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The Peter Evans Quintet's Ghosts acts as a sort of back-to-the-future recordingthat is, if the present were 2021. This inaugural release on the trumpeter's own label has a standard trumpet/piano/bass/drums setup, plus the incorporation of real-time, live electronic processing to make up the full quintet.
Listening to any recording by Evans often prompts the dubious query, "What did I just hear?" since this über-talent is equally comfortable in the worlds of jazz, classical, and free improvisation. Like his compatriot Jon Irabagon
's "Christmas Song." While the harmonies of the original remain, the band reworks its context. Opening with an intimate club scene, the humans acoustically play with the time signature, speeding and slowing time while their sound is processed via electronics. What is presented is a trumpet sounding much like Ben Neill
's mutantrumpet, with electronic gnats buzzing the bandstand. Evans is free to improvise on the melody, while the electronics act as equal partner.
What the music is not is a mash-up or remix. Plata's manipulations can either act as a gentle wash, as it does on the ballad "Ghosts," or a buzzing retro-robot on "The Big Crunch," with Evans sitting out and the piano/bass/drums pounding out the pulse for a slot machine solo. This disc doesn't lack for Evans' multiphonic register leaps and superb group interactions, it's just that the ghost in the machine here happens to be human.
Ghosts is a modern classic of the future.
Track Listing: ...One to Ninety Two; 323; Ghost; The Big Crunch; Chorales; Articulation;
Personnel: Peter Evans: trumpet, piccolo trumpet; Carlos Homs: piano; Tom
Blancarte: bass; Jim Black: drums; Sam Pluta: live processing.