Evans also known as Adriana Madera, is not just a beautiful face.
She is truly a one of a kind artist, the likes of which have not
been seen since Natalie Cole and Chaka Khan. She is the daughter
of jazz recording artist Mary Stallings, who sang with Count Basie,
Dizzie Gillespie and Cal Tjader. Adriana was raised in the Haight
Ashbury and Mission District of San Francisco. Exposed early in
life to the sounds of jazz and blues by her mother and also the
explosive sounds of Afro Cuban music from her father's culture she
was destined to be a musical sponge. Her love for soul, rock and
hip hop added more to her rich musical tapestry.
she was a freshman in college she befriended the aspiring rapper
Dred Scott. This chance encounter led her to collaboration on his
1994 A&M records release "Breaking Combs". Just one
year later she and Dred wrote and recorded her debut self titled
album on Capitol records. A political shake up at Capitol landed
Adriana and the record on RCA/Loud Records. The album was thought
to be somewhat revolutionary. It was the first so called "Neo
Soul record" at the time. The use of live instrumentation combined
with the classic sound of Adriana's vocals took a lot of people
off guard. When you think about the musical landscape in 1995, you
understand that this album was extremely groundbreaking. It was
completely devoid of the synthetic mechanical sounds and stacked
vocal stylings of music from that era. Yet this is typical for Adriana,
who always finds herself ahead of the curve.
After the release of her first album she became disenchanted with
the politics of music. She travelled the world finding an unlimited
source of creative inspiration. She spent much of her time in Latin
America feeling at home in the relaxed musically enriched environment.
Brazil became a home away from home for her spiritually and musically.
Upon her return to the US she began assembling her second record
"Nomadic". This was a project that she and longtime collaborator
"Dred Scott" really enjoyed. It is an eclectic reflection
of her musical journey. "Nomadic" incorporates the sounds
of Latin, rock, soul, jazz, blues and hip hop. It reflects the variety
of manifestations of black music in the Americas. She states, "Africans
came to North America, South America and the Carribean via the slave
trade and through some sort of alchemy turned pain into beauty.
They gave the world their music!" "Nomadic" honors
their remarkable contributions.
Her CD, "El
Camino" blends the familiar sounds of her first recording with
the growth of her second CD. The musical emphasis of this work is
based more on the soul tradition yet it still has eclectic elements
that reflect Adriana's unique perspective. The title "El Camino"
means the road or path in Spanish. This CD is about Adriana's overall
journey, starting from the beginning of her career to the present.
El Camino is a path that brings Adriana back to the source and beyond.
in 2010 with a brand new record, the brilliant “Walking With
The Night” (released on Expansion Records), a stylistic return
to the authentic soul magic of her critically acclaimed RCA debut,
the 1997 Billboard R&B hit “Adriana Evans”.
From the very first sound,
the opening drum, bass and tambourine wack at the beginning of track
1 (“Waiting”) you’d be forgiven for thinking the
Funk Brother’s were back in the Detroit snakepit. That is
until the strings, horns and familiar voice of Adriana Evans soar
from the speakers.
Once again Evans has
teamed up with long-time collaborator, producer and other half,
Jonathon “Dred” Scott to create a record of contemporary
soul music influenced by the vintage classics of the 60’s
through 80’s. Recorded by living, breathing musicians with
real instruments; the credits list trumpets, saxophones, flugal
horns, flutes, drums, vibes, strings, guitars, keys and bass as
being present in the Los Angeles based studio. All complimented
by the gorgeous vocals of Adriana herself, daughter of Jazz singer
Mary Stallings and god-daughter to jazz saxophonist Pharaoh Sanders.
Standouts include the
aforementioned opener “Waiting”, a glorious sweet soul
gem with a fatback Motown style beat. The first single “Weatherman”;
a “Mr. Big Stuff” influenced feel good pop-soul monster
complete with “Shoo-doo’s”, the UK soul crowd
will love the classy, sparkling title track “Walking With
The Night” and the muted trumpet blown, uptempo dancefloor
killer “Surrender” (where Adriana implores you to party
like it’s 1979). Another highlight is the beautifully sung,
vibes led, Philly soul’ish slowie “Sooner Or Later”,
which calms down the bpm’s (if not the heartbeat).
Already destined to be
highlighted in the end of year albums honours list, “Walking
With The Night” confirms that Adriana Evans is one of the
best vocalists of the neo-soul generation.