Adriana Evans Is Walking With The NewPublished by L. Michael Gipson on Monday, February 8, 2010 at 3:01 am.
Model beautiful with a liquid-alto, Adriana Evans first stepped onto the national soul stage as a solo artists during the height of the neo-soul movement with her 1997 self-titled debut on Loud Records. With an enviable pedigree, the daughter of jazz artist Mary Stallings (Count Basie) and goddaughter of Pharoah Sanders had film auteur Julie Dash (Daughters of the Dust) directing her videos and respected MC and hip hop producer Dred Scott crafting a series of fluid ’70s AM radio sunshine for Evans to coo over. Despite the critical praise and charting cuts like “Seeing Is Believing” and “Love Is All Around,” the album failed to gain significant radio play and subsequently missed hitting those vaunted RIAA certifications that keeps one in the limelight.
Always independent minded, the San Francisco-bred Evans went to Brazil and soaked up the Latin sights and sounds that eventually seeped into her next three underground projects, “Nomadic,” “Kismet” and “El Camino.” The appropriately titled–and recently reissued–”Nomadic” reflected Evans’ globe-trotting nomadic existence for several years after leaving the mainstream spotlight. Still, Evans placed songs on soundtracks for “Hoodlum” and “Ride” and her bright two-stepper “Remember Love” became the theme song for LOGO cable series “Noah’s Arc.”
Evans name and fame grew overseas all the while, setting the stage for her latest spit-shined creation, “Walking With The Night” (Expansion) releasing Feb. 23rd. Evans returns with the jazzy soul pop consistency of artists like Mica Paris and Swing Out Sister. Her latest single, the finger-popping Curtis Mayfield kinfolk, “Weatherman” is already available as a 12″ vinyl (Expansion’s 100th 12″ making it a specially packaged collectors item). Funky R&B cuts like the disco-tinged “Surrender” and raspy belting of “Suddenly” finds Evans in grittier territory than we’ve heard before, and it’s a good look. Evans trademark doo wop and lighter, Burt Bachrach flaired fair is still evident on cuts like “Astral Project,” “Set In Stone” and “Love Me On The One,” but with fuller, far more intricate backdrops than her famous debut. A big-band Latin rhythmed re-imagining of “The Sun” (here “El Sol”) from that 1997 introduction should bring a smile to long-time followers. In fact, fans on both side of the Atlantic who’ve been waiting for new Evans will find their three-year stroll to “Walking With The Night” well worth the wait.