In the span of mere 5-6 years saxophonist Adison Evans has forged a versatile career. Her approach to all genres of popular music and jazz has the same exuberant spirit and impeccable musicianship. Hence she embodies the oft quoted, or rather misquoted, genre defying adage "There are only two kinds of music good and bad" and she definitely plays the good kind.
Evans' debut Hero is a solidly bop based record with a definite soulfulness and an organic vibrancy. On it Evans alternates between baritone and alto saxophones and showcases her arranging and compositional skills.
Songwriter, singer and keyboardist Stevie Wonder's serene and tender "Ribbon In The Sky" transforms into a densely textured and thrilling tune. Drummer Roberto Giaquinto 's sparse and angular beats, together with bassist Dan Chmielinski's dark reverberations form an intriguing and passionate ambience. Pianist Mathis Picard contributes, evocative resonant chords to this sonic framework that coalesces around the main theme. Evans and trumpeter Mat Jodrell overlap short and intense phrases with fervor and lyricism that form the launching point for their respective engaging improvisations. Picard concludes with an intimate and tad melancholic unaccompanied solo that contrasts superbly with the band's preceding rhythmic swagger.
Picard's sparkling lines flow through the core of Evans' introspective and poetic "Never Forget To Say Thank You." In addition to Picard's classically influenced virtuosity and subtle romanticism, this crystalline piece features Evans and Jodrell's elegant and charming flugelhorn/baritone sax duet. The delightful dialogue unfurls with deep and reserved emotion and nimble spontaneity.
Evans has a fluid and assertive tone on the baritone that is simultaneously sensitive yet filled with bravado. The infectious "Dropbear Boogaloo" opens with Chmielinski's funky bass while Giaquinto lays down propulsive beats. Evans takes center stage with an earthy and simmering monologue that is marked by an open, blustery sound laced with vibrato.
Her alto, meanwhile, is supple and muscular as demonstrated on another of her originals "Do What's Best For You." The expressive and cinematic song highlights vocalist Melanie Charles, whose sensual and heartflelt interpretation superbly complements Evans' soaring and acerbic saxophone.
With Hero Adison Evans has made it clear that she is a creatively ambitious and immensely talented unique voice in modern music. This accomplished first release sets the stage for her brilliant future career.
Dropbear Boogaloo; Little Tulip; If Ever I Would Leave You; Blue; The Epicurean;
Open Your Eyes; Ribbon In The Sky; Mama; Respirare; Do What’s Best For You;
Prayer For Yoshi; Never Forget To Say Thank You.
Adison Evans: baritone and alto saxophone; Matthew Jodrell: trumpet and
flugelhorn; Mathis Picard: piano; Dan Chmielinski: bass; Roberto Giaquinto:
drums; Melanie Charles: vocal (4, 8, 10).
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