Orrin Evans shares "Chiara" off of new LP #knowingishalfthebattle
Orrin Evans | photo by John Abbott | courtesy of the artist

Local jazz pianist, bandleader and SOUTH curator Orrin Evans has announced a new effort called #knowingishalfthebattle, set for release through Smoke Sessions Records on October 7th. Inspired by the mantra repeated at the end of every G.I. Joe cartoon in the 80s, the record marks a point of reflection and deep understanding from the Philadelphia native that has led to a new musical approach.

Through a press release for the album, Evans explains a bit of wisdom he’s gained after years of playing music:

“We’re taught that with knowledge comes power…. 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.”

“Chiara” feels like the moment you learn to lead calmly – you don’t need to be the loudest voice in the room to get your point across, and, in fact, a restrained and emotionally composed delivery often results in a more balanced, nuanced and collaborative experience.

That’s not to say there aren’t bursts of outright expression or flourishes of passion on the track, though. From piano trills to cascades of cymbals and an exploratory jaunt from what sounds like an oboe, the highs are enhanced by the composition’s overall restraint.

Listen to “Chiara” below and catch Evans’ release shows at Chris’ Jazz Cafe on December 28th to the 30th. The ubiquitous performer has other dates scheduled as well, of course (including August 31st at SOUTH), so head over to his website for the full rundown.

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