Falkner Evans Trio

Level Playing Field

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Falkner Evans, once a member of Asleep at the Wheel, was based in Tulsa, OK, before moving to New York in 1985. A fine pianist, he makes his jazz debut in the esteemed company of bassist Cecil McBee and drummer Matt Wilson. Evans displays an elegant lyricism on his five originals, most notably the waltz "Mudan Red" and the closing samba "Level Playing Field." He's also harmonically inventive on "For Heaven's Sake," Ellington's "I Got It Bad," and Bernstein's "Somewhere." Only k.d. lang's "Wash Me Clean" falls sort of flat. The sped-up tempo elides the hovering magic of the original version, and McBee's arco rendering of the melody is a poor substitute for lang's luminous voice.

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