Reviews that mention Peter Evans

January 12, 2017

Peter Evans/Alfred Vogel

Il Piccolo Incidente
Boomslang Records No #

Jean-Luc Cappozzo-Didier Lasserre

Ceremony’s a Name for the Rich Horn

NoBusiness NBEP 3

Although more common than a collaboration between a Bluegrass fiddler and a Carnatic drummer, combing the timbres of a trumpeter and a drummer in a free music setting is skeletal enough to deserve comment. Like the sighting of a second moon, the phenomenon becomes more noteworthy as two duos try the concept on for size. Ceremony’s a Name for the Rich Horn unite two French improvisers, trumpeter and flugelhornist Jean-Luc Capozzo and percussionist Didier Lasserre on two low-pressure affiliations that last a total of 19 minutes. More prolonged, though no less sustained, Il Piccolo Incidente is a seven-track, 33-minute interlude involving New York piccolo trumpeter Peter Evans and Austrian drummer Alfred Vogel. MORE

November 11, 2016

Barry Guy Blue Shroud Band Small Formations

Tensegrity
NotTwo MW938-2

Mats Gustafsson’ Peace & Fire

At Porgy & Bess

Trost Records TR 140

Keith Rowe/John Tilbury

enough still not to know

SOFA 548

Mopomoso Tour 2013

Making Rooms

Weekertoft 1-4

Something In The Air: Multi-Disc Box Sets Offer Depth As Well As Quantity

By Ken Waxman

When a CD box of improvised music appears it customarily marks a critical occasion. So it is with these recent four-disc sets. One celebrates an anniversary tour by nine of London’s most accomplished improvisers. Another collects small group interactions in Krakow by musicians gathered to perform as an orchestra. A third is a souvenir of concerts celebrating Swedish saxophonist Mats Gustafsson’s 50th birthday. Finally enough still not to know captures extended improvisations by pianist John Tilbury and table-top guitarist Keith Rowe, who have worked with one another on-and-off for 40 years. MORE

November 6, 2016

Boxed Set

Barry Guy Blue Shroud Band Small Formations
Tensegrity NotTwo MW938-2

By Ken Waxman

Rather like viewing short films made during breaks from the larger project by participants in a feature, Tensegrity preserves small-group sets that took place in the evenings following rehearsals of Barry Guy’s Blue Shroud orchestral project. Recorded at Krakow’s Jazz Autumn in November 2014, the four CDs consist of 26 performances that confirm the adaptability of the band’s 14 members. With the exception of two tracks featuring violinist Maya Homburger, sounds are all improvised. The skill and sophistication of the players from Greece, Spain, Norway, Ireland, Sweden, Germany, France, the US and the UK, demonstrated that, cross-border musical interchange works more successfully than political alliances. MORE

July 16, 2016

Sant’Anna Quintet

Filu ‘e Ferru
MBR SA Jazz No #

Alexander Hawkins/Evan Parker

Leaps in Leicester

Clean Feed CF 362 CD

Perhaps more than any similar aggregation of players, it’s evident that London-based Free Music practitioner are more open to cross-generational fraternization that those in other countries. Of course like those who see Alice's Adventures in Wonderland as a children’s story and those who read hallucinogenic experiences into it, there may be differing reasons for this phenomenon. From its earliest days, with drummer John Stevens and guitarist Derek Bailey, the British music’s elders have frequently cast themselves in pedagogical roles. Conversely there may appear to be so much cross-generational collaboration in the United Kingdom, because with their mania for classification only the British would be dead set on ascribing players to one generation or another. MORE

April 27, 2016

Amok Amor

Amok Amor
Boomslang Records NO #

Mads La Cour’s Almugi

Quartet

Why Play Jazz RS 019

Part of the Northern European musical development and Diaspora, these quartets offer a measured and frantic take on modern improvisation. Quartet, the more retrained of the two, is an all-Danish affair, whereas Amok Amor features an ad-hoc grouping of German, Swedish and American origin. Of course modern cross currents are such that some of the band members have worked with players in the other bands.

Lead by cornetist Mads La Cour, who composed all nine tunes, the Quaret is just one version of ensembles named for Almugi, an ancient Scandinavian word that means free men of the Kingdom. Another features an octet, and a third is a duo with drummer Anders Mogensen. Slotted in the numerical centre, this Almugi quartet is filled out by clarinetist Lars Greve, also known for his solo playing and work with percussionist Sven-Åke Johansson; Kasper Tom Christiansen, who leads his own bands as well as working with Germans such as bass clarinetist Rudi Mahall and tenor saxophonist Philipp Gropper. Besides partnering Christiansen, Groper and Mahall in Fusk, bassist Andreas Lang also is in the groups of Gropper and alto saxophonist Wanja Slavin, a member of Amok Amor. Swedish bass player Petter Eldh anchors that band, which also includes two busy, well-known players: German drummer Christian Lillinger, who leads the Grund and (with Groper) Hyperactive Kid bands; and American trumpeter Peter Evans, occupied in groups led by figures as disparate as Metal-Jazz drummer Weasel Walter and saxophone statesman Evan Parker. MORE

March 22, 2016

Guelph Jazz Festival

Guelph, Ontario
September 16-20, 2015

By Ken Waxman

Story telling of the verbal and instrumental variety was an important feature of this year’s Guelph Jazz Festival. Trying out new venues such as Heritage Hall (HH), Guelph’s first black church; and the soft-seated Guelph Little Theatre (GLT), the festival added a feeling of intimacy to its innovative programming.

Front and centre with tales, tall and otherwise were two Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (ACCM) members, multi-reedist Douglas Ewart and alto saxophonist Matana Roberts. Confirming the old adage that actions can speak louder than words were musicians as cerebrally intricate as Evan Parker’s soprano saxophone forays or as raucous as guitarist Marc Ribot’s Ceramic Dog trio. MORE

October 1, 2015

Festival Report

Météo
By Ken Waxman

Multi-media, theatricalism and electronics were the motifs that kept cropping up during the Météo Festival (August 25-29) in this Alsatian city known for its textile industry and unique German-French flair. There were also plenty of intense improvisations in its venues, confirming the continued strength of the 33-year-old festival.

Artistic mixing was most prominent during Météo’s opening concert in the Italianate 19th Century Théâtre de la Sinne as the French Surnatural Orchestra interacted with a screening of Italian director Dario D’Aregento’s 1975 slasher film Profondo Rosso. Unlike most music-with-cinema programs where live playing is subordinated to the visuals, this bloody over-the-top Hitchcock-Goddard-Fellini pastiche was frozen at various junctures for limber solos by a dancer, a speaker’s pseudo-pretentious film analysis, a scream from the stalls, cabaret style singing and a Second Line march through the audience. Still, no sonic moments stood out, and the exercise could be liked to someone decked out in full Carnaby Street fashion surmounting the outfit with a Viking helmet. MORE

June 11, 2015

Evan Parker ElectroAcoustic Septet

Seven
Victo 127

Parker/Dunmall/Bianco

Extremes

Red Toucan RT 9349

Harris Eisenstadt

Golden State II

Songlines SGL 1610-2

Anthony Braxton

Trio and Duet

Sackville (Delmark) SK3007

EarNear

EarNear

TourdeBras TDB90012 CD

Something In The Air: Canadian Exposure for Out-of-the-Country Out-of-the-Ordinary Improvisers

By Ken Waxman

Just as international improvisers sometimes find a more welcoming atmosphere for their sound experiments in Canada than at home, so too have Canadian record labels become a vehicle to release notable free music sessions. Attesting to this openness, two of the most recent discs by British saxophone master Evan Parker are on Canadian imprints. But each arrived by a different route. One of the triumphs of 2014’s Festival International de Musique Actuelle de Victoriaville in Quebec, this performance of Seven by Parker’s ElectroAcoustic Septet (Victo 127) are available on Victo, FIMAV’s affiliated imprint. Consisting of one massive and one shorter instant composition, Seven literally delineates the electro-acoustic divide. Trumpeter Peter Evans, reedist Ned Rothenberg, cellist Okkyung Lee and Parker make up the acoustic side, while varied laptop processes are operated by Ikue Mori and Sam Pluta, with George Lewis switching between laptop and trombone, with his huffing brass tone making a particular impression during a contrapuntal faced-off with Parker’s soprano saxophone during Seven-2. At nearly 46 minutes, “Seven-1” is the defining work, attaining several musical crests during its ghostly, meandering near time-suspension, Allowing for full expression of instrumental virtuosity, dynamic flutters, flanges and processes from the laptoppists accompany, comment upon or challenge the acoustic instruments. Alternately wave forms loops and echoes cause the instrumentalists to forge their reposes. Plenty of sonic surprises arise during the sequences. Undefined processed-sounding bee-buzzing motifs for example are revealed as mouth and lip modulations from Evans’ piccolo trumpet or aviary trills from Rothenberg’s clarinet. In contrast the electronics’ crackles and static are often boosted into mellower affiliations that sound purely acoustic. Eventually both aspects meld into a climax of bubbly consistency with any background-foreground, electro or acoustic displays satisfactorily melded. More percussive “Seven-2” has a climax involving fragmented electronics pulsating steadily as first Evans, then Rothenberg and finally Parker spill out timbres that confirm formalism as much as freedom. MORE

March 13, 2015

Mats Gustafsson NU Ensemble

Hidros 6 - Knockin’
Not Two MW 915

Yves Charuest and Ellwood Epps

La Passe

Small Scale Music SM 005

Pierre Yves Martel/Phillippe Lauzier

Sainct Laurens Volume 2

E-tron Records ETRC 019

Barry Guy

Five Fizzles for Samuel Beckett

NoBusiness Records NBEP 2

Something In The Air: Unusual Formats for New Music

By Ken Waxman

Everything old is new again doesn’t go quite far enough in describing formats now available for disseminating music. Not only are downloads and streaming becoming preferred options, but CDs are still being pressed at the same time as musicians experiment with DVDs, vinyl variants and even tape cassettes. Happily the significance of the musical messages outweighs the media multiplicity. MORE

March 8, 2015

Krakow Jazz Autumn.

Krakow, Poland
November 19-22, 2014

By Ken Waxman

Slightly mangling a metaphor, the world premiere of The Blue Shroud, a major new composition by British bassist Barry Guy, performed by a specially constituted Blue Shroud Band (BSB), was a main course of the musical banquet presented during Krakow’s Jazz Autumn in November. The three nights preceding it, which showcased all 14 members of the BSB in smaller combinations, previewed the varied spices and condiments that went into concocting the final repast; while Guy’s evening of free-form improvisations with American multi-reedist Ken Vandermark – who wasn’t a band member – the following night, was the perfect digestif following the rich fare of The Blue Shroud. MORE

February 11, 2015

Rodrigo Amado Motion Trio & Peter Evans

Live in Lisbon
NoBusiness Records NBLP 75

Rodrigo Amado

Wire Quartet

Clean Feed CF 297 CD

Rodrigo Amado Motion Trio & Peter Evans

The Freedom Principle

NoBusiness Records NBCD 67

Solidifying his reputation as one of Portugal’s most adventurous modern-to-Free Jazz saxophonists is Lisbon-based tenor man Rodrigo Amado, who continues to lead a variety of local combos plus match wits with exploratory out-of-country soloists. One of Amado’s virtues is his self-possessed consistency. So while the perceptions involved in his newest quartet sessions are widely dissimilar he brings the same occupational incisiveness to his playing. MORE

February 11, 2015

Rodrigo Amado Motion Trio & Peter Evans

The Freedom Principle
NoBusiness Records NBCD 67

Rodrigo Amado Motion Trio & Peter Evans

Live in Lisbon

NoBusiness Records NBLP 75

Rodrigo Amado

Wire Quartet

Clean Feed CF 297 CD

Solidifying his reputation as one of Portugal’s most adventurous modern-to-Free Jazz saxophonists is Lisbon-based tenor man Rodrigo Amado, who continues to lead a variety of local combos plus match wits with exploratory out-of-country soloists. One of Amado’s virtues is his self-possessed consistency. So while the perceptions involved in his newest quartet sessions are widely dissimilar he brings the same occupational incisiveness to his playing. MORE

February 1, 2015

Peter Evans Quintet

Destination: Void
More is More MM 141

By Ken Waxman

Unusually constituted with a front line of brass, piano and live electronics,

Destination: Void is another indication of how trumpeter Peter Evans is altering the fabric of improvised music. Seemingly capable of producing every sound on his horn from spindly murmurs to aggressive whinnying, the four extended Evans compositions here feature Sam Pluta’s sound wave mutation, and are given extra impetus by Ron Stabinsky’s mercurial exploration of piano keys and strings. MORE

November 11, 2014

Festival Report

Sibiu Jazz and More
By Ken Waxman

Situated in the dead center of Romania, Sibiu is a fortified medieval city of winding streets, whose hub is the connected Grand (Piața Mare) and Lesser (Piața Mica) squares, where every building appears to be of historical importance. Populated by citizens of German, Transylvanian and Romanian background, it seems appropriate that the Jazz and More (JAM) Festival highlighted high-quality international improvisers annually.

Chicago drummer Tim Daisy was one player whose performance and demeanor reflected Sibiu’s cooperative history during JAM’s 10th edition October 3 to 5. Not only did he turn in a spectacular display of free jazz interaction with long-time partner tenor and alto saxophonist Dave Rempis at JAM’s main venue, the soft-seated Teatrul Gong, but later that same night played a sympathetic duet set with Bucharest-based pianist Mircea Tiberian at the basement Bohemian Flow club in Piața Mica, then participated in a jam session that went on to 5 a.m. With Rempis, an animated Daisy bounced up, down as he clanked and clicked every variety of cymbals, blocks, bells, chains and other paraphernalia. In contrast the reedist stood stock still, reeling out stuttering, slurring or slashing phrases in many registers and intensities which angled perfectly into the drummer’s narratives Adding rhythmic blues riffs and Africanized inflections to tonal deconstruction, the duo ensured that each improvisation flowed logically from thematic roots and swung hard in its own fashion. Feeling his way with Tiberian, who craftily extracted multi-hued rhythm plus Monk-like single-note emphasis from an electric piano, Daisy was initially deferential. Quickly through drum-top dusting gave way to resonating buzzes and echoing strokes. By the time Tiberian was mixing staccato smears with dramatic theme extensions, the drummer uncorked enough rocking clatter to echo off the club’s stained brick walls. MORE

March 18, 2014

Trumpets and Drums

Live in Ljubljana
Clean Feed CF 282 CD

Kaze

Tornado

Circum Libra Records 202

Taking legendary musical battles like those of King Oliver vs. Freddie Keppard as a starting point, trumpet duals are as old as Jazz itself. Nonetheless unreserved experimentation, which has characterized the best improvised music over the past few decades, has transformed the idea of so-called cutting contests into episodes of cooperation. You can note it in these CDs which both feature two trumpeters with rhythmic accompaniment. Not only is there no attempt by any of the four brass men involved to Roy Eldridge-like blow his partner out of the picture, but despite a congruence of instruments, neither instrument sounds remotely like the other. MORE

November 3, 2013

Arrivals/Departures-New Horizons in Jazz

Stuart Broomer, Brain Morton & Bill Shoemaker
Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation

Book shelf: By Ken Waxman

Distinguished as much for its scholarship as the artful, mostly color photos and illustrations which make it an attractive souvenir, this 240-page volume is published by Lisbon’s annual Jazz em Agosto (JeA) Festival to mark its 30th anniversary of innovative programming. It says a lot about the individuals who program JeA that rather than commissioning a vainglorious run-down of the festival’s greatest hits, they turned to three respected jazz critics to profile 50 of the most important musicians, living or dead, who performed at the festival. MORE

September 14, 2013

Mostly Other People Do The Killing

Red Hot
Hot Cup HC 125

By Ken Waxman

Trumpeter Peter Evans, who along with drummer Weasel Walter, bassist Tom Blancarte and pianist Charity Chan is featured at a Punk-Jazz-Improv concert at the Array Music space on September 4, has quickly become one of jazz’s most in-demand and versatile brass men. Proficient elsewhere playing atonal music, this CD by an expanded version of the co-op Mostly Other People Do The Killing (MOPDtK) group finds the New York-based brass man helping to create a respectful but sophisticated take on early jazz. That Evans has mammoth chops is without question, and you can note that on Zelienople, where following a wood-block [!] break from drummer Kevin Shea, Evans’ open-horn exposition is bird-song sweet at one instance and growly as a wart hog by the next. Meanwhile on Orange is the Name of the Town, he fires off triplet patterns after triplet patterns with aplomb. MORE

July 20, 2013

Evan Parker Electrocacoustic Ensemble

Hasselt
psi 12.03

Continuing his rapprochement with electronic currents, British saxophonist Evan Parker has organized a 13-piece ensemble almost equally divided between acoustic and processing instruments. This disc is notable historically, showing how the philosophies of pure electronics and pure acoustics can intersect. Nonetheless the results aren’t too surprising, considering that the majority of players on both sides of the equation are comfortable in both milieus.

Pieced together from performances presented on different nights in concert in Hasselt, Belgium, the CD climaxes with a more-than-half-hour sequence featuring the entire group. However the trio of preceding selections matches players from both sides of the electro-acoustic divide – without Parker – for shorter instant compositions. “Hasselt 1” and “Hasselt 2” are most illustrative, as they aptly demonstrate how a commanding musical personality, pianist Augustí Fernández in the first case and bassist Barry Guy in the second, can dominate the proceedings despite the presence of potentially louder plugged-in instruments. For instance, the Catalan pianist’s high-frequency keyboard sweeps and tremolo string resonations from inside and outside his instrument on the first piece create a swiftly paced narrative that makes Walter Prati’s computer processing a junior improvising partner. In the same way, the subterranean textures from contrabass clarinetist Peter van Bergen and Guy’s double bass on “Hasselt 2” are more ruggedly commanding and percussively directed than the live electronics produced by the FURT duo of Richard Barrett and Paul Obermayer. MORE

July 4, 2013

Festival Report:

JazzWeksttatt Peitz
By Ken Waxman

More than 40 years after East Germany’s so-called free jazz paradise regularly attracted Woodstock-sized crowds to this town, about 20 kilometres from the Polish border – and three years after it was revived after a 29-year government-nudged hiatus – JazzWeksttatt Peitz is still working to define its identity

Celebrated in its earlier days as perhaps the one place young East Germans could camp in the open air and experience Western-styled peace and love vibes, albeit with a jazz rather than a rock soundtrack, the festival celebrated its 50th program June 7-9, inviting 21 acts to perform in four different venues, with “open air” now an enclosed tent with rows of chairs. MORE

January 11, 2013

Artist Feature

Agustí Fernández
By Ken Waxman

A complete pianist in every sense of the word who blends exquisite technique with innovative inspiration, Agustí Fernández is arguably Spain’s most accomplished contemporary improviser. This month he’s playing four nights in different configurations at the Stone, a rare series of American dates. “I like all kind of combinations, from duo to big ensembles because each one presents different challenges for a player,” he explains. “Listening, language, instruments, techniques, sound, volume, interplay, etc. will be different in every setting.” MORE

May 6, 2012

Evan Parker/Okkyung Lee/Peter Evans

The Bleeding Edge
psi 11.10

By Ken Waxman

Maintaining his connection with younger international improvisers, grizzled British saxophonist Evan Parker has convened this trio with Koran-American cellist Okkyung Lee and American trumpeter Peter Evans. A CD of 11 duos and trios, The Bleeding Edge confirms that there’s no generation gap among creative stylists; in fact there are episodes during which it’s impossible to source a particular texture.

Best-known as a member of the satiric freebop band, Mostly Other People Do the Killing, Evans shows off experimental and atonal chops here, fluttering, spluttering and spitting tremolo and rubato sequences as well as unaccented air from his trumpet and piccolo trumpet. Lee, whose juddering percussive glissandi unite noise, improvisation and classical techniques; and who is as apt to be playing with vocalist/guitarist Carla Bozulich as pianist Jacques Demierre, keeps the action streaming with staccato, sul ponticello and spiccato motions. Parker, of course, has been a sound explorer since the mid-‘60s. MORE

July 7, 2011

Evans/Fernández/Gustafsson

Kopros Lithos
Multikulti Project MP 1013

Augustí Fernández/Barry Guy/Ramón López

Morning Glory

Maya Records MCD 1001

Joe Morris/Agustí Fernández

Ambrosia

Riti CD11

Agustí Fernández & Joan Saura

Vents

psi 11.01

By Ken Waxman

Over the past 15 years Catalan pianist Augustí Fernández has become the most celebrated pianist – if not complete improviser – from his part of the world. In many ways he’s the successor to pianist Tete Montoliu (1933-1997). But while Montoliu was a bopper, Fernández doesn’t limit himself to one style, as this quatrtet of memorable discs makes evident. MORE

March 4, 2011

Weasel Walter-Mary Halvorson-Peter Evans

Electric Fruit
Thirsty Ear THI 57196

By Ken Waxman

Probably one of the few instances in improvised music where a powerful drummer often has to play more assertively to be heard amid the virtuosic and fortissimo sounds from the guitarist and trumpeter, Electric Fruit is a different take on the a jazz trio conception.

For a start the instrumentation is unusual. More distinctively the six tracks here aren’t designed as chops displays but as a way for three talented free-form improvisers to investigate the tonal possibilities of their instruments while aiming for a tripartite blend. Progenitor of aggressive rock-inflected improv with everyone from bassist Damon Smith to saxophonist Marshall Allen, drummer Weasel Walter is more than a backbeat specialist. Guitarist Mary Halvorson flits from folksy duets with violist Jessica Pavone to sophisticated contributions to composer Anthony Braxton’s ensembles. Known for his spectacular work with saxophonist Evan Parker and Mostly Other People do the Killing, trumpeter Peter Evans can apparently play anything and frequently does. MORE

October 6, 2010

Festival Météo, Mulhouse, France

August 24 to August 28
By Ken Waxman

Proving that varieties of improvised music can sound as different as the personalities of those who play it, the annual Météo festival offered a cornucopia of noteworthy sounds from the bombastic to the barely audible, solo or in groups.

Venues in this Upper Rhine French city, located 30 kilometres northwest of Basel, Switzerland, also reflected this sonic diversity. Performances take place in the hushed surroundings of a 12th Century chapel downtown, and on the city’s outskirts, a capacious night club usually used for rock shows; and, new this year, within the expanses of an abandoned 1930s’ thread manufacturing factory. MORE

June 6, 2010

Festival Report:

Freedom of the City 2010
By Ken Waxman

“To Thine Self Be True” is lettered horizontally in careful script above the stage at Conway Hall in London’s Bloomsbury district, where London’s annual Freedom of the City (FOTC) festival took place May 2 and 3. Although related to the philosophy of the Ethical Society which built the edifice in 1929, the slogan can easily also be applied to five dozen or so improvisers featured at FOTC.

Organized about decade ago by saxophonist Evan Parker and AMM percussionist Eddie Prévost to showcase the city’s vibrant improvising scene, FOTC today welcomes as many tyros as veterans – and from the Continent and North America as well as the United Kingdom. Participants ranged from eccentric soprano saxophonist Lol Coxhill, 77 and American trumpeter Ishmael Wadada Leo Smith, 67, to young participants in Prévost’s weekly improv workshop and American brassman Peter Evans. MORE

April 29, 2010

Mostly Other People Do The Killing

Forty Fort
Hot Cup 091

Jon Lundbom & Big Five Chord

Accomplish Jazz

Hot Cup 093

Pastiche, post-modernism and parody are the words that come to mind when examining discs by these youngish interconnected improvisers. Having expanded their chops in post-secondary academic surroundings; having internalized the message of downtowners like John Zorn that no music is sacrosanct; and having adopted the D-I-Y ethic of indie-rockers to release their own recordings – plus possessing formidable talent – these musicians have quickly made names for themselves. Yet as swinging and entertaining as many of the tracks are on these CDs – and they are that in spades – the question of what the next step should be for these seven players hangs in the air. MORE

February 1, 2010

Evan Parker Electro-Acoustic Ensemble

The Moment’s Energy
ECM 2066

John Butcher Group

Somethingtobesaid

Weight of Wax WOW 02

Now that a large portion of improvised music is deliberately moving further away from its swing-blues roots and into an accommodation with New music, a few far-sighted so-called classical festivals have made a place for improvisers. Tellingly, both these captivating CDs featuring ensembles performing large-scale compositions by significant British saxophonists, were commissioned by the United Kingdom’s Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival. More importantly, neither work is a jazz-classical cameo, but expansive enough to allow the composers’ ideas to be figuratively painted on a larger canvas, using an extended sonic palate. MORE

February 1, 2010

John Butcher Group

Somethingtobesaid
Weight of Wax WOW 02

Evan Parker Electro-Acoustic Ensemble

The Moment’s Energy

ECM 2066

Now that a large portion of improvised music is deliberately moving further away from its swing-blues roots and into an accommodation with New music, a few far-sighted so-called classical festivals have made a place for improvisers. Tellingly, both these captivating CDs featuring ensembles performing large-scale compositions by significant British saxophonists, were commissioned by the United Kingdom’s Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival. More importantly, neither work is a jazz-classical cameo, but expansive enough to allow the composers’ ideas to be figuratively painted on a larger canvas, using an extended sonic palate. MORE

June 28, 2009

Peter Evans/Tom Blancarte

[sparks]
Creative Sources CS 119 CD

Okkyung Lee/Peter Evans/Steve Beresford

Check for Monsters

Emanem 5002

One of a crop of younger players who are slowly redefining the trumpet’s role and range, New York-based Peter Evans stands out. Classically trained, his use of the piccolo trumpet as well as the regular model allows him to access the minimalist aspects of other experimentalists without neglecting the literal brassy qualities which have been the trumpet’s raison d’etre since the days of John Philip Sousa and Louis Armstrong. MORE

June 28, 2009

Okkyung Lee/Peter Evans/Steve Beresford

Check for Monsters
Emanem 5002

Peter Evans/Tom Blancarte

[sparks]

Creative Sources CS 119 CD

One of a crop of younger players who are slowly redefining the trumpet’s role and range, New York-based Peter Evans stands out. Classically trained, his use of the piccolo trumpet as well as the regular model allows him to access the minimalist aspects of other experimentalists without neglecting the literal brassy qualities which have been the trumpet’s raison d’etre since the days of John Philip Sousa and Louis Armstrong. MORE

February 8, 2009

Mostly Other People Do the Killing

This Is Our Moosic
Hot Cup 082

Jon Irabagon

Outright!

Innova Records 699

Alto saxophonist Jon Irabagon, who migrated from suburban Chicago to Astoria, Queens, working with different bands in clubs and studying music along the way, won the 21st annual Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition last October. On the evidence of these CDs, it’s easy to see why.

Possessed of an upfront style, strong chops and a thorough understanding of the tradition, Irabagon composes swinging and sometimes complex tunes and is a mainstream polymath who obviously impressed representatives of the jazz establishment who hand out awards. No show-boater, the reedist takes only slightly more solo space on his debut session as he gets on This Is Our Moosic and is surrounded on both discs by the highest grade of young New York-centred talent. Overall though, he fares better as one interlocking clog of bassist Moppa Elliott’s extravagantly named Mostly Other People Do the Killing (MOPDtK), then on his own. MORE

February 8, 2009

Jon Irabagon

Outright!
Innova Records 699

Mostly Other People Do the Killing

This Is Our Moosic

Hot Cup 082

Alto saxophonist Jon Irabagon, who migrated from suburban Chicago to Astoria, Queens, working with different bands in clubs and studying music along the way, won the 21st annual Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition last October. On the evidence of these CDs, it’s easy to see why.

Possessed of an upfront style, strong chops and a thorough understanding of the tradition, Irabagon composes swinging and sometimes complex tunes and is a mainstream polymath who obviously impressed representatives of the jazz establishment who hand out awards. No show-boater, the reedist takes only slightly more solo space on his debut session as he gets on This Is Our Moosic and is surrounded on both discs by the highest grade of young New York-centred talent. Overall though, he fares better as one interlocking clog of bassist Moppa Elliott’s extravagantly named Mostly Other People Do the Killing (MOPDtK), then on his own. MORE

November 21, 2006

Carnival Skin

Carnival Skin
Nemu 003

By Ken Waxman

Blending extended techniques from a variety of genres – including modern notated composition – with elements of Ornette Coleman-like free jazz, Carnival Skin proclaims its individuality in instrumentation.

That’s because the German-American quintet has as one lead voice, Bruce Eisenbeil’s guitar – an instrument whose sinuous fills and rough chording aren’t often heard in hard-core free improv situations. Similarly the overall instrumentation is less than commonplace. MORE