There’s more than meets the eyes and ears on this 2010 release by gifted trumpeter Peter Evans and his superfine band. In the liners, Evans states his plight which may be akin to rummaging through a salvage yard and retrofitting parts from classic cars into high--performance racers. It’s a stylistic methodology as the artist derives components from timeless standards by Jerome Kern and the piece “ICP,” which references the fabled and cutting-edge European band ICP Orchestra, among other components. Regardless, Evans imparts a distinctly personal touch to this gala, which is steeped in a symmetrical fusion of structure and improvisation.
Like a well-rehearsed dance troupe or a fast-paced action thriller, the quartet dishes out a potpourri of linear sub-plots, spiced with briskly stated and intricately designed unison movements. Evans’ brazen tone and super-speed runs help generate an air of excitement. Moreover, pianist Ricardo Gallo is a near perfect foil throughout, where he underscores and counters the enticing plot with cascading block chords and rotating notes.
It’s a precision machine indeed, but not solely a technical gymnastics session because the band sports a lyrical edge while engaging in perpetual motion at countless velocities. Evans’ blazing flurries is marked by an authoritative presence. And every note counts! In effect, the audience in attendance at Portugal’s Jazz em Agosto Festival must have been spellbound.
At times, the quartet transforms a militaristic type lexicon into multidirectional forays, alternating with spunky free-form vamps and clever deviations, occasionally contrasted by Gallo’s stuttering chord clusters. Simply stated, the music iterated here offers a remarkable glimpse into Evan’s ingenious compositional approach, enamored by the musicians’ near flawless marksmanship. The album demands widespread attention…