Learn How

We need your help in 2018

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz is looking for 1,000 backers to help fund our 2018 projects that directly support jazz. You can make this happen by purchasing ad space or by making a donation to our fund drive. In addition to completing every project (listed here), we'll also hide all Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!

4

Donald Edwards: Evolution Of An Influenced Mind

Andrew Luhn By

Sign in to view read count
In recent years, Donald Edwards has become a familiar name in the Criss Cross catalogue. His drumming can be heard on six previous Criss Cross releases, but on Evolution of an Influenced Mind, Edwards makes his debut as a leader. His sensitive and protean drumming has made him a first-call sideman in New York, but this program focuses on his prowess as a composer; Edwards contributes ten of the eleven tunes, with pianist Orrin Evans leading the eleventh.

Evolution of an Influenced Mind seems an appropriate title for this collection of originals. Though Edwards now resides in New York, he had a music-filled childhood growing up in Louisiana. These compositions reflect and celebrate that influence, but remain firmly rooted in the idiom of modern jazz. The familiar piano/bass team of Orrin Evans and Eric Revis fill out the rhythm section and Walter Smith III adds his versatile tenor sound to the group. A newcomer to the Criss Cross label, but a well-known talent in the music world, guitarist David Gilmore completes the quintet.

The importance of soul and history is apparent from the first track. "American Drum Call to Mama" is Edwards' percussive accompaniment to a traditional field holler. Edwards' Louisiana roots shine through in the cockeyed, third-line feel of "Not Really Gumbo" and the funky backbeat of "Dock's House." The group takes a more subtle approach on "The Dream" as they gracefully float through the pastoral landscape of the music. "Niecee" begins with a dreary atmosphere from the guitar but reveals its true character in its playful, Monk-ish melody. A tasteful piano solo from Evans eases the tune into a relaxed swing with Revis channeling Ray Brown's deep-in-the-pocket groove.

The knotty melodies, often doubled in the sax and guitar, weave their way through the syncopated basslines in the more up-tempo tunes like "Truth or Consequence" or "History of the Future." Smith, Gilmore, and Evans do some of their best blowing on "The Essential Passion." Edwards and Revis burn through a driving swing, while a repeated three note riff marks the form during the fiery solos.

These original tunes paint a picture of Edwards' many influences and speak of the evolution these influences have undergone in his musical career. The quintet interprets the music with an energetic and joyful approach that brings the tunes to life. Proving he is comfortable in a variety of styles, Edwards navigates his music with a subtle touch that is at once both thoughtfully restrained, and excitingly dynamic.

Track Listing: American Drum Call To Mama; History of the Future; Niecee; The Essential Passion; Dock's House; Nightmare of Fun; When; Culmination For Now; Not Really Gumbo; Truth or Consequence

Personnel: Donald Edwards: Drums; Walter Smith III: Tenor Sax; David Gilmore: Guitar; Orrin Evans: Piano; Eric Revis: Bass

Title: Evolution Of An Influenced Mind | Year Released: 2014 | Record Label: Criss Cross


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Makes the Heart to Sing: Jazz Hymns CD/LP/Track Review Makes the Heart to Sing: Jazz Hymns
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 16, 2017
Read Song of No Regrets CD/LP/Track Review Song of No Regrets
by Jack Bowers
Published: December 16, 2017
Read Sounding Tears CD/LP/Track Review Sounding Tears
by John Sharpe
Published: December 16, 2017
Read Lighthouse CD/LP/Track Review Lighthouse
by Glenn Astarita
Published: December 16, 2017
Read Kill The Boy CD/LP/Track Review Kill The Boy
by Chris Mosey
Published: December 16, 2017
Read Rain or Shine CD/LP/Track Review Rain or Shine
by Jack Bowers
Published: December 15, 2017
Read "Live with a Boom" CD/LP/Track Review Live with a Boom
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: March 19, 2017
Read "Planetary Prince" CD/LP/Track Review Planetary Prince
by Christopher Hoard
Published: March 11, 2017
Read "Been Up So Long It Looks Like Down to Me: The Micros Play the Blues" CD/LP/Track Review Been Up So Long It Looks Like Down to Me: The Micros Play...
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 18, 2017
Read "Honey And Salt" CD/LP/Track Review Honey And Salt
by Mark Sullivan
Published: September 10, 2017
Read "Metal Na Madeira" CD/LP/Track Review Metal Na Madeira
by Jim Trageser
Published: January 6, 2017
Read "The MUH Trio – Prague After Dark" CD/LP/Track Review The MUH Trio – Prague After Dark
by Karl Ackermann
Published: March 17, 2017

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!