This has got instant appeal. And it’s over far too soon.
With a melodic 1970s vibe to start with on the title track opener and Gerard Presencer
’s bluesy horn commentary over a strong rhythm section of pianist McEvoy joined by Empirical bassist Tom Farmer and the Golden trio’s James Maddren
this is the former musical director of Steve Winwood’s Time to Shine. And shine McEvoy does on an eight-track Kickstarter-funded album where his Bob James-meets-Don Grolnick post-bop into soul-jazz piano style and heart-on-sleeve compositions have a siren-like pull from the get-go.
With guests besides Presencer (particularly evocative on ‘Shadows of the Truth’ and lonesome on ‘Stillness and Being’) including pianist Jason Rebello
on ‘Dreams Dispersed’ and ‘The Lamp on the Hill’, alto sax star Nigel Hitchcock
, trombonist Mark Nightingale on A Lighter Shade of Blue," and lively tenorist Ben Castle, plus an alternate rhythm section with the Scottish National Jazz Orchestra bassist Calum Gourlay
and drummer Dave Hamblett joining McEvoy on four of the tracks, there’s a logic and concision to all of the material that land broadly within the modern mainstream post-bop into soul-jazz domain and boast handsome thematic development and finely manicured improvisation from all concerned.
The Long Way Home is released on March 10th