Clearly an outstanding release because of the arranging flair and the at easeness with a complex tradition that US pianist Orins Evans does so much to immerse himself in and if you like resusitate. Yes there is room for an old fashioned tenor statement on 'The Good Life' and no one is afraid to swing. Evans does well to balance gravity in the material - best grasped on the vocal 'They Won't Go When I Go' sung by Alita Moses or the curveball treatment of 'Amazing Grace' - and the more exploratory he touches upon say in the open waters of 'Weezy'. Last week we raved on about the version here of 'Dexter's Tune,' the Randy Newman Awakenings theme that moves and heals you as you listen, and in a more upbeat less ensweetened melodic way 'The Good Life' does the same. Bob Hurst from the Branford Marsalis classic quartet takes a terrific introduction on 'Big Small' and Jazzmeia Horn fans will need this track given her rousing performance here.
The title track also appeared on The Bad Plus 2019 album Activate Infinite when Evans was a member of Dave King and Reid Anderson's band.
Marvin ''Smitty'' Smith is the main drummer here and there is a lot of authority in what he brings to the album. New Orleans trumpet icon Nicholas Payton is puckish and energy laden especially on the extravagant part he plays on 'All the Things You Are' so there is a lot of incident and passion in the approach everywhere you look. Out today
Orrin Evans, top. Photo: orrinevansmusic.com