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Saturday, January 12, 2008

Peter Evans Quartet - ! (Firehouse 12, 2007) ****

Peter Evans is without a doubt a technically very gifted trumpeter, who now released his first album with a band, consisting of Brandon Seabrook on guitar, Tom Blancarte on bass and Kevin Shea on drums. Evan's own definition offers a good description of the music : "a combination of influences that are near and dear to the all the members of the group (the great recorded Jazz of the 50’s and 60’s, abrasive noise music, wild and kinetic free improvisation) to give the listener something searing, intense, and honest." He has played in all kinds of settings : from baroque classical music to the extreme avant-garde of his solo album "More is More", with in between the more boppish "Mostly Other People Do The Killing", or the avant free "Carnival Skin". His first quartet CD can again be positioned in between the two latter CDs (can you still follow?), or with other words : an avant free indirect rendition of standard material. In that respect the four musicians are uncompromising : they do what they do as they see fit, interacting strongly and rapidly, creating intense yet precize new musical forms, often angular, offering suprising and interesting vistas, sometimes broad cinematic pictures. Yet the music is not as hermetically closed as some of his other projects. If there is one downside to the album - and that's a sentiment I often have with more avant-garde music where new musical forms get all the attention - it's the fact that the emotional component is at times a little bit neglected, with the exception of the piece called "Frank Sinatra" and the last track, which are truly excellent.

Listen or buy from Firehouse 12 or eMusic.