ORRIN EVANS, FLIP THE SCRIPT

Lucid pianism and bright grooves are two reasons that Philly based Orrin Evans is so in-demand as a player.  But if you visit Evans’ website or dig a little deeper to learn about him online, you get a sense he’s a restless guy eager to reach new listeners and ready to mix things up to do so. His 14th recording as a leader, "Flip The Script" (Posi-tone), is positioned to do just that. It is a tremendous set of fully realized originals like “TC’s Blues” and The Answer,” tunes that dodge your expectations along with a couple of surprising covers (Luther Vandross’ “Brand New Day”). Evans is at the forefront of a movement (given voice and momentum by trumpeter Nicholas Payton) to recast jazz as Black American Music. Flip may be a BAM album, but Evans mostly sticks to a sleek modernistic language that has served him well over his many fine albums. His tunes are expertly interpreted and sharpened by bassist Ben Wolfe and drummer Donald Edwards, two long-time associates who click with the pianist in every best way. Evans fuels this highly listenable record with a muscular and attractive playing style. “Question” is a time-shifting pleasure with Monkish twists and turns and the breezy swing of “Clean House” is outright exhilarating. Other highlights include “Big Small,” a rhapsodic blues and a version of “Someday My Prince Will Come” that flows on chord changes rather than the melody. Evans plays the final track, “The Sound Of Philadelphia” (the theme song to Soul Train) as a solo feature. His phrasing is tranquil, embellished with gospel and soul licks, and whether he calls it jazz or BAM, it’s flipping awesome. (10 tracks; 45:20 minutes) www.posi-tone.com www.orrinevansmusic.com

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JAZZ IN SPACE: ORRIN EVANS, FLIP THE SCRIPT

Saturday, June 30, 2012

ORRIN EVANS, FLIP THE SCRIPT

Lucid pianism and bright grooves are two reasons that Philly based Orrin Evans is so in-demand as a player.  But if you visit Evans’ website or dig a little deeper to learn about him online, you get a sense he’s a restless guy eager to reach new listeners and ready to mix things up to do so. His 14th recording as a leader, "Flip The Script" (Posi-tone), is positioned to do just that. It is a tremendous set of fully realized originals like “TC’s Blues” and The Answer,” tunes that dodge your expectations along with a couple of surprising covers (Luther Vandross’ “Brand New Day”). Evans is at the forefront of a movement (given voice and momentum by trumpeter Nicholas Payton) to recast jazz as Black American Music. Flip may be a BAM album, but Evans mostly sticks to a sleek modernistic language that has served him well over his many fine albums. His tunes are expertly interpreted and sharpened by bassist Ben Wolfe and drummer Donald Edwards, two long-time associates who click with the pianist in every best way. Evans fuels this highly listenable record with a muscular and attractive playing style. “Question” is a time-shifting pleasure with Monkish twists and turns and the breezy swing of “Clean House” is outright exhilarating. Other highlights include “Big Small,” a rhapsodic blues and a version of “Someday My Prince Will Come” that flows on chord changes rather than the melody. Evans plays the final track, “The Sound Of Philadelphia” (the theme song to Soul Train) as a solo feature. His phrasing is tranquil, embellished with gospel and soul licks, and whether he calls it jazz or BAM, it’s flipping awesome. (10 tracks; 45:20 minutes) www.posi-tone.com www.orrinevansmusic.com

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