Orrin Evan's astonishing new album The Magic of Now finds the celebrated pianist and bandleader at a personal and career crossroads. Leading a rhythm section that he intended to record over 10 years ago-bassist Vicente Archer and drummer Bill Stewart-and one of the most decorated artists of 2020 (and a fellow Philadelphian)-alto saxophonist Immanuel Archer-Evans finds perfect timing within uncertain times. The Magic of Now was recorded at a livestream engagement at Smoke Jazz Club during the second weekend of December 2020. Evans and the band didn't know they were making an album until listening to playbacks. The music was too good not to release. For Evans, it was his first performance playing indoors again, clad with masks to a room sans an audience since March 2020. Despite a change in almost every external dynamic, Evans says it was being "like a kid in a candy store," which is a sentiment that fully captures what is arguably one of Evans's most masterful projects to date.