September 15, 2010

The Eric Evans Project -- Waves of Grace

Flutist Eric Evans describes his latest release, Waves of Grace, as being as much spiritual as it is a smooth jazz offering, and he’ll get no argument from me. While he offers a good deal of smooth and rhythmic jazzy vibes, there’s as healthy a dose of a rather country, southern-style spiritual feel to a quite a few of these tracks, as well. He says, in part, “…waves hug and draw me graciously and consistently to the Spirit of Life and Light that wash over me…bringing light, peace and fullness to a once stranded soul…I am the story of…Waves of Grace.” His light flute melodies and other attractive properties often make this album whatever you feel it to be. It is full of a lot of positive energy and flow.

A lot of these tracks (“Seaside,” “Only You Can Believe,” and “Shoreline Highway” come to mind right now) are nicely enhanced by the “dance” orchestrated between Evans and various guitarists like Lance Taber, Steve Laury, Michael Roe, and Curtis Harvey, performing individually on select tracks. It makes for a decently rich blend, indeed.

Keyboardist Cecil Ramirez is also featured on this project and contributes handsomely, especially evident on a beautiful track called “Finding The Reasons Why,” which simply soars with melody, starting off softly and slowly and building in a measured intensity.

Eric Evans apparently set out to create a CD that spoke more than just conventional smooth jazz. He seems to have wanted to reach out with a message of spirituality and have it be delivered in a palatable manner. Depending upon your state of mind and perspective whenever you settle down with this one, you may find that he achieved his goal. Aside from the solid funkiness found in “Seaside” and the spry upbeat rhythm in “Shoreline Highway,” there’s no real “party down” vibe here, but I think this might strike home for those who would like a change of pace in the form of a cool, rather humble groove for once.

Posted by Ronald Jackson at September 15, 2010 3:48 AM