Meridian is Adison Evans’ second CD since she moved to Tuscany in 2014. The record opens with the title tune, a delicate ballad that moves at a relaxed pace reflected in the solos. Her own baritone is warm and burry with frequent excursions into the tenor zone. “Owl People” is a swinger at medium tempo where she mixes rich baritone and a dark, rasping bass clarinet. Troy Roberts has a good workout on tenor, his sound more laid back than the leader at least until towards the end of his solo which increases in intensity. Much the same holds true for Jodrell’s trumpet excursion. Adison’s “Prelude and Fugue” mixes modern jazz with the European classical music tradition and manages to make it work quite well in a chamber jazz sort of way. The first, slow part is all European and the second, faster part is medium tempo bop but somehow it all comes together neatly.
Mancini’s “Two for the Road” floats along peacefully with the baritone swinging slowly and counterpoint from the other horns. An interesting programme of originals ends with Adison’s “Cote D’Azur” and the octet swing into an uptempo reading of Miles Davis’s “Serpent’s Tooth”. This is a slightly out of the ordinary and worthy programme.