193

Peter Evans Quartet: The Peter Evans Quartet

John Sharpe By

Sign in to view read count
Peter Evans Quartet: The Peter Evans Quartet The exclamation mark which adorns the cover of Peter Evans Quartet's debut and, quintupled, gives the title for the opening piece, has never been more appropriate. Watch out. This is a record not to be messed with. The band explodes out of the starting gate and rarely let up over the course of the fifty-five minute set.

This disc confirms the Firehouse 12 label's fast-developing reputation for left field offerings recorded in luminous sound which handsomely repay in-depth listening.

While Evans' compositions draw upon harmonic material lifted directly from standards, they betray just a ghostly resonance of their source. That distant familiarity is tempered by the pressurized settings in which searing improvisations vie for attention with the hyperactive rhythms. It's hard to better Evans' own description of the music from the liners: "These standards are open planes of interaction where traditional chord structures white noise bebop licks tape hiss and practice exercises are set in wild motion against one another. And indeed they are, to glorious effect.

Exalting in tricky thematic material which unfurls imperceptibly into improvisation, the trumpeter is all over this record,. One is conscious of the energy first and only later the technique underpinning it. Evans first served notice of his prodigious virtuosity on his solo debut, More Is More (Psi 2006), but here the bravura display is integral to the overall group sound. Evans belays a torrent of invention spiced with multiphonic overtones, trademark high pressure squeals and breathy distortions.

Though the irrepressible trumpet most frequently grabs the ears, this is ensemble music, with only the most fleeting a capella statements amid the dense soundscapes, anchored by bassist Tom Blancarte and drummer Kevin Shea's all-encompassing rhythmic foundation. Blancarte's throbbing bass often provides the forward momentum, but his fleetness of finger is evidenced by frequent doubling with Evans on the involved heads. Guitarist Brandon Seabrook is central to this outing's distinctive sound, with his effects-laden fretwork switching from noisy, in-your-face textural display to smoldering single note runs, ringing chords and swirling drones.

The breakneck pace of "!!!!! reasserts itself at various points in the program, even in the supposed tranquility of the ballads. The spacious jazzy opening of the lengthy "Bodies and Souls (where not a trace of the near eponymous standard is detected) belies the combustive oratory to come. The highlight is the delightfully named "Frank Sinatra, where the knotty theme, set out in unison by bass and trumpet, is cushioned by lush guitar chords and cymbal washes, before an effervescent Evans holds sway. Later, an extended reverb-drenched passage by Seabrook segues into thrilling falsetto trills by intertwined guitar and trumpet, before a return to the head and an offbeat ending on a closing drone.

Although the thirteen seconds of guitar noise of "How Long and the gentle fragment of "Iris, which clocks in at less than a minute, seem to be throwaways, they in no way undermine this astonishing debut, chock full of ideas, executed with both precision and panache.


Track Listing: !!!!!; Bodies and Souls; How Long; Tag; Frank Sinatra; Iris; The 3/4 Tune.

Personnel: Peter Evans: trumpet; Brandon Seabrook: guitar and electronics; Tom Blancarte: bass; Kevin Shea: drums.

Title: The Peter Evans Quartet | Year Released: 2007 | Record Label: Firehouse 12 Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Towards Language CD/LP/Track Review Towards Language
by John Eyles
Published: June 23, 2017
Read The Romeo and Juliet Project CD/LP/Track Review The Romeo and Juliet Project
by Jack Bowers
Published: June 23, 2017
Read Saluting Sgt. Pepper CD/LP/Track Review Saluting Sgt. Pepper
by Roger Farbey
Published: June 23, 2017
Read Crystal Machine CD/LP/Track Review Crystal Machine
by Glenn Astarita
Published: June 23, 2017
Read Saluting Sgt. Pepper CD/LP/Track Review Saluting Sgt. Pepper
by Karl Ackermann
Published: June 22, 2017
Read Thick as Thieves CD/LP/Track Review Thick as Thieves
by Jack Bowers
Published: June 22, 2017
Read "Richie Cole Plays Ballads & Love Songs" CD/LP/Track Review Richie Cole Plays Ballads & Love Songs
by Jim Trageser
Published: November 25, 2016
Read "Lionsong" CD/LP/Track Review Lionsong
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 21, 2016
Read "One: Detroit-Cleveland Trio" CD/LP/Track Review One: Detroit-Cleveland Trio
by Troy Dostert
Published: September 7, 2016
Read "Revelation" CD/LP/Track Review Revelation
by Jack Bowers
Published: August 16, 2016
Read "Eka" CD/LP/Track Review Eka
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: March 21, 2017
Read "Black Shuck" CD/LP/Track Review Black Shuck
by Karl Ackermann
Published: December 19, 2016

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

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