242

Charles Evans: The King Of All Instruments

Eyal Hareuveni By

Sign in to view read count
Charles Evans: The King Of All Instruments Baritone saxophonist player (and high school teacher by trade) Charles Evans' fourth release is a triumphant solo exploration of the big horn. Equipped with warm recommendations by sax players—former teacher Dave Liebman and fellow baritone player John Surman, Evans' multilayered compositions for the baritone saxophone, recorded between June 2007 to March 2008, suggest varied facets of the instrument.

The compositions build on the innovations of past jazz baritone heroes, balancing composition and improvisation while managing not to lose their emotional impact despite the experimental tone. Echoes of formative influences on Evans, such as the surprising humor and inconsistent juxtaposition of composer Charles Ives, the wide and muscular tone of John Coltrane, the complex poly-tonality of Julius Hemphill and the sound of fellow World Saxophone Quartet founder Hamiet Bluiett, but Evans sound on this release is of a musician who has found his own true voice.

Evans begins with a slow and gentle soundscape where he explores the altissimo register of the baritone. In the next two short pieces he uses swift fingerings of the keys to explore pitch and timbre. Evans dedicates two beautiful polytonal pieces, "Junie Part I & II" to his father and his best friend which refrain from sentimentality with a restrained articulation. He also dedicates the most experimental composition, "It's the Right Toe, Bro" to his former teacher and mentor Liebman, who quoted as saying that "he is exploring a mere toe from the body of Coltrane." Here Evans navigates through a loose harmonic framework that contains slides into dissonant clusters and drone layers like the sound of electronic white noise.

"A Deya in the Life of Mulligan" is a melodic, multi-layered meditation that suggests the elegant and subtle tone of the late baritone master, Gerry Mulligan. "Mother and Others" is another emotional dedication but here Evans uses dynamic multiphonics, squeals and a much rougher tone that engulfs a recognizable theme. Evans concludes this impressive release with the playful "What would of Ives," dedicated to the memory of his first teacher on the baritone, Bill Zaccagni, and references the sound worlds of composer Charles Ives. A fitting summation to all aspects of the baritone heard in this release.


Track Listing: On Tone Yet? Part I (Mover's Mood for Annie); On Tone Yet? Part II; On Tone Yet? Part III; Junie Part I: The Father (for Clarence Evans); Junie Part I: The Friend (for Clarence Evans); It's the Right Toe, Bro (for David Liebman); A Deya in the Life of a Mulligan; Mother and Others (for Genevieve and Jenifer and Jim Besten); What would of Ives (for Bill Zaccagni).

Personnel: Charles Evans: baritone saxophone.

Title: The King Of All Instruments | Year Released: 2009 | Record Label: Hot Cup Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read BACHanalia CD/LP/Track Review BACHanalia
by Jack Bowers
Published: June 24, 2017
Read Hallways CD/LP/Track Review Hallways
by Paul Rauch
Published: June 24, 2017
Read The Crave CD/LP/Track Review The Crave
by John Sharpe
Published: June 24, 2017
Read Chase The Light (Excursions in Soul, Reggae, Funk, and Dub) CD/LP/Track Review Chase The Light (Excursions in Soul, Reggae, Funk, and Dub)
by Joe Gatto
Published: June 24, 2017
Read Kickin' Child - The Lost Album 1965 CD/LP/Track Review Kickin' Child - The Lost Album 1965
by Doug Collette
Published: June 24, 2017
Read Towards Language CD/LP/Track Review Towards Language
by John Eyles
Published: June 23, 2017
Read "Empty The Headbin" CD/LP/Track Review Empty The Headbin
by Mark Corroto
Published: July 15, 2016
Read "High Noon" CD/LP/Track Review High Noon
by Anthony Shaw
Published: September 10, 2016
Read "2016" CD/LP/Track Review 2016
by Chris Mosey
Published: November 13, 2016
Read "Prick of the Litter" CD/LP/Track Review Prick of the Litter
by Doug Collette
Published: January 28, 2017
Read "Spirit Forward" CD/LP/Track Review Spirit Forward
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: October 7, 2016
Read "The Many Minds of Richie Cole" CD/LP/Track Review The Many Minds of Richie Cole
by Rob Rosenblum
Published: April 24, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.