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  • Jonathan Widran


In 2015, 23 years after the last release from his popular new/age jazz group Confluence, pianist Loren Evarts made a triumphant return to the instrumental fold with the release of Water and Light, a critically acclaimed ensemble work produced by Windham Hill legends Will Ackerman and Tom Eaton at Ackerman’s Imaginary Road Studio. The title of his latest work, the expansive 12 track set Home Again, points to a twofold meaning for the New England based artist. A sweeping, blend of melodic and rhythmic exuberance and more subtle and reflective melodic grace, the album – also helmed by Ackerman and Eaton - marks a long awaited return to the purity of his home instrument over three decades after his solo piano debut, Water Music.

From bright and whimsical explorations like “Far and Away” and “Outermost House” to more contemplative meditations like “Nine Mile Bridge” and the darker chorded “Evensong,” Evarts is celebrating special, inspirational places he has visited or read passionately about. Harkening back to his debut album, water imagery plays a key role, starting with his re-recordings of gems from that work, including the dreamy and uplifting “Sunset Island” and the lushly flowing “Baker Lake.” Evarts taps into the influence of Henry David Thoreau for the gently swaying “Day on the Concord River” (a musical tribute to HDT’s “A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers”). He was even thinking of calling the lighthearted title track “Pooh Sticks” after a water related game mentioned in The House at Pooh Corner.”

Another transcendent moment on this inspiring album is the moody ballad “Dugong Dance,” which finds the pianist contemplating an encounter with the “sea cows” of the Indian and Western Pacific Oceans. Even without the colorful anecdotes about specific locations that he jots on his website, Loren Evarts’ Home Again is a glorious, highly recommended musical journey!

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