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Faith In Action

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Album Review

Jazz pianist Orrin Evans has been knocking on the door of stardom in jazz for a full decade, but with Faith in Action, it seems he's really hit his stride. As a performer he's a more confident improviser willing to take chances, while also retaining a sweetness and lighthearted approach that reflects the romantic inside. These ten tracks are equally split compositionally between him and obvious mentor Bobby Watson, all in trio settings with bassist Luques Curtis and with drummer Nasheet Waits featured on seven tracks; Waits is replaced on two cuts by Gene Jackson and on another track by Rocky Bryant. How Evans plays in giddy highs or serene lows is impressive, with little gray area shown or needed. Tunes by Watson are quite well-known, but without horns are still full and rich. The title track was made famous by John Hicks simply as "Faith," a brilliant 6/8 in 4/4 organ of beauty as Evans digs into its ultimately pristine melody. Watson's most acclaimed composition when he was with Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers, "Wheel Within a Wheel" is spare but no less vibrant; "Appointment in Milano" is a modal two-fisted bopper where Evans goes a bit out and crazed; while "Love Remains" is an ultimate romantic, late-night, steamy piece built for intimacy. Evans wrote "Don't Call Me Wally" in a delightful funk to swing beat, deft but still lean; "MAT-Matt" is very combustible and spontaneous, stopping and starting back up; and "Why Not" closes in a easy swing unlike the rest. Summarily this is the most ambitious effort, and also one that shows the innate common sense of Orrin Evans. He is no longer emerging, but now established as a skilled and experienced young to middle-aged mainstream jazzman who should be around making great music for a long time. ~ Michael G. Nastos, Rovi

Biography

Born: Trenton, NJ

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Born in Trenton, NJ but raised in Philadelphia, acoustic pianist Orrin Evans was among the "Young Lions" of straight-ahead jazz who emerged in the 1990s. His main focus is hard bop, although he has occasionally detoured into soul-jazz and R&B when backing such vocalists as Denise King and his wife, Dawn Warren. Influenced by McCoy Tyner, Horace Silver, Bud Powell and Thelonious Monk, among others, Evans graduated from high school in the early 1990s and studied at Rutgers University in New Brunswick,...
Full Bio
Faith In Action, Orrin Evans
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  • $16.90
  • Genres: Jazz, Music
  • Released: 02 February 2010

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