151

Orrin Evans Trio: Deja Vu

Mark Corroto By

Sign in to view read count
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 a recording from his earliest years, but Deja Vu, recorded circa 1994, is a valuable document to those who have followed Evans’ career. The pianist has of late been a member of Bobby Watson and Ralph Peterson’s bands. But where he shines is the small combo leadership role. His recordings Captain Black (1997) and Grown Folk Bizness (1998) are outstanding post hard-bop sessions and two of the better piano recordings of the 90s.

This session, while it lacks the sophistication of his later sessions, makes up for it with exuberance. For instance the solo piece “5-4-94” opens with Evans strumming the strings inside the piano, only to knock his written music of the stand. We hear him straighten and continue uninterrupted with an introspective piece that is a mixture of Herbie Hancock and Keith Jarrett. Other highlights here include a partially deconstructed Thelonious Monk track “Rhythm-a-ning,” and the romping Cole Porter tune “I Love You.” Evans shows signs here of his lovely ballad writing with “When Jen Came In” and his love of fast tempos, “Dorm Life.” This record is a peek into what has yet to be discovered by the jazz world. More information about Orrin Evans can be found at Imani Records .

Track Listing: I Want To Be Happy; Explain It To Me; 5-4-94; When Jen Came In; Rhythm-a-ning; Dorm Life; Monroe; I Love You; Big Jimmy.

Personnel: Orrin Evans

| Record Label: Imani / 88 Keys Productions | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

More Articles

Read Groove Dreams CD/LP/Track Review Groove Dreams
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: May 23, 2017
Read Kami Fusen CD/LP/Track Review Kami Fusen
by Glenn Astarita
Published: May 23, 2017
Read Two CD/LP/Track Review Two
by Joe Gatto
Published: May 23, 2017
Read Galaxies Like Grains Of Sand CD/LP/Track Review Galaxies Like Grains Of Sand
by Roger Farbey
Published: May 23, 2017
Read Nightfall CD/LP/Track Review Nightfall
by John Kelman
Published: May 22, 2017
Read Pekka CD/LP/Track Review Pekka
by Roger Farbey
Published: May 22, 2017
Read "Duo" CD/LP/Track Review Duo
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: July 7, 2016
Read "Noumenon" CD/LP/Track Review Noumenon
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: October 26, 2016
Read "Caipi" CD/LP/Track Review Caipi
by Roger Farbey
Published: February 9, 2017
Read "Etchings in Amber" CD/LP/Track Review Etchings in Amber
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: September 1, 2016
Read "Goat Man & The House of the Dead" CD/LP/Track Review Goat Man & The House of the Dead
by Dave Wayne
Published: February 27, 2017
Read "Of the Tree" CD/LP/Track Review Of the Tree
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: June 23, 2016
comments powered by Disqus

Why wait?

Support All About Jazz and we'll deliver exclusive content, hide ads, hide slide-outs, and provide read access to our future articles.

Buy it!