178

Orrin Evans: Blessed Ones

C. Andrew Hovan By

Sign in to view read count
Orrin Evans: Blessed Ones One certainly can’t accuse pianist Orrin Evan of hopping on the revival bandwagon. Nothing he’s done over the course of four previous Criss Cross sides and two self-promoted albums smacks of mainstream sentimentality. On the contrary, Evans likes to push the envelope and that fact becomes ever so apparent now that he’s in the wide open surroundings of Blessed Ones. This is his first trio affair and it squarely puts the weight on the pianist’s shoulders in terms of keeping an audience’s attention.

If anything, Evans might go just a bit too left of center for some tastes. The opening “Autumn Leaves” bares no resemblance to the original other than the chordal structure. It’s a collective romp that builds to peak intensity before settling down at the end for a vamp and the briefest snippet of a melody. Up next is “Two Faces of Nasheet” and another free form intro subsequently leads to a brisk section where Evans swings like there’s no tomorrow. By this point, you’re ready for the delicate quietude of “Anysha I,” a pretty ballad penned by Philadelphia legend and mentor Trudy Pitts.

Both Pat Metheny’s “Bright Size Life” and Michel Legrand’s “I Will Wait For You” go through radical transformations in the hands of this trio and the virtuosity and telepathic support that exists is something to marvel. Another distinguished elder from Philly, drummer Edgar Bateman, sits in on two numbers and makes a particularly strong showing on “The Inchworm.” Dense and challenging stuff on a whole, but hats off to Evans for taking the music into new and uncharted waters.


Track Listing: Autumn Leaves, Two Faces of Nasheet, Anysha I, Some Other Blues, Blesssed One the Eternal Truth, The Inchworm, Bright Size Life, I Will Wait For You, Anysha II

Personnel: Orrin Evans (piano), Eric Revis (bass), Nasheet Waits (drums), Edgar Bateman (drums on 4 and 6)

Year Released: 2002 | Record Label: Criss Cross | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

More Articles

Read Fellowship CD/LP/Track Review Fellowship
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 22, 2017
Read E.S.T. Symphony CD/LP/Track Review E.S.T. Symphony
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 22, 2017
Read June CD/LP/Track Review June
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 22, 2017
Read The Invariant CD/LP/Track Review The Invariant
by Mark Sullivan
Published: February 22, 2017
Read Akua's Dance CD/LP/Track Review Akua's Dance
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Daylight Ghosts CD/LP/Track Review Daylight Ghosts
by Mark Sullivan
Published: February 21, 2017
Read "Live At the Stone" CD/LP/Track Review Live At the Stone
by Karl Ackermann
Published: November 29, 2016
Read "OWT" CD/LP/Track Review OWT
by John Sharpe
Published: September 18, 2016
Read "Vyamanikal" CD/LP/Track Review Vyamanikal
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: June 24, 2016
Read "Slight Freedom" CD/LP/Track Review Slight Freedom
by Dave Wayne
Published: December 10, 2016
Read "Untitled" CD/LP/Track Review Untitled
by Jack Bowers
Published: May 15, 2016
Read "Sunkissed" CD/LP/Track Review Sunkissed
by Jeff Winbush
Published: September 11, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!