Mynah / The Eleventh Hour
The Poor Fisherman
About The Album
Orrin Evans’ The Magic of Now, the 20th of the 46-year-old pianist-composer’s luminous career and recorded in the midst of the upheavals set in motion by the COVID-19 pandemic, this latest document of Evans’ kaleidoscopic artistic journey coincides with several self-generated sea changes in his life. Perhaps the most significant change being his decision to leave the popular trio The Bad Plus after three productive years in order to refocus his time and energy on his own multiple musical projects.
“People have had to make adjustments and be reborn to a certain extent,” Evans says by way of explaining the title. “We’re past the point where we didn’t know what was going on or what the future would look like. Now we’re settling into what our ‘new normal’ will be, embracing the magic of now and the shape of what will happen next.”
The Magic of Now finds Orrin Evans in exquisite form leading a multi-generational cohort of A-list partners – first-call New York bassist Vicente Archer; iconic drummer Bill Stewart; and the dynamic 23-year-old alto saxophonist Immanuel Wilkins. From the first note to the last, the quartet, convening as a unit for the first time, displays the cohesion and creative confidence of old friends. Together, they apply their collective mojo to three Evans originals, three heretofore unrecorded Wilkins songs, and a two-song opening medley featuring music by Stewart and the late great pianist Mulgrew Miller generating an eight-piece program that exemplifies state-of-the-art modern jazz.
“I love the sound of the piano and drums on this record – and I love the sound at Smoke,” Evans says of The Magic of Now. “I love the energy – so close, so intimate. That has a lot to do with how much I enjoy playing music there.”
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