May 2000

Orrin Evans Trio
Grown Folks Bizness
Criss Cross Jazz

Evans' confidence and facility are evident in the range of material and challenges he sets for himself on Grown Folks Bizness, and in his impressive use of open space. His solo "Rocking Chair" injects some gentle stride and slightly dissonant chords in an unhurried manner. He takes a daring look at Cedar Walton's "Firm Roots," and though "That Old Feeling" is marred by an unkind engineer's fade, Orrin's encounter injects new life into the old war-horse. From Hoagy to Thelonious ("Rhythm-A-Ning"), and the obligatory Wayne Shorter ("Toy Tune"), Evans spins stories with his trio (bassist Rodney Whitaker, drummer Ralph Peterson), adding saxmen Ralph Bowen and Sam Newsome for two tracks apiece. Orrin Evans bears close watch.

Originally published in May 2000
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