this album

Watch

Tags

Shop Amazon

More

Anthropic Neglect
José Lencastre / Jorge Nuno / Felipe Zenícola /...

Popular

All About Jazz needs your support

Donate
All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded albums and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, limited reopenings and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary step that will help musicians and venues now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the sticky footer ad). Thank you!

Get more of a good thing

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.