All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

6

Orrin Evans' Captain Black Big Band: Mother's Touch

Mark Corroto By

Sign in to view read count
Nobody does big bands these days. Nobody. Not without institutional support like a university or a foundation. Not unless you are Orrin Evans. The Philadelphia pianist writes and arranges music so appealing, a revolving cast of musicians can't resist playing his music. While we will never see an independent outfit like the Captain Black Big Band, which can swell to thirty plus musicians, touring for months on end, their occasional gigs and recordings are a godsend.

The studio recording Mother's Touch follows the self-titled Captain Black Big Band (Positone, 2011) recorded live in various locations in 2010. Where the previous was subject to the challenges of a live date, the separation of players, microphone placement, and the room's acoustics, none of those issues are present here. Plus, this session captures all the energy of a live date.

Credit the energy to Evans' arrangements. He dispenses the power of his big band in a judicious manner, often eschewing the elephantine nature of a large ensemble for just a few players. "Explain it to Me" glides upon Marcus Strickland's soprano saxophone and the drumming of Ralph Peterson with the ensemble supporting, but never overwhelming the affair.

The pianist is probably best known for his small group work, releasing much admired music on the Criss Cross and Posi-Tone labels. He is a post-bop player with roots in Gospel and percussive touch that oozes soul. The opening piece "In My Soul" best exemplifies this approach. He builds upon a blues theme, evoking the lateness of the soul/jazz hour with the velveted touch of a 1960s jazz band. Elsewhere, he invokes the spirit of Gil Evans music on "Dita" and the Wayne Shorter composition "Water Babies." The latter tune features a muted trumpet (a juicy rendition by Tatum Greenblatt) and trombone flourish. Both pieces weave a fine, delicate orchestration, one that doesn't encroach on the soloists.

He even steps away from his piano to conduct on the two parts of the title track, deferring to Zaccai Curtis. These two shortish pieces are mini-exercises in horn arranging and showcase his skills at marshaling a pool of talent. The disc ends with the punchy and powerful "Prayer For Columbine." Evans releases the full power of his big band, yet consistent with his approach, maintains a considerate and sympathetic approach.

Track Listing: In My Soul; Explain It To Me; Mother’s Touch Part I; Dita; Tickle; Maestra; Water Babies; Mother’s Touch Part II; Prayer For Columbine.

Personnel: Tanya Darby: trumpet; Duane Eubanks: trumpet; Tatum Greenblatt: trumpet; Brian Kilpatrick: trumpet; Fabio Morgera: trumpet; Mark Allen: saxophone; Todd Bashore: saxophone; Dog Dehays: saxophone; Stacy Dillard: saxophone; Tim Green: saxophone; Victor North: saxophone; Marcus Strickland: saxophone; David Gibson: trombone; Conrad Herwig: trombone; Andy Hunter: trombone; Stafford Hunter: trombone; Brent White: trombone; Orrin Evans: piano; Zaccai Curtis: piano (3,8); Luques Curtis: bass; Anwar Marshall: drums; Ralph Peterson: drums (2). Additional arrangements by: Todd Bashore, Todd Marcus, David Gibson, and Gianluca Renzi.

Title: Mother's Touch | Year Released: 2014 | Record Label: Posi-Tone Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

CD/LP/Track Review
Interviews
CD/LP/Track Review
Live Reviews
Read more articles
#knowingishalfthebattle

...

Smoke Sessions Records
2017

buy
The Evolution Of Oneself

The Evolution Of...

Smoke Sessions Records
2015

buy
Mother’s Touch

Mother’s Touch

Posi-Tone Records
2014

buy
Mother's Touch

Mother's Touch

Posi-Tone Records
2014

buy
It Was Beauty

It Was Beauty

Criss Cross
2013

buy
Flip The Script

Flip The Script

Posi-Tone Records
2012

buy

Related Articles

Read Northern Migrations CD/LP/Track Review
Northern Migrations
by Ian Patterson
Published: April 22, 2018
Read Egregore CD/LP/Track Review
Egregore
by John Eyles
Published: April 22, 2018
Read Lifelike CD/LP/Track Review
Lifelike
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: April 22, 2018
Read Whatever Possessed Me CD/LP/Track Review
Whatever Possessed Me
by Don Phipps
Published: April 22, 2018
Read Live At The Fillmore East 1968 CD/LP/Track Review
Live At The Fillmore East 1968
by Doug Collette
Published: April 22, 2018
Read Live CD/LP/Track Review
Live
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: April 21, 2018
Read "Today" CD/LP/Track Review Today
by Roger Farbey
Published: October 2, 2017
Read "Wobbly Dance Flower" CD/LP/Track Review Wobbly Dance Flower
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: September 22, 2017
Read "Clareia" CD/LP/Track Review Clareia
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: January 9, 2018
Read "In The Green Castle" CD/LP/Track Review In The Green Castle
by Glenn Astarita
Published: December 6, 2017
Read "Lyn Stanley – The Moonlight Sessions, Volume 2" CD/LP/Track Review Lyn Stanley – The Moonlight Sessions, Volume 2
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: September 12, 2017
Read "Lucille" CD/LP/Track Review Lucille
by Mark Corroto
Published: September 8, 2017