Daily Archives: October 22, 2010

Touching Extremes review by Massimo Ricci

PETER EVANS QUARTET – Live In Lisbon (CF 173)
That this set was recorded in the summer – during the “Jazz Em Agosto” festival – is certified by the cicadas accompanying the first instants of “Introduction” and by the gentle wind heard blowing through the microphone at one particularly silent juncture of the same selection. What’s really hot is the playing we hear from that point on, which testifies about various levels of personal conviction. No, I’m not repeating how imaginative and enjoyable Peter Evans’s sound is – for that, the solo CD Nature/Culture on Evan Parker’s Psi should be the definitive testament; my focus in this case is on the remarkableness of these compositions. Apart from the three (beautiful) “Interlude”, utilized for giving some respite to an otherwise tremendously energetic interplay, the tracks are mostly junctions between “adaptations and metamorphoses” of celebrated evergreens such as “All The Things You Are”, “Lush Life” and “What Is This Thing Called Love” and a series of interchangeable liberties, allowed by the principal to his partners (Tom Blancarte on bass, Ricardo Gallo on piano and Kevin Shea on drums) to complement and expand concepts that might be trouble-free as far as harmonic changes are concerned (“For ICP”) but that are interspersed with rhythmic deviations and technical abnormalities (a 63-beat ostinato, anyone?). Those are the reasons for which the music results as a blend of linear chivalrousness – Evans’ confidence and intense serenity gorgeous as ever, Gallo’s fluid pianism assisting the interaction with polished ease, Blancarte and Shea both prosperous in fantasies and toughness – and absorbingly complex sophistications that have the merit of not overstaying their welcome. The end result is an abundant hour of outstanding contemporary jazz.