The Unforgettable YVE EVANS

YVE EVANS AND COMPANY Unpredictable, Unforgettable, Unsurpassable Just returned from Iowa and two feet of snow for an annual concert at the Valley Jazz Club, Yve Evans was received like an out of town favorite daughter’s visit! To many of us there, she is one of the premier contemporary icons of classic jazz, with remarkable abilities to improvise and entertain from her piano bench, both vocally and instrumentally. Even her playlist seemed free-form, as she moved from song to song and mood to mood, sometimes combining songs as a medley, or quoting another tune within the one she was playing. It’s rather spectacular, but she seamlessly fit the unplanned renditions together, as her band, apparently as surprised as the audience, skillfully adapted quickly, resulting in a one-time polished result never to be played exactly the same, again. Performing as a quartet this afternoon, Yve Evans and Company consisted of Yve Evans, leader, vocals, and piano; Mike Simms, guitar; Bradley Bobo, 5-string solid body bass; and Larry Washington, drums. As Yve wants each performance to be fresh and individual, she prefers no advance rehearsals; they often don’t see each other together until they are on stage! That’s rather amazing, but these musically adroit musicians work together with readiness and gracefully competent interplay. They may not know exactly where Yve is going or how she wants to get there, but no matter -- the band is ready! The varied songs included: "On A Wonderful Day Like Today;" "I’m A Woman;" a slowed "Stardust," Hoagy Carmichael’s classic; "I Love Being Here With You;’ the light-hearted "Frim-Fram Sauce" associated with the Nat Cole Trio in the 1940s; and a couple of country-western songs that crossed over well with Yve’s touch, "Are You Lonesome, Tonight" and "Crazy," a phenomenal tune picked up years ago as a beautiful clarinet solo by the great Abe Most. The concert ended with "Skylark," a tune of beauty, sung with musical elegance. Yve’s creativity and empathy for the message made it possible for her to slip into the skin of one lyric, in particular, and give it unique body and form, originated by her mood and feelings in the moment. Her serious thought, meaningful songs, like this one, are sung without peer. Simply beautifully sung, "Here’s To Life," made my afternoon -- perhaps my month. Capable of thoughtful, yes, really thoughtful and emotional life story telling better than anyone this side of Shirley Horn, "Here’s to life, here’s to love,"’s to Yve! Thank you, Yve Evans and Company, for a wonderful afternoon. Harvey Barkan

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