169

Falkner Evans: Climbing The Gates

Mark Corroto By

Sign in to view read count
Falkner Evans: Climbing The Gates This recording by pianist Falkner Evans is a jazz critic's guilty pleasure. Sure, we are supposed to be combing the bins for the latest greatest high-wire jazz act. But sometimes a rock-solid traditional performance grabs hold of your ears and smiles result.

Such is the case of this Oklahoma-born artist turned New York resident. His playing bears the influences of Tommy Flanagan, Kenny Barron, Horace Parlan and Mulgrew Miller. Steeped in the language of jazz piano, Evans delivers an easy swing and grace, accompanied by two solid veteran sidemen. Both drummer Matt Wilson and bassist Cecil McBee accompanied Evans on his first disc, Level Playing Field (Metropolitan, 2001). But they are far from window dressing—the playful Wilson and the powerful McBee cover the tunes like a long-standing working band covers the familiar.

To gauge the performance, catch a piece of the standards Evans has chosen. He plays with Rodgers and Hart, Thelonious Monk, Sammy Kahn and Milton Nascimento. Monk's "Ask Me Now is dressed up and "marched" from the start with a bit of sentimentality as its theme. The pace picks up with "October, Evans displaying a strong left hand on the keys. His touch, though, is never heavy-handed. Witness the solo effort on the standard "I'm Through With Love, where his open approach, in a classic storytelling mode, is sweet without being saccharine.

Five of the tracks here are originals. When Evans is paired with McBee and Wilson, he's revealed not only as a skilled pianist but also a fine songwriter. The title track and "Talking Rocks are solid swingers, both with a flair for slight time changes and the essence of jazz... dare I call it joy?


Track Listing: Climbing The Gates; Easy To Remeber; Ask Me Now; October; Floating From Florence; Feel Free; Luna Blue; Im Through With Love; Talking Rocks.

Personnel: Falkner Evans: piano; Cecil McBee: bass; Matt Wilson: drums.

Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: CAP | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

More Articles

Read Northern Adventures CD/LP/Track Review Northern Adventures
by Jack Bowers
Published: February 28, 2017
Read Collider CD/LP/Track Review Collider
by John Sharpe
Published: February 28, 2017
Read Eos CD/LP/Track Review Eos
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 28, 2017
Read More Than This CD/LP/Track Review More Than This
by Henning Bolte
Published: February 28, 2017
Read Road to Forever CD/LP/Track Review Road to Forever
by Jack Bowers
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Avenida Graham CD/LP/Track Review Avenida Graham
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 27, 2017
Read "Which Craft?" CD/LP/Track Review Which Craft?
by Ian Patterson
Published: December 28, 2016
Read "Work Songs" CD/LP/Track Review Work Songs
by Mark F. Turner
Published: March 1, 2016
Read "Duo" CD/LP/Track Review Duo
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: July 7, 2016
Read "Free World Music" CD/LP/Track Review Free World Music
by Karl Ackermann
Published: July 31, 2016
Read "Sings the Blues" CD/LP/Track Review Sings the Blues
by James Nadal
Published: March 28, 2016
Read "The Wild" CD/LP/Track Review The Wild
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 26, 2017

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: Jazz Near You | GET IT  

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!