Monday, June 18, 2012

Orrin Evans: Flip The Script

Orrin Evans (piano)
Flip The Script (Posi-Tone; 2012)
Donald Edwards (drums)
Ben Wolfe (bass)

Coming off a prolific year with Captain Black Big Band and his quintet recording Freedom, Orrin Evans strips down to a trio for his latest, Flip The Script. While this trio session allows the listener more intimacy with the musicians it is still delivers some electrifying and at times elegant performances.

Working with a simpler approach, Evan's material here is more rich and organic as evident on "Clean House." Here Evan's playing is focused and crisp. Every note has a real sense of passion and urgency. A buoyant tone to Evan's keys hovers softly above the bass and drums but the unity of the trio is not diminished.

Spinning in more of bluesy flavor, "When" and "Big Small" both develop slowly and with somber undertones. "Big Small" displaying more of an uplifting nature in its unique structure. These are two pieces in which Evan's is more laid back and allows Edwards and Wolfe to provide the stronger emphasis to the proceedings.

Both "Flip The Script" and "TC's Blues" swing with a bop quality to would make Thelonious Monk and Red Garland very proud. Midtempo pieces featuring a number chord changes and sharp technique that shows a solid unity and understanding as to where each musicians lies and where their going next with the tune.

The closing number, the Gamble and Huff R&B standard, "The Sound Of Philadelphia" gets a gentle re treatment here and is more personal and effective than ever. The track is most associated as the theme for the America dance/music show Soul Train. Evan's tribute to its creator, Don Cornelius is simply sublime and the absolute best manner for closing this album.

Flip The Script returns the art of trio back to its roots. Emotional, poignant and organic. And with that ethos, Orrin Evans continues to be one of the exciting and diverse prospects on the American scene today.

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