There are a few albums we missed listening to or were unable to review from earlier in the year that we regret not having heard about at the time or written about. So to make amends a few words on Orrin Evans' The Magic of Now released back in July that we have been enjoying over the past few weeks. Pianist Evans, who it was announced earlier in the year was leaving The Bad Plus, already had a firm identity as a leader in his own right before joining Dave King and Reid Anderson on Ethan Iverson's departure certainly with his Captain Black big band who are, without any fear of hyperbole, one of the world's best big bands but still with nowhere near the profile of say any of the formidable resource-laden German big bands. Hear what Captain Black can do on the excellent recent Posi-Tone Wayne Shorter-themed compilation. Live album The Magic of Now (Smoke Sessions) was recorded at the end of last year. Among its delights are the mellifluous Kenny Garrett-like lines of shooting star of the alto saxophonist Immanuel Wilkins (also on the record are erstwhile Robert Glasper bassist Vicente Archer and the Scofieldian drummer Bill Stewart who provide considerable heat and interest). Some of the tunes are by Evans, some by Wilkins. Engrossing throughout the whole thing burns and the live energy adds another dimension to the release that you just can't bottle. The Magic of Now is also added to marlbank's overall albums of the year, the album landing in the top 10.
Tags: Albums and EPs