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!

6

Alan Evans Trio: Woodstock Sessions Vol. 1

Doug Collette By

Sign in to view read count
The Alan Evans Trio, nee Alan Evans' Playonbrother, were the first band to formally avail themselves of the resources of Applehead Studios for a live with studio audience session in Woodstock New York in 2013. Patterned to a great degree on Levon Helm's Midnight Rambles at his own barn, ultra contemporary facilities in a rustic setting, these events present a unique opportunity for musicians and fans alike to immerse themselves in the spontaneity of the moment even as the engineers-Michael Birnbaum, Kevin Salem and Chris Bittner-are capturing it all for posterity.

Drummer Evans, guitarist Danny Mayer and keyboardist Beau Sasser make the most of their opportunity from the start as the three burst from the proverbial starting gate at a furious pace on "They Call Me Velvet." Early band introductions preface the vocal interlude and more frenetic funk-rock on "If You Want My Love" where the eminently reasonable similarities surface to the drummer bandleader's Soulive forebears: it's an identical instrumental lineup, the crucial difference lying in the relative simplicity of the sound: the former doesn't stray from Hammond B3 organ while the latter, fully capable of patient and pointed soloing as on "The Lay Down," usually restricts himself more to rhythm work than the brilliant Eric Krasno.

Further comparison might be fatuous since the Evans Trio hasn't been collaborating together as long as Soulive (who began in 1999), but the passing spoken interludes, such as that introducing "Thor," bring to mind Krasno and Evans sibling keyboardist Neal in their Lettuce project. Alan Evans sings with as much gusto as he plays his kit, but his voice is nowhere as distinctive as his drum work, which marries rock with funk in a way that renders apt comparisons to Jimi Hendrix' Band of Gypsies (and further illuminates references to the iconic guitarist via AE3's change in moniker to mirror the name of Evan's own studio).

The Alan Evans Trio shines at digging deep into grooves like that of "Have You seen Him," at 10:40 the longest track here and, given the group's streamlined approach, wisely placed in the tracklist. Subsequent cuts "The Lay Down" and "Crooooz" taper off in duration, while even shorter numbers as "Just Another Dream," maintain the pacing as this recording concludes.

Yet these live renditions of studio recordings reinforce the Evans Trio's aptitude for working with comparable skill in either setting. Woodstock Sessions Vol. 1 is obviously an ideal setting for all involved, including the audience, generally kept low in the mix, but acting as a subtle reminder of their presence and, by extension, the enticing ambiance of this unique situation.

Track Listing: 
They Call Me Velvet; 


If You Want My Love; 


Thor; 


Have You Seen Him; 


The Lay Down; 
 Crooooz; 


What Happens Off in the Woods; 


Who Dare Knock; 
Just Another Dream; 


Cosmic Hazeldust.



Personnel: Alan Evans: drums, vocals; Beau Sasser: guitar; Danny Mayer: B3 organ.

Title: Woodstock Sessions Vol. 1 | Year Released: 2014 | Record Label: The Woodstock Sessions


Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Bricks CD/LP/Track Review Bricks
by Glenn Astarita
Published: December 17, 2017
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 "2468 West Grand Boulevard" CD/LP/Track Review 2468 West Grand Boulevard
by Rob Rosenblum
Published: December 27, 2016
Read "Looking Forward" CD/LP/Track Review Looking Forward
by Geannine Reid
Published: September 6, 2017
Read "No Mundo Dos Sons" CD/LP/Track Review No Mundo Dos Sons
by Harry S. Pariser
Published: October 12, 2017
Read "We Live Here" CD/LP/Track Review We Live Here
by Geno Thackara
Published: January 18, 2017
Read "Celebrating William Parker at 65" CD/LP/Track Review Celebrating William Parker at 65
by Victor L. Schermer
Published: December 14, 2017
Read "Tales & Tones" CD/LP/Track Review Tales & Tones
by Jerome Wilson
Published: April 1, 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!