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Orrin Evans: Flip the Script

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Orrin Evans raised some hackles earlier this year when he piggybacked on Nicholas Payton’s proclamation that the music he plays is no longer to be called jazz but rather Black American Music. The pianist and composer later expounded, clarifying that jazz might be a perfectly acceptable word to describe others’ music, just not his own.

All of which presents a conundrum when experiencing Flip the Script, an album that embodies the tenets of the music known as jazz: Evans stays squarely within the familiar piano-trio format here, with bassist Ben Wolfe and drummer Donald Edwards, never veering so far off the grid that the music suggests it’s anything that needs a new name. In fact, it’s his most straight-ahead release in some time.

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