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Published on May 21, 2008
From Adriana Evans Debut Album
Biography by Jason Ankeny
Alternative R&B singer Adriana Evans was born and raised in San Francisco; her mother, Mary Stallings, was herself a gifted vocalist who sang with Count Basie and Dizzy Gillespie and issued a series of fine solo records. At 18, Evans relocated to Los Angeles, befriending aspiring rapper Dred Scott and collaborating on his 1994 album Breakin' Combs. Her own self-titled debut followed on RCA in 1997.
Album Review by Alex Henderson
Despite some jazz and hip-hop touches here and there, Adriana Evans' promising debut album leaves no doubt that her primary inspiration is the sleek "uptown" soul music of the 1970s. Indeed, smooth yet earthy gems like "Heaven," "Looking for Your Love" and "Love Is All Around" sound like they could have been recorded 20 years earlier by the Emotions, Minnie Riperton or Jean Carn. Evans, an expressive and charismatic singer, is the daughter of jazz belter Mary Stallings, and her exposure to jazz has left is mark. The seductive "Reality," in fact, isn't unlike something jazz vibist turned soul and funk singer Roy Ayers would have done in the late '70s. But make no mistake: Evans is an R&B artist first and foremost. In contrast to the homogenized nature of so much of the urban contemporary music recorded in 1997, this CD sounds consistently organic and heartfelt.