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Venue:
International House3701 Chestnut Street
Philadelphia, PA Map
Price: Free Admission
Monday, November 17, 2008 - 8:00pm

Ben Ratliff's Jazz Ear featuring Orrin Evans

Please join Ars Nova Workshop for the book release celebration of The New York Times critic Ben Ratliff's new book The Jazz Ear (Times Books/Henry Holt & Company). For this special event, Mr. Ratliff engages critically-acclaimed Philadelphia pianist Orrin Evans on those recordings most influential to him.

About The Jazz Ear:
Jazz is conducted almost wordlessly: John Coltrane rarely told his quartet what to do, and Miles Davis famously gave his group only the barest instructions before recording his masterpiece Kind of Blue. Musicians are often loath to discuss their craft for fear of destroying its improvisational essence, rendering jazz among the most ephemeral and least transparent of the performing arts. In The Jazz Ear, the acclaimed music critic Ben Ratliff sits down with jazz greats to discuss recordings by the musicians who most influenced them. In the process, he skillfully coaxes out a profound understanding of the men and women themselves, the context of their work, and how jazz-from horn blare to drum riff-is created conceptually. Expanding on his popular interviews for The New York Times, Ratliff speaks with Sonny Rollins, Ornette Coleman, Branford Marsalis, Dianne Reeves, Wayne Shorter, Joshua Redman, and others about the subtle variations in generation, training, and attitude that define their music. Playful and keenly insightful, The Jazz Ear is a revelatory exploration of a unique way of making and hearing music.

Ben Ratliff has been a jazz critic at The New York Times since 1996. The author of Coltrane and The New York Times Essential Library: Jazz, he lives in Manhattan with his wife and two sons.

Pianist Orrin Evans has been described by The New York Times as "a poised artist with an impressive template of ideas at his command", a quality undoubtedly recognized by the legendary saxophonist Bobby Watson who engaged Evans as piano chair for his band, a position he has held for six years. Evans has recorded with Watson on Live and Learn (Palmetto Records), and Quite As It's Kept (Red Records). He has been performed with the Charles Mingus Big Band for the past seven years, and has also toured with such diverse talents as Wallace Roney, Stefon Harris, Branford Marsalis, Common, Will Calhoun, Ralph Peterson, Sean Jones, Pharoah Sanders and Antonio Hart. For Orrin Evans, however, the greatest joy is playing his own band which, at different times, has included such notables as Sam Newsome, Ralph Bowen, Nasheet Waits, The Bad Plus' Reid Anderson, John Swana, Tim Warfield and Duane Eubanks. Besides touring and recording, Evans is also a teacher and musical commentator, having conducted workshops, clinics and master classes both in The United States and abroad.

Books provided by Joseph Fox Bookshop.