Friday, July 25, 2014

Jazz Cafe gets funky

February 17. 2013 2:13AM

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Sometimes the pieces just fall into place. That's exactly what happened for Alan Evans of Soulive, the funk/jazz trio from New York that also consists of Neal Evans and Eric Krasno. The three have been on the music scene for quite some time, and, while Evans is more than ecstatic about its success, he found himself forming another trio as a side project.

The Alan Evans Trio will fill the River Street Jazz café with funk and blues sounds on Wednesday.

Evans will be joined by fellow musicians Beau Sasser (Melvin Sparks, Akashic Record) and Danny Mayer (On the Spot Trio) to form an organ trio. In a jazz context, an organ trio is a group of three jazz musicians that typically consists of a Hammond organ player, a drummer and either a jazz guitarist or a saxophonist. Sasser takes the organ role, while Mayer joins in with guitar and Evans lends his drumming skills.

Q: You've been a part of Soulive for quite some time now. What made you form a separate trio?

A: Soulive has been together 15 years, and we've luckily gotten to the point that we don't have to tour any more, which is really nice, but I like to tour. I never really had plans to form another band; it just kind of fell together.

Q: How did you come to include Sasser and Mayer as part of the trio?

A: Beau had an every-Wednesday gig in western Massachusetts, which is where we live, so whenever I wasn't on the road he'd say, ‘Oh, come down and play,' so I started doing that with him, and it was a lot of fun. It was always in the back of my head that maybe we could make something of this. I was producing an album for Danny's band, and we were playing together, and it was just one of those lightbulb moments. We all get along really well and have a lot of fun, and all of a sudden I have another band.

Q: Alan Evans Trio released its debut album in April of this year, called "Drop Hop." What does it sound like?

A: Before even writing tunes for this album, my workout music was The Meters' (a funk band) first album. It was my morning routine listening to that, so it was kind of always ingrained in my head, and all of a sudden it just came together when I sat down to write. It's not meant to be a complete retro album, per se, but I did go for that kind of sound. It's just my interpretation of their tunes, what I would have written if I was alive back then. It's kind of like a time-traveling thing.

Q: What musicians influence you?

A: When I was young and dumb this was easy to answer (laughs). But actually, no, it's still very easy to answer – everything. When I was young I was really into Hendrix, Curtis Mansfield … It's easy to name a couple people. But, honestly, everything I listen to influences me in some way. I might like it, or it may not be my thing, but no matter what there's always something in there that I grab. I think it's very important to be open-minded to all styles of music. I just love music.


What: Alan Evans Trio, a 21-and-over show

When: Wednesday with doors at 7 p.m. and show at 9

Where: River Street Jazz Café, 667 N. River St., Plains Township

Tickets: $12

More info: 822-2992

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