Artist: Gabe Evens
Album: The Wrong Waltz
Label: Self Released
Release Date: 05.28.2017
Music is a language without borders, and, coming from a piano player and composer like Gabe Evens, the language is warm and lyrical. Add two outstanding players for conversation like Lynn Seaton on acoustic bass and Ed Soph on drums, the music communicated is certainly something special.
The Wrong Waltz conjures ten original compositions, covering a wide variety of styles. The music reflects a love for jazz from its inception through bebop, hard-bop, fusion, and modal genres. The music is expressive with surprising twists and turns, and has a great feel with strong communication between the three players.
“Tease Me” starts the set with a bop-ish melody and Seaton and Soph playing in four-time swing from the first note. Evens solo phrasing and melodic sensibilities brings to mind a combination of Keith Jarrett, Bill Evans and Brad Mehldau. His touch is percussive like Mehldau’s with a similar brave linear flow, his command of harmony and phrasing is Evans-esque, and his melodic storytelling and interaction with Seaton and Soph recalls Jarrett. The three have a creativity and positive energy, each player is confident and sensitive to conversing with each other in a distinct, interesting way that builds the composition.
The title track is a bouncing waltz, during the song the trio manages to merge as one and take the music to places full of scenery and emotion. Evens is always playing and developing musical fragments he hears in the other musicians playing statements, and one gets the sense that everything he hears enters the composer mode for development and assimilation. Seaton’s solo is first-rate and he adroitly covers a wide register range on his acoustic bass with impeccable time and intonation.
The Wrong Waltz is a superb collection of original compositions performed by a trio that is conversational in a musical manner, they entertain, surprise, and bring forth emotions with vivid colors and textural ideas.