…’Through the Lens’ delivers copious lyricism and profuse sentiment…

Consolidated Artists’ Productions CD: CAP 1072

Falkner Evans, piano

Recorded May 11th 2022 at Samurai Studio, Astoria Queens, New York, USA

Pianist Falkner Evans comes from Tulsa, Oklahoma, but is now New York-based.  He has a highly varied musical background, maturing from classic 60’s R&B and rock then coming through to jazz and improvisation.

En route he has passed through Western Swing and straight-ahead acoustic jazz with his trio, playing inventively restructured variations of popular jazz standards.

Through the Lens sees him in solo piano mode and in a very tolerant and melodious mood. Though the songs are soft and tender, there is also a darkness as he reconnoitres his own reminiscences and heartache, following the suicide of his wife Linda on May 19, 2020.

His first, published, musical acknowledgement of this event was his previous album, Invisible Words, a set of new conformations dedicated to Linda.

On the same theme, his new album sees him moving on, but not far enough into the Avant-garde for it to be noticed as such. He has however elected to progress, into the realm of free improvisation.

Nevertheless, ‘Through the Lens’ delivers copious lyricism and profuse sentiment, which together virtually conceal the pianist’s intention and the music plays as though it were composed.

Overall, the pieces individually and collectively convey a sense of melancholy, yet there is also a mellowing of this which seems to reflect Evans’ true affection and absolution for any perceived offence.

The richness and profundity of each story, as it unwinds, reveals all of the anguish, delight, disbelief, disclosures, and sorrow that have distressed the pianist since his loss. Yet he remains cool: his structural method is restrained and the face of his music is restrained. So you will have to listen carefully to fully capture the intricacies that are placed in your path.

Reviewed by Ken Cheetham