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Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Peter Evans Trio - Zebulon (More Is More, 2013) ****½

By Stef

Guess how many albums with Peter Evans we reviewed since this blog's creation in 2007? Easily more than ten, with solo albums, duo albums, with his quartet, his quintet, with Mostly Other People Do The Killing, with Mary Halvorson, Weasel Walter, Evan Parker, Okkyung Lee, Payton MacDonald, Elliott Sharp, and many more.

We fnd Evans in the company of John Hébert on bass and Kassa Overall on drums, for a trio performance a year ago in the now defunct Brooklyn club, the Zebulon. And the power trio completely sounds like you wouldn't expect it. No sonic explorations, no extended techniques, no weird musical adventures. But then neither is the music tightly composed or arranged. It does what I've always thought and wanted in vain when listening to Mostly Ohter People Do The Killing : "let go now, wheels of the ground, and fly!". And this trio does fly : Evans, Hébert and Overall, and how!

What you get is unadulterated jazz, full of rhythm, swing, pulse, instrumental mastery and fun, joy, and jazz legacy turned upside down. The album contains four tracks of about twenty minutes each, offering plenty of time for long improvisations, playful and artful interplay, and for the three musicians to shine in turn, as you expect it from a live recording. This latter aspect really determines the music, because there is an element of show and entertainment to please the audience, which reacts enthusiastically after each piece, albeit in the distance.

This is jazz that continues the legacy of performances by Louis Armstrong, Dizzy Gillespie, Roy Eldridge, Clifford Brown, Freddie Hubbard ... but then pushing swing and bop into a new high energy free playing zone, as if post-bop, loft-jazz, cool jazz, Ornette Coleman, Albert Ayler and everything in between had never existed, A tree with deep roots and wild branches.

Even if it is kind of a sylistic side-step for Evans, the end result is really great and fun.

Snap those fingers, tap your feet and bob your heads!

Available at Instantjazz.


armando said...

For me, this is a fantastic record and group. And talking about tradition, there is something in Evans trumpet playing here that brings Don Eliis to my mind (it´s just my opinion :-)).

Thanks for your blog!

Maxime said...

Fantastic album !