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 Backlog CD/LP/Track Review Backlog
by Mark F. Turner
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Over the Rainbow CD/LP/Track Review Over the Rainbow
by Paul Rauch
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Before The Silence CD/LP/Track Review Before The Silence
by John Sharpe
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Process And Reality CD/LP/Track Review Process And Reality
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Masters Legacy Series, Volume 1 CD/LP/Track Review Masters Legacy Series, Volume 1
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 24, 2017
Read The Picasso Zone CD/LP/Track Review The Picasso Zone
by Franz A. Matzner
Published: February 23, 2017
Read "Hear & Now" CD/LP/Track Review Hear & Now
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: January 22, 2017
Read "Rhythm and Romance" CD/LP/Track Review Rhythm and Romance
by Jeff Winbush
Published: August 12, 2016
Read "On Hollywood Boulevard" CD/LP/Track Review On Hollywood Boulevard
by Budd Kopman
Published: February 19, 2017
Read "Ida Lupino" CD/LP/Track Review Ida Lupino
by Mark Sullivan
Published: September 15, 2016
Read "Duet" CD/LP/Track Review Duet
by Budd Kopman
Published: October 1, 2016
Read "Shuffle Along" CD/LP/Track Review Shuffle Along
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: March 25, 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!