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Weasel Walter/ Mary Halvorson/ Peter Evans: Electric Fruit

Mark Corroto By

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The meeting of guitarist Mary Halvorson, trumpeter Peter Evans, and drummer Weasel Walter is something more than an informal chinwag and something less than a formal colloquy. These six improvised tracks act as a show-and- tell demonstration of the immense talents of tomorrow's—and, maybe today's—creative giants.

In the past few years, Halvorson's trio disc, Dragon's Head (Firehouse 12, 2008), and septet session, Saturn Sings (Firehouse 12, 2010), have been tapped on numerous top ten lists, as has Evans' work with Mostly Other People Do The Killing. Both players have developed extraordinary technique on their instruments and have been featured in cutting-edge bands. Halvorson is also an established member of ensembles led by Anthony Braxton, Tim Berne, Tom Rainey, and Tomas Fujiwara, and Evans can be heard in his own quartet and with Tyshawn Sorey, Taylor Ho Bynum, and on last year's Scenes In The House Of Music (Clean Feed, 2010), a live date with veterans Evan Parker, Barry Guy, and Paul Lytton.

The lynchpin of this date is the drummer. Walter, perhaps best known for his Chicago work in The Flying Luttenbachers, moved to New York a few years ago to expand his avant jazz/noise rock sound. Eschewing the thunder here, Walter provides the glue—or, perhaps, the gravity—to contain the sounds of Evans and Halvorson. Each track has the trumpeter and guitarist pulling out new and delicious sounds that, alone, astound the ears. Halvorson's guitar tunings often sound like Derek Bailey, if he had been a DJ. She can bend notes like a turntablist, but without gimmick. Evans is a master of the extended trumpet techniques: from circular breathing to fluttered notes, growls, and minimalist breath, he draws from a deep bag of sounds.

Walter shouts encouragement from a somewhat minimalist kit. Sticks on cymbals, snare beats and flashes of energy are the laces he uses to tie the outward bound Evans and Halvorson together. This ain't dance music, but the constant motion is still quite intoxicating.

Track Listing: Mangosteen 3000 A.D.; The Stench Of Cyber-Durian; The Pseudocarp Walks Among Us; Scuppernong Malfunction; Yantok Salak Kapok; Metallic Dragon Fruit.

Personnel: Mary Halvorson: guitar; Peter Evans: trumpet; Weasel Walter: drums.

Title: Electric Fruit | Year Released: 2011 | Record Label: Thirsty Ear Recordings


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