Orrin Evans Faith in Action

What do you do when you've got the musical knowledge and technique to do anything you want? Pianist Orrin Evans uses his imposing array of skills to sculpt distinctive improvisations, mostly within the stimulating parameters set by his former employer/mentor's (alto-saxophonist Bobby Watson) compositions. The most apt points of reference are Thelonious Monk and McCoy Tyner: powerful left-hand chords, sizzling right-hand runs and a rich, resonant tone. One thing that stands out in Evan's playing is his willingness to let a single note do the talking. His sparring partners spur him to really "deal," as on "MAT-Matt," an Evans original. Bassist Luques Curtis supplies demanding, shifting pulses, while drummer Nasheet Waits changes things up radically, all while grooving relentlessly. Besides burning brilliantly on "Don't Call Me Wally" and "Faith in Action," the pianist can luxuriate in downtempo feels, as on "Love Remains." Orrin Evans is a musician of substance. (Posi-Tone)