Pianist Orrin Evans Lets Go and Trusts Instincts
with Electrifying Band for #knowingishalfthebattle
Available October 7 on Smoke Sessions Records
No child of the ’80s could forget the closing moments of every “G.I. Joe” cartoon: one of our heroes would teach a valuable life lesson about saying ‘no’ to drugs or not talking to strangers, followed by the familiar refrain, “And now you know… and knowing is half the battle!”
Pianist/composer Orrin Evans has parroted that line for decades, but says he’s only recently come to realize what it truly means. On #knowingishalfthebattle, his third release for Smoke Sessions Records, Evans shares his own lessons in life and music on a raw, electrifying session that teams him with a pair of renowned guitarists who are also, not coincidentally, native sons of Evans’ own hometown of Philadelphia: Kevin Eubanks and Kurt Rosenwinkel. He’s also joined by the latest in a long line of inspired rhythm sections, bassist Luques Curtis and drummer Mark Whitfield, Jr., along with up-and-coming saxophonist Caleb Wheeler Curtis and a longtime collaborator, vocalist M’Balia.
#knowingishalfthebattle shows Evans coming to terms with what he’s learned over his years on and off the bandstand — and more importantly, how to make use of that knowledge. In large part, the answer he’s come to involves letting go, forgetting what’s been learned and trusting the instincts that come along with it. By inviting such virtuosic musicians into his world, he’s asking them to do the same and making new discoveries through a collective act of forgetting.
“We’re taught that with knowledge comes power,” Evans says. “Which is true, but we never really realize that with knowledge comes responsibility. Then we have to figure out how to forget. When you let go of everything that you’ve been taught, the possibilities of what can happen on the bandstand are endless.”
“#knowingishalfthebattle” was recorded live in New York at Sear Sound’s Studio C on a Sear-Avalon custom console at 96KHz/24bit and mixed to ½” analog tape using a Studer mastering deck. Available in audiophile HD format.
Orrin Evans #knowingishalfthebattle Release Performances
November 17 – 20 | Jazz Standard w/ special guest Kurt Rosenwinkel | New York, NY
December 28 – 30 | Chris’ Jazz Cafe w/ special guest Kevin Eubanks | Philadelphia, PA
Additional Orrin Evans Performances
August 27 | Chris’ Jazz Cafe (w/ Joanna Pascale) | Philadelphia, PA
August 31 | SOUTH (w/ Reggie Watkins) | Philadelphia, PA
September 2 | Chicago Jazz Festival (w/ TARBABY) | Chicago, IL
September 29 – October 2nd | Jazz Standard (w/ Steve Wilson) | New York, NY
October 15 & 16 | Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola (w/ Matt Wilson Group) | New York, NY
October 22 | Bucks County Performing Arts Center (w/ Captain Black Big Band) | Yardley, PA
Orrin Evans · #knowingishalfthebattle
Smoke Sessions Records · Release Date: October 7, 2016