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Faith In Action is thejazzbreakfast’s record of the day

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Orrin Evans: Faith In Action (Posi-Tone Records PR8058)
Orrin Evans will probably be best known in the UK as the pianist who took the keyboard seat normally occupied by Uri Caine when Dave Douglas toured here in 2008. He has been heard recently with Jamaaladeen Tacuma. In fact the Philadelphian studied with Kenny Barron, worked a lot with Bobby Watson and with the Mingus Big Band, and made his first trio album in 1994.

This one is a trio disc, too, with Luques Curtis on bass and Nasheet Waits on drums for most of the tracks.

He’s a terrific pianist – warm and solid, able to explore some of those modern hip-hop-nuanced things while still rooted in the grand jazz piano tradition that still finds its sternest testing ground in the clubs of New York – grounds where Evans thrives.

A few of the tracks here are original O Evans credits, but a lot also have B Watson next to the titles, so Evans is happy to keep exploring the material first provided by one of his early employers. And some serious exploring he certainly does in this demanding material.

I’m not sure about the piano sound on the album is all it might be on the more explosive tracks, like Appointment in Milano, but so absorbing is Evans’ playing that one soon forgets any sonic shortcomings. The trio interaction here is electrifying, too.

His treatment of the Watson classic, Love Remains, is rhapsodic and expansive against a strong ostinato from Curtis, with tastily chosen voicings and slow waterfalls down the keyboard, before side-stepping briefly into a soul jazz groove and returning to a bass solo against the brushes. This is timeless stuff.


Written by editor

March 31st, 2010 at 5:28 pm

Posted in Reviews

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