There are singers, and then there are masters. Singer/songwriter Adriana Evans definitely falls into the latter group, and her latest album "El Camino" marks the welcome return of the unparalleled vocalist and her musician/producer husband Dred Scott, who together create timeless musical masterpieces.
Adriana Evans was born into music, both genetically and geographically. Her mother is jazz recording artist Mary Stallings, who sang with Count Basie, and Dizzie Gillespie. In addition to being immersed in the sounds of jazz and blues growing up, she also heard Afro Cuban music from her father's culture. And being a native of the musically rich city of San Francisco, she was exposed to soul, rock, hip hop, and everything in between.
During college, Adriana met aspiring rapper and musician Jonathan "Dred" Scott. This led to Adriana's appearance on Dred Scott's 1994 A&M records release "Breaking Combs". In 1995, the two wrote and recorded her self-titled debut album on Capitol Records. Changes at Capitol landed Adriana and her debut record on RCA/Loud Records and it was officially released in 1997.
Adriana's debut record was, by all accounts, magnificent and groundbreaking. Often called the first "neo-soul record," the use of live instrumentation and Adriana's classic, jazz-infused vocals stood out amongst the more digitally-produced, synthesizer-heavy R&B music of that time.
Following the release of her debut record, Adriana became disillusioned with the music industry and took refuge in Brazil, which she later referred to as "a home away from home spiritually and musically." Adriana returned to the US a year later, and in 2004, released her second record, the musically diverse and adventurous "Nomadic."
On her new CD, "El Camino," Adriana and husband/collaborator Dred Scott combine their immense talents to create yet another classic. The 12-song set contains elements of jazz, soul, and Latin rhythms, with Adriana's signature vocals lifting every track to the heavens. The songwriting is equally impressive, as poetic, passionate tales of love, struggle, and enlightenment are all covered on the disc. Highlights include the sensual groove "Hey Now," the heavenly ode to love "All For Love," the bittersweet tale "Underneath The Stars," and the irresistible, jazzy tune, "Same As I Ever Was."
By Deborah Hinds