All About Jazz needs your help and we have a deal. Pay $20 and we'll hide those six pesky Google ads that appear on every page, plus this box and the slideout box on the right for a full year! You'll also fund website expansion.
With Evolution of An Influenced Mind , drummer Donald Edwards makes a piercing statement about his percussiveness and musicality. Having gained attention for his craftsmanship on a number of noteworthy Criss Cross dates Introducing Opus 5 (2011) and Orrin Evans's excellent It was Beauty (2013)Edwards's debut on the prolific Dutch jazz label is a cohesive work of forward thinking music.
Dedicated to the memory of the great New Orleans clarinetist Alvin Batiste who mentored Edwards at Southern University in the 1980's the release exudes optimism and a modernist savor, illuminated by a killing ensemble of rising leaders that includes tenor saxophonist Walter Smith III, guitarist David Gilmore, and unfaltering heavies Orrin Evans and bassist Eric Revis. A musical reflection of Edwards's experiences can be heard within the eleven tracks found in the drummer's inventive soloing over sampled church voices in "American Drum Call To Mama" or the incendiary tempo in "The Essential Passion" which bubbles with energy.
There's plenty of meat on the bones on every track; heard in the bluesy lament of instruments in Evans's cerebral "When" and a mix of straight ahead funkiness in "Dock's House" which bops and jumps with a hint of reggae. Edwards steps outside the box with an imaginary dialogue between Ornette Coleman and Charles Mingus in the eccentric "Nightmare Of Fun" with alternating melodies. Its split personality shifts between a creeping rock-like groove and heady swing tempo as Gilmore and Smith provide decisive solos before Edwards brings the house down with inventive traps.
Literally from head to toeEdwards's thoughtful compositions, impressive sticks, clever foot pedal technique and contributions from a top notch bandthe Evolution of An Influenced Mind bursts with vigor.
Track Listing: American Drum Call To Mama; History Of The Future; Niecee; The Dream; 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 saxophone; David Gilmore: guitar; Orrin Evans: piano; Eric Revis: bass.
I love jazz because anything is possible; it has few rules and the best jazz breaks those ones. I prefer free improv because it doesn't really have any rules at all.
I was first exposed to jazz in my teens (in the late sixties).
The first jazz record I bought was Filles de Kilimanjaro by Miles Davis, shortly followed by Extrapolation by John McLaughlin.
My advice to new listeners is to listen as widely as possible and not to make snap judgments--stick with it.