Detroit native Evans splits his time between Florida's Gulf Coast and Basel, Switzerland, where he's a longtime faculty member at the Swiss Jazz School. Evans' band mates on Thursday were two other very fine Tampa Bay-area players, bassist Joe Porter and drummer John Jenkins.
They avoided the "tired tunes" repertoire entirely - which is rare for a club or restaurant gig - and the music was better for it. The trio did include one so-called standard, albeit one that was a hit so long ago that most listeners wouldn't remember it. The Marty Palitz-Alec Wilder ballad "Moon and Sand" was first recorded back in 1941 by Xavier Cugat with his Waldorf-Astoria Orchestra. It is always great when a musician dusts off some of the infrequently visited pages of the Great American Songbook.
The evening's repertoire also included a bit of Joe Henderson ("Black Narcissus"), Cedar Walton, Wes Montgomery and Thelonious Monk ("Eronel"), among others. Evans, Porter and Jenkins put their own collective stamp on them. And a fine stamp it was.
What a way to get prepared for the forthcoming jazz concert season in southwest Florida.
|William Evans, Joe Porter, John Jenkins|