“This was honestly the first time I’d ever sung when I wasn’t singing along to a record,” Pascale recalls. “Orrin starts playing, and something wasn’t right. I start singing, and he’s in a different key, and I’m horrified. So I turn around, and the bassist and drummer are laughing hysterically to the point where tears were rolling down their faces and their shoulders were shaking trying to hold it in.”
Nevertheless, Pascale and Evans established a musical relationship that has lasted nearly two decades. Most recently, he producedWildflower, her coming CD, which also features an appearance by Rosenwinkel. “Joanna’s like a little sister to me,” Evans said. “I think we really see time and space and rhythm in the same way. So whatever we do, there’s going to be space for us to grow and make something happen.”
What’s cool about Captain Black, Pascale says, “is how loose it is. But the level of musicianship of every single person in that band is so high that no matter what you put in front of them, it elevates the music to a whole other level.”
Mother’s Touch reveals a far more refined ensemble than the raw, combustible band captured live on its self-titled debut. Still, Evans is never one to plan much in advance and enjoys the thrill of the unexpected – even if it means occasionally playing a gig where not a single trombonist manages to show up.
“A part of me thinks it would be great to walk in and have a full band every week,” he said. “But I prefer to not know what’s going to happen. As much as it seems like it would be easier for it to all be the same every week, that would get real boring for me. I never really get nervous – but I get nervous about the big band.”
Captain Black Big Band
8 p.m. Wednesday, World Cafe Live, 3025 Walnut St.
Information: 215-222-1400, www.philly.worldcafelive.com.