Friday, January 8, 2016

The Swiss connection

Drummer-singer Patricia Dean brought her trio to the South County Jazz Club's matinee concert series at the Venice FL Art Center Thursday, and quite willingly handed the center of attention to her pianist.
William Evans

William Evans is based in St. Petersburg for a few months a year but spends the bulk of his time teaching jazz piano and performing in Switzerland, where he's a longtime faculty member at the Swiss Jazz School in Basel. When he's back in Southwest Florida, it's a matter of catch him when you can.
Patricia Dean

Dean, Evans and bassist Joe Porter combined their talents to make Evans' first jazz club appearance a memorable one. Evans' impressionistic approach to the variety of tunes the trio played revealed interesting new facets without ever losing the essence of the source material.

Joe Porter
Highlights included their take on the dreamy bossa nova "Dindi" and Chick Corea's waltz "Windows," Porter's bass feature on "I Fall in Love Too Easily," and the Evans sprightly original "1-3-5 Junction." His solo piano version of Duke Ellington's "Sophisticated Lady" opened with a teasing introduction that likely had listeners thinking it was going to be something else from the jazz canon. Dean's vocals shined on "East of the Sun," "How Long Has This Been Going On?" and "This Can't Be Love."

Dean and Evans began working together back in the 1980s at the defunct Summerhouse Restaurant on Siesta Key shortly after Evans moved to Florida from Detroit. While he doesn't play in Florida as much as he used to, Dean said she relishes every opportunity to work with him.

"He's such a brilliant player," she said. "Every time he comes to town, I go to school." 
Evans, Porter, Dean

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