WINNER- "BEST JAZZ"
2006, 2007, 2010 and 2011 O.C. Music Awards
WINNER- "BEST INTRUMENTAL"
2008 O.C. Music Awards
WINNER "BEST JAZZ" OC Music Award 2009 for Evan Stone and his Translucent Ham Sandwich Band
ALL ABOUT JAZZ
Artist: Evan Stone
Album: Sticks & Stone/ Vol.1
Label: Red Jazz
Drummer Evan Stone has played with jazz artists such as Maynard Ferguson, Brian Bromberg, Darek Oles and Dr. Art Davis.
Stone's first album on the upstart Red Jazz label, aptly titled (Sticks & Stone), consists of five standards along with four original compositions by members of his band-all Los Angeles and Orange County musicians.
Throughout the nine song set, Stone repeatedly demonstrates his ability to more than ably play in various different jazz formats.
Leading off, Stone leads the band on a full steam ahead take of "You and the Night and the Music" as he, tenor saxophonist Matt Otto, and pianist Josh Nelson continually push and prod one another, steadily building in intensity and then suddenly stopping the tune on a dime.
The Band takes a light-footed,quick jaunt throught the usually more solemnly played Billy Strayhorn tune,"Isfahan".
On Dexter Gordon's "Cheesecake", the group goes down the soul-jazz road, highlighted by the funky organ of Joe Bagg and the tasteful guitar stylings of Steve Cotter.
All the time, Stone never misses a beat.
Pianst Josh Nelson's "For My Friends" is a gently swinging tune that cries out for someone to add lyrics to.
Bagg's soulful "Grapes" recalls some of the more soul-jazz work of guitarist John Scofield and organist Larry Goldings, with the leader Stone holding down the fort with a funky groove.
Sticks & Stone/Vol.1 is an impressive debut from Evan Stone that bodes extremely well for his future in jazz music as a leader in his own right.
by Quentin B. Huff
Drummer Evan Stone is a musician on the rise. The Winner of the 2006 Orange County (California) Award for Best Jazz is already known for putting together impressively tight bands. With Sticks & Stone, Vol. 1, Stone again assembles a formidable posse. Don’t let the album title’s play on Stone’s name and his love for the sticks mislead you into thinking this is a purely solo effort. As bandleader and co-producer, Stone headlines a lively collaboration between himself (drums), Josh Nelson (piano), Steve Cotter (guitar), Joe Bagg (Hammond B3 organ), Matt Otto (tenor sax), David Miller (bass), Tony Guerrero (trumpet), and Sara Gazarek (vocals). The results are consistently good, from the opening drum roll of “You and the Night and the Music” to the final track, “East of the Sun”. Band members share the spotlight, evidenced by Nelson’s impressive piano handiwork on the aforementioned opener and closer and Otto’s flavorful sax on “KCAMS” and “November Waltz”. Out of the nine selections here, only the somber “Moonlight in Vermont”, midway through the set, offers vocals. Sara Gazarek, a recent graduate of the Thorton School of Music at University of Southern California, does the honors, accentuating the song’s quiet atmosphere with her toasty, mesmerizing tone. In addition to Gazarek’s contributions, Sticks & Stone‘s mixture of original compositions and jazz standards demonstrates the album’s collaborative qualities. While all the tracks are solid, my favorites are “Cheesecake”, “KCAMS”, “Moonlight in Vermont”, “East of the Sun”, and the quirky but funky “Grapes”. The quality of this volume ensures that I’ll be waiting eagerly for the next one.
Friday, September 22, 2006
Orange Pop: A local music smorgasbord
Orange Pop column.
By ROBERT KINSLER
Special to the Register
Evan Stone, "Sticks & Stone/Vol. 1" (Red Jazz) – Fullerton-based drummer Evan Stone has assembled a good group of players and the collective excels in bringing classic jazz alive on the daring nine-track "Sticks & Stone/Vol. 1."
From the wistful nine-minute take on Dexter Gordon's "Cheesecake" (featuring some great sax work by Matt Otto) to a memorable version of Brooks Bowman's "East of the Sun," the disc features strong arrangements and flawless performances.
Vocalist Sara Gazarek brings plenty of magic to "Moonlight in Vermont," with the John Blackburn-Kark Suessdorf jewel further defined by the deft skills of pianist Josh Nelson and trumpet player Tony Guerrero. Other players featured across the CD include David Miller (bass), Joe Bagg (Hammond B3 organ) and Steve Cotter (guitar).
You might like if you enjoy: Dexter Gordon, John Coltrane, Sonny Rollins.
Studio City Sun, June 16, 2006
by Bill Bentley
Evan Stone, Sticks & Stone/Vol. 1
Talk about a left field surprise. Drummer Evan Stone has been busy making a solid name for himself in Southern California (check out Peter Erskine’s shining endorsement in the liner notes), working with a variety of jazz groups and never missing a beat. Stone’s drumming is always inventive, but he never forgets he’s the timekeeper in service of the song. On this new label’s debut release, he turns on the heat, alongside saxophonist Matt Otto and several other impeccable players. The bar is raised mighty high on songs like Billy Strayhorn’s “Isfahan” and Dexter Gordon’s “Cheesecake,” but two Otto originals and contributions from other band members makes Sticks & Stone both first in hopefully a series of volumes from a most adventurous aggregation, and Red Jazz a label to keep a wide-open ear.
"'East of the Sun' it is the best version I have heard since AL Cohn and Zoot Sims"
John Reid - Keith Community Radio 102.8FM, Keith, Banffshire, Scotland
“Evan Stone is part of the new breed of musical drumming talent that is redefining West Coast Jazz.”
World-renowned drummer Peter Erskine
(Weather Report, Steely Dan)
"GREAT !! Frequently requested on my show!"
Mudshark -KVMR-FM Nevada City
"Great to hear some classic jazz being played and performed by a very competent muso. Innovative. contemporary jazz at its best."
Tony Bates- Highlands 100.7FM
"Red Jazz picked a winner in drummer Evan Stone to launch their debut recording. Evan is all about a new rejuvenated left coast sound. His lineup is strong including Matt Otto (sax) who shines on "For My Friends", Joe Bagg (B3) and Josh Nelson (p). Sara Gazarek adds a vocal track on "Moonlight In Vermont" to balance out the mostly bebop set. But they really swing in a cool jazz way. "East of the Sun" is a great example."
D. Oscar Groomes- O's Place
" The original compositions of Josh Nelson , Joe Bragg and Matt Otto are the highlight of this album alongside the great choice of standards (East of the Sun-Lovely sax playing!) ,Moonlight in Vermont-Great vocals! and You and the Night...That Tenor again!!) and the superb drumming of their leader.
Sticks and Stone is a superbly played collection of the above by a great band. I have already added several of the original tracks to my playlist
and will feature them on my national radio show "A Jazz Hour" which is broadcast across Australia weekly via the CBAA network.
Barry O'Sullivan Presenter/producer of A Jazz Hour - weekly across Australia via the CBAA network -BLU FM 89.1
WINNER – BEST JAZZ
2006 & 2007 Orange County Music Awards
Evan Stone is a drummer that knows how to put together great bands, and that’s exactly what he’s done for his first release on the Red Jazz label. On Sticks & Stone, Vol. 1 Evan Stone is the bandleader, co-producer, and still provides the unmistakable musical drumming style that is all his own. From the down beat of track one to the last chorus of the final tune, Evan Stone leads this wonderful collection of Los Angeles / Orange County based musicians through a fantastic mix of jazz standards and driving originals that is sure to please purist and casual listeners alike.
Evan Stone – Drums
Matt Otto – Tenor Sax
Josh Nelson – Piano
David Miller – Bass
Steve Cotter – Guitar
Tony Guerrero – Trumpet
Joe Bagg – Hammond B3 Organ
Sara Gazarek – Vocals
1. You And The Night And The Music 4:54
2. Isfahan 5:30
3. Cheesecake 8:58
4. For My Friends 8:14
5. Moonlight In Vermont 5:01
(Featuring Vocals By Sara Gazarek)
6. KCAMS 5:23
7. Grapes 5:54
8. November Waltz 7:10
9. East Of The Sun 8:36
Evan Stone has toured the United States with trumpeter/bandleader Maynard Ferguson and traveled throughout Australia and New Zealand with pop artist Toni Childs. Evan formed the Progressive/New Thing Rock band Salty The Pocketknife which released their debut recording in 2003. When not leading his own bands throughout the west coast, Evan tours with the Greg Adams Band (Tower of Power) and pop artists Aly & AJ.
Evan has shared the stage alongside these notable artists:
Larry Carlton (Steely Dan); Gerald Albright (Whitney Houston); Tom Scott (Joni Mitchell); Thom Rotella (Beach Boys, Frank Sinatra); Jeff “Skunk” Baxter (Steely Dan); Max Bennett (Joni Mitchell); Chris Botti (Sting); Paul Carmen (Frank Zappa); Lenny Castro (Toto, Stevie Wonder); Melvin Davis (Chaka Khan, Pointer Sisters); Wilton Felder (The Crusaders); Brandon Fields (Tower of Power); Mike Garson (David Bowie); Grant Geissman (Chuck Mangione); Greg Adams (Tower of Power); Tim Landers (Al Dimeola, Billy Cobham); Alex Ligertwood (Santana); Jeff Lorber; Eric Marienthal (Chick Corea); John Tesh; and Diane Schuur
In addition, Evan Stone has played with Kei Akagi, John Beasley, Brian Bromberg, David Garfield, Gilbert Castellanos, Darek Oles, Bob Sheppard, Chuck Manning, Doug Webb, Steve Cardenas, Theo Saunders, Otmaro Ruiz, Luther Hughes, Bob Cooper, Dr. Art Davis, Llew Matthews, Rob Mullins, and Anthony Wilson.