He just keeps gettin’ up: Pianist/Composer/Bandleader Orrin Evans

 Last Tuesday evening at the Jazz Standard, fortified by a plate of succulent ribs and amidst an appreciative audience, sonic rewards were plentiful from pianist Orrin Evans once again offering ample evidence that his arc continues on the rise.  That evening and the next at the agreeable East Side joint, Evans piloted a rough & ready quartet with Eric Revis on bass, that Buddah of zest-for-life drumming Ralph Peterson, and the too often overlooked, ever-dapper tenor man Tim Warfield. Casually dressed for the heat & humidity, newsboy topper in place amidst his be-suited bandmembers, Evans delivered as always.

 

(Faith in Action on the Polytone label is Orrin Evans’ latest effort.  He’s working towards a big band date that’ll feature musicians from New York and his home base Philadelphia.)

The first set was built amidst on-the-fly thoughtful improvisation so rigorous that by the second piece Revis – the heartbeat of this quartet and the one who seems to have the most telepathic connection to the leader – had already sweat through his suit jacket by the time they finished the piece "Miles", dedicated to Evans’ young son.  A trickster arrangement of Mingus’ seldom interpreted "Scenes in the City" found Warfield circling the theme then darting to the bullseye essence of that typically enchanting Mingus melody as the piece unfolded. 

Orrin Evans consistently challenges himself and his mates, ever mindful of the traditional values, but prodding and plotting originality all along the watchtower.  Contemplation begat some swinging business as the family guy’s fine tribute to his mother-in-law "Dita" unfolded.  Now how often do you hear warm, sincere in-law tributes? 

 

 

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3 Responses to He just keeps gettin’ up: Pianist/Composer/Bandleader Orrin Evans

  1. Karyn Warren says:

    I wasn’t able to hear the fine tribute from my son-in-law last Tuesday since we live in Pittsburgh, PA, but I am sincerely and eternally grateful for Orrin’s contributions to Jazz music and making me a part of his legacy.

    Thank you Orrin – Dita

  2. Duane Eubanks says:

    Orrin has what very few young musicians have: VISION. Coupled with his tenacity and vigor to see his vision come to light, allows his music to express very high levels of connection. I think his music connects to his audiences on many different levels. Although quite overlooked, I don’t think he’s mentioned in the Downbeat Reader’s Poll, Orrin is slowly but surely making a name for himself and bridging the gap for good JAZZ music. Thank for recognizing his talent and enlightening readers. Keep up the good work. To many times today, GOOD music goes unnoticed.

  3. Eddie Morgan says:

    Hi Orrin, its great to see others appreciate your talent and growth as I’ve been able to see over the years. Proud to know you and share the stage with you on occasion.

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