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.

Like an e-mail subject line, the title of the Cappozzo-Didier EP essentially describes its contents. Paced as deliberately as a portentous observance, these are sounds from players who have evolved strategies alongside such idiosyncratic improvisers as bassist Joëlle Léandre and saxophonist Daunik Lazro. The two come across as intrepid sound explorers trying to capture elusive, never-heard tones. Perhaps that’s why the brass player appears to spend most of his time almost literally digging into the metallic properties of his instruments. Crackling power puffs, bent notes and dyspeptic snarls are balanced by poised cymbal cracks and near-martial rat-tat-tats from the drummer. One high point is reached just before the first track finishes, with the two pugnaciously uniting for a Free Jazz variant on bugle calls and martial pummels. Before achieving peak congruence with a cleaver slice of swing in the penultimate minutes, Cappozzo spits out higher and higher intonations that evolve into near replications of a small child’s crying and laughing. Melding these tones plus Lasserre’s percussion pumping, a mellow mélange is achieved as the finale.

Although recorded a four month earlier, the other CD seems to pick up where Cappozzo-Didier leaves off. Like the main attraction in a rodeo, Evans, whose spectacular brass command has been showcased with everyone from saxophonist Evan Parker’s groups to bassist Barry Guy’s ensembles, does all he can to pluck as many timbres out of the piccolo trumpet as Capozzo does with the full-sized one. Like the rodeo clown whose real function is to ensure cohesion and safety, Vogel whose career encompasses working with players as different as Guy and pianist Peter Madsen, stays out of Evans’ way enough to advance brass strategies but keeps tunes’ focused with slick patterning. Tracks such as “pe/av 4” find the trumpeter mining textures from deep inside his body tube as wiggling whistles, shuffling squeaks and plunger wind appear like toys falling out a Santa sack. In fact Evans’ voluminous phrase-spewing that on tracks like “pe/av 6” involve sharpened Gabriel-like blasts and scudding mouthpiece extensions, is only breached by Vogel’s percussive cracks and chain shaking simplicity. Although the two showcase a brief snatch of out-and-out Jazz swing on “pe/av”, where tremolo grace notes match a protracted shuffle beat, the payoff for this instrumental probing is on the concluding “pe/av 7”. After circling one another like wary canines for about 30 minutes and experimenting with aleatory and alternative procedures, the two construct a layered program of matched tongue smears and cymbal slaps. The joint vibrations cocoon as well as challenge.

The opposite of easy listening, these dates warrant investigation by those who want to observe how much of a sonic landscape can be uncovered using extended techniques and no more than two sound sources.

—Ken Waxman

Track Listing: Ceremony: A. Ceremony’s a Name for the Rich Horn 1 B. Ceremony’s a Name for the Rich Horn 2

Personnel: Ceremony: Jean-Luc Cappozzo (trumpet and flugelhorn) and Didier Lasserre (drums)

Track Listing: Piccolo: 1. pe/av 1 2. pe/av 2 3. pe/av 3 4. pe/av 4 pe/av 5. pe/av 5 6, pe/av 6 7. pe/av 7

Personnel: Piccolo: Peter Evans (piccolo trumpet) and Alfred Vogel (drums and percussion)