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Flip The Script

4 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Audio CD, June 12, 2012
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description


In the days of the digital download and advanced ordering of new releases there are some records simply too good to wait for - this is one. When we last heard from Orrin Evans the release was Freedom. Evans pays homage to some of the Philly greats that influenced his sound and fueled his passion. Now we have Flip The Script which is simply Evans not reinventing the musical wheel or tossing out the stereotypical release of standards in an attempt for a quick and easy payday. Flip The Script is a brilliant and in some ways semi-autobiographical release highlighting the prolific talents of a pianist that may be still flying under some listeners radar. Evans is a man of passion and there is some interesting back story as to the original intent of the release. Never wavering from his stand on certain aspects of the industry is certainly admirable and in some ways a driving force behind this intoxicating release but in this case the music simply outshines anything else related to this story. One standard, three older Evans tunes never recorded and three brand new tunes work in perfect harmony to paint an artistic self portrait of beauty and elegance. One major change is the addition of Ben Wolfe who is one of the finest lyrical bassists working today. Wolfe and drummer Donald Edwards are the rhythmic glue that allows the lyrical swing of Evans to take center stage without ever boarding on the self indulgent. "Clean House" is a delightful odd metered harmonic swing and has the trio firing on all cylinders. Evans is clearly driving the musical train and has never sounded better. Wolfe's lyrical flow is a welcome addition and Edwards doesn't play in the pocket - he is the pocket. "TC's Blues" is another Evans tune and a personal favorite from the release. A groove you can use. Music you feel with your hips and hear with your feet. Evans walks an effortless harmonic tightrope while again never falling pray to the self indulgent nature some piano trios immediately find. "Someday My Prince Will Come" is an exquisite ballad showing the emotional depth of Evans translated into his performance with grace and sensitivity eerily similar to that of the great Bill Evans. Flip The Script may arguably be Orrin Evans finest release to date. While Evans celebrates his passion and our views on what is right and what is wrong are polar opposites it does not matter. Evans intention is to push the music forward. Evans has a desire to educate the younger listener and by doing so hopefully bring more and certainly some much needed attention to more traditional or straight ahead jazz in general. How can you argue with that? A magnificent ebb and flow with a lyrical swing and shifting harmonic base that is on point every step of the way. 5 Stars --Brent Black, @ Critical Jazz

Pianist Orrin Evans Flip the Script is a confident display of his trio's musical interplay that features bassist Ben Wolfe and drummer Donald Edwards on ten great tracks. This straight-ahead session offers some daring swing, audacious hard-bop, and forward-thinking avant-garde improvisations in an evocative program. The recording includes six of Evans original compositions and four unique covers including Question, by the GRAMMYAward-winning bassist/composer Eric Revis, Luther Vandross Brand New Day, (from the Broadway musical The Wiz), Someday My Prince Will Come, and Gamble/Huff s The Sound of Philadelphia. The set opens with Eric Revis' Question, a composition that references several elements of Thelonious Monk s work but is a priceless vehicle for Evans creative piano chops. This set really burns and sets the tone for the entire recording. Next the trio finds more creativity in Evans own Clean House in which they mine their souls for more stunning straight-ahead success. Flip The Script is a daring work of genius that reveals Evans' self-assured piano playing and compositional integrity. It is an example of what today s jazz pianists should strive for when attempting to connect with their audiences. This piece is brilliant. By contrast, the quiet simplicity of When shows Evans introspective side and is a thing of pure beauty. The transcription of Brand New Day has a free-spirited, joyful arrangement for piano while Evans unique and refreshing cover of Someday My Prince Will Come has an abundance of exploratory highlights that help to redefine his version. Overall, this recording is among Orrin Evans best work and should be in your jazz collection right alongside other great piano trios. Buy Flip The Script today. --Sounds Of Timeless Jazz

In the wrong hands, the contemporary piano trio can sound like a retread of piano trios since the dawn of popular music. In the right hands it remains a potent force: exciting, engaging, full of imagination and capable of flights of invention. The hands of Orrin Evans are the right hands. The Philadelphia-born pianist is approaching 20 years as a recording artist and, by the sound of Flip The Script, he's in one of his most creative periods to date. Evans' other projects include the Captain Black Big Band whose eponymous 2011 Posi-Tone debut was a full-on big band blowout and Tarbaby, a small band with an edgier, darker, sound whose End Of Fear (Posi-Tone) was one of 2010's finest releases. Flip The Script is a more straight-ahead recording, but it still shines with an inventiveness and an emotional directness, heightened through the strong interplay between Evans, bassist Ben Wolfe and drummer Donald Edwards. Much of the music on Flip The Script is characterized by a high-energy drive, with tunes such as "Clean House" and "Flip The Script" utilizing a fast-paced, aggressive and breathtaking approach. "The Answer" shares the drive of the faster numbers, thanks especially to Edwards' drums, but the pace is reduced a little on this swinging tune. The slower tunes are equally inspiring: speed and strength give way to control and emotional engagement from all three players to form a set of resonant and powerful melodies. "Big Small" is a very slow blues on which Evans' percussive lines and Wolfe's fat, lowdown, tones contrast with Edwards' lighter patterns. "When" is more downbeat a romantic, flowing, ballad. Evans includes four contrasting cover versions. The slightly fractured rhythms and repeated phrases of "Question," by Tarbaby bassist Eric Revis, give the tune a strong bebop feel as well as a sense of fun. Evans invests "Someday My Prince Will Come" with a bluesy mood, an air of uncertainty that eschews the swing and optimism of Dave Brubeck or Bill Evans' versions to hark back to the tune's first appearance on the soundtrack of Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs (1937). Two soul tunes also put in an appearance. Luther Vandross' "A Brand New Day" swings strongly, Edwards and Wolfe driving the rhythm as Evans opens up with hard-hitting but melodic piano. Evan's solo performance of Gamble and Huff's "The Sound Of Philadelphia" (the theme tune to Soul Train) is exquisite. Another slow, almost funereal, tempo finds Evans exploring new avenues within the song, drawing out a reflective melancholy, a longing for times past, that is genuinely affecting. Evans already has an exceptionally strong discography, so to describe Flip The Script as one of his finest is to give it high praise indeed, which is exactly what it deserves. It's going to take a lot of pushing and shoving to get Flip The Script out of the 2012 Best Of lists. --Bruce Lindsay, All About Jazz
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 12, 2012)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Posi-Tone Records
  • ASIN: B007W5JTQM
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #290,595 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I'm not in the habit of handing out 5 star ratings. I reserve those ratings for recordings like Kind of Blue, Live At The Village Vanguard and Mingus Ah-um. Having said that, this is one of the finest piano trio outings I've come across in years. There is some fabulous playing and interaction by all members. Brand New Day is a masterpiece that mixes adherence to form with the excitement of spontaneity. Mr. Evans has pushed the piano trio forward while respecting its traditions. Highly recommended.
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Format: MP3 Music
Straight up good music! It would bode you well to buy this and support quality music. I especially enjoyed "A Brand New Day".
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
The CD was new and shrinkwrapped. I enjoyed the music but was disappointed that the CD came in a cardboard sleeve instead of the traditional jewel case.
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