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Ember With Orrin Evans: No One Is Any One (Sunnyside)

A review of the Brooklyn-based trio's album featuring the pianist

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Ember with Orrin Evans: No One Is Any One
The cover of No One Is Any One by Ember with Orrin Evans

Many jazz bands come together because of a common stylistic approach to music. That holds true for the Brooklyn-based Ember. Bassist Noah Garabedian, drummer Vinnie Sperrazza, and saxophonist Caleb Curtis started the group after meeting at random rehearsals around the New York scene. Garabedian and Sperrazza’s heavy R&B background meshed well with Curtis’ strict jazz pedigree.

After recording their debut album New Year in 2018, they went on tour; their intent was to transfer that raw, organic live energy into new music for their next record. But when the pandemic hit, they delayed that second “official” studio recording. Instead, a series of impromptu jam sessions at Brooklyn’s Prospect Park was the impetus for No One Is Any One, a continuation of the group’s shared desire to create expressive, experimental music. For this project they hired pianist and former Bad Plus member Orrin Evans, who adds layer after layer of tranquil elegance to “Peace of Deoxygenated Sleep” and “Graceful Without Grace,” which has a slight avant-garde tinge.

The group’s collective improvisational spirit is effortless on “Pilot Light” and “Chia-Sized Standing Desk,” which are both experimental and spiritual in nature. On “Josephine and Daphne,” Garabedian’s solo bass line hits just right, introducing the track and maintaining a steady presence throughout. And on the title track, Curtis leads the force with a bluesy resonance on the saxophone that leaves plenty of room for interpretation.

Learn more about No One Is Any One on Amazon & Apple Music!

Before & After Listening Session with Orrin Evans

Veronica Johnson

Veronica Johnson is a freelance music writer from Detroit. She has written for Detroit-based publications Metro Times, Real Detroit Weekly, Model D, and The Michigan Historical Review, as well as the national jazz site The Jazz Line. Her work on Detroit hip-hop was published in the 2014 book A Detroit Anthology. She is also a board member of the Detroit Sound Conservancy, a grassroots Detroit music preservation organization.