It can be argued that a kind of pluralist sensibility lies at the heart of this music. Trumpeter Peter Evans is the embodiment of it in the way he combines the music here with the willingness to play the piccolo trumpet in a Baroque setting elsewhere. He is, thus, evidently a man of parts; and even though the music here is to some degree steeped in precedents, the fact that the quartet fashions something not only new but also immediate out of it opens up a whole wealth of possibilities.
In that respect the guitar and electronics of Brandon Seabrook might just be the ace in the pack. In a sense he's the one doing the leading on the lengthy "Frank Sinatra insofar as a term like leadership can apply to music quite profoundly democratic. His subtle string manipulations and sensitive use of reverb seems to inform the very substance of the music.
The warped parade ground as it was musically mapped out by Lester Bowie is to be found on "!!!!!. Hyperactive bass and drums allow Evans to do anything but coast and the air of restlessnesssymptomatic perhaps of voracious aesthetic appetitesis carried on by Seabrook through his use and deployment of noise as a means for artistic expression. It all makes for music that deeply acknowledges the past at the same time as the need to stake out new ground underscores it.
The almost seventeen minutes of "Bodies And Souls could, by dint of something other than sheer length, be taken as a working definition of what both Evans and this group are all about. His debt to Lee Morgan is evident in the brightness of his lines, but they are often informed by the need to express the limits of the established vocabulary. Hence, there are places where those seem to break down, yet at the same time the band tantalizingly hints at some vast "other that only the passing of time might reveal.
This restless, exploratory bent perhaps accounts for the brevity of both "How Long and "Iris, both of which clock in at under a minute and, in so doing, suggest ideas not only partially formed but also perpetually beyond realization.
This doesn't matter however, as this is one of those infrequent occasions where musicians seem to have come together as a matter of urgency. That feeling manifests itself in every note or wash of noise and, as such, hints at a future alive with positive energy.
Personnel: Peter Evans: trumpet; Brandon Seabrook: guitar, electronics; Tom Blancarte: bass; Kevin Shea: drums.