The trio of guitarist Halvorson, drummer Weasel and trumpeter Evans in music aptly described as "brisk, strange and articulate, presenting a dry and bizarre sense of humor and play".
Walter / Halvorson / Evans
Label: Thirsty Ear
Released in: USA
"What makes this excursion into improvised mayhem so compelling? There is no reason that I can rationally put forth to explain how and why "Mangosteen 3000 A.D." should be listened to at all. It's not neatly defined as jazz, rock, post-rock, pre-jazz or rife with beautiful melodies and dazzling harmonies. Rather, Evan's trumpet bifurcates into spittle and inspiration, Halvorson's guitar slips and shimmies, and Walter's free ranging percussion somehow keeps it all together. Clean toned runs crash into thick distorted chords, lines shatter into dazzling arrays of tiny shiny notes, this recording can dupe the senses with its spiraling helixes of sound.
Electric Fruit is a celebration, a joyous racket, a jumble of adjectives and superlatives running roughshod on the expected. The songs are ever shifting and building explorations of texture, tonality and expression. There are moments of beauty too, with the guitar providing delicate backdrops for muted melodies. From the cover art of an orange contraption, presumably electrified, to a phantasmagorical arrangement of verbiage for song titles ('The Stench of Cyber-Durian', 'The Pseudo-carp Walks Among Us'), to the free spirited music within, it would seem that such a potent brew could go so wrong, yet it could not be better.
Halvorson continues to reinvent the guitar, playing with an instantly identifiable voice that eschews cliché or formula. Evans coaxes all sorts of sounds that are not usually found in the trumpet and Walters provides accents and beats in places perfectly unexpected. For example, 'Yantok Salak Kapok', finds Evans inventing an extended melody over assorted scattered pulsing percussion, while Halvorson bends tones, shoots out tonal clusters and smears chords around the sonic canvass. Halfway through this dynamic epic, the musicians individual voices begin coalescing into, well, I suppose a giant orange outfitted with pipes, wires and a thirst for adventure.
This is an album that is well worth the experience."-Paul Acquaro, Free Jazz (Stef)
• Show Bio for Mary Halvorson
"One of improvised music's most in-demand guitarists, Mary Halvorson has been active in New York since 2002, following jazz studies at Wesleyan University and the New School. Critics have called her "a singular talent" (Lloyd Sachs, JazzTimes), "NYC's least-predictable improviser" (Howard Mandel, City Arts), "one of the most exciting and original guitarists in jazz-or otherwise" (Steve Dollar, Wall Street Journal), and "one of today's most formidable bandleaders" (Francis Davis, Village Voice). The Philadelphia City Paper's Shaun Brady adds, "Halvorson has been steadily reshaping the sound of jazz guitar in recent years with her elastic, sometimes-fluid, sometimes-shredding, wholly unique style."
After three years of study with visionary composer and saxophonist Anthony Braxton, Ms. Halvorson became an active member of several of his bands, including his trio, septet and 12+1tet. To date, she appears on six of Mr. Braxton's recordings. Ms. Halvorson has also performed alongside iconic guitarist Marc Ribot, in his bands Sun Ship and The Young Philadelphians, and with the bassist Trevor Dunn in his Trio-Convulsant. Over the past decade she has worked with such diverse bandleaders as Tim Berne, Taylor Ho Bynum, Tomas Fujiwara, Ingrid Laubrock, Myra Melford, Jason Moran, Joe Morris, Tom Rainey and Mike Reed.
As a bandleader and composer, one of Ms. Halvorson's primary outlets is her longstanding trio, featuring bassist John Hébert and drummer Ches Smith. Since their 2008 debut album, Dragon's Head, the band has been recognized as a rising star jazz band by Downbeat Magazine for five consecutive years. Ms. Halvorson's quintet, which adds trumpeter Jonathan Finlayson and alto saxophonist Jon Irabagon to the trio, has released two critically acclaimed albums on the Firehouse 12 label: Saturn Sings and Bending Bridges. Most recently she has added two additional band members-tenor saxophonist Ingrid Laubrock and trombonist Jacob Garchik-to form a septet, featured on her 2013 release Illusionary Sea. Ms. Halvorson also co-leads a longstanding chamber-jazz duo with violist Jessica Pavone, the avant-rock band People and the collective ensembles Thumbscrew and Secret Keeper."-Mary Halvorson Website (http://www.maryhalvorson.com/bio/)
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• Show Bio for Weasel Walter
"Weasel Walter (real name Walter Wyzowski) is a composer and instrumentalist who founded the band The Flying Luttenbachers in Chicago in 1991 with a current member of Cellular Chaos and Behold...The Arctopus. Over the years, The Flying Luttenbachers included noted Dylan Posa, and Michael Colligan, while creating a body of music drawing equally from no wave, death metal, gamelan, noise music, hardcore punk and modern classical. Walter moved to the San Francisco Bay Area in 2003, where he formed the latest of many Luttenbachers lineups, remaining on percussion with the addition of bassist Mike Green (Burmese), and virtuoso guitarist Ed Rodriguez (ex-Colossamite, Gorge Trio). Singular guitar phenomenon Mick Barr (Krallice, Octis, Orthrelm) joined the group in 2005. The Flying Luttenbachers ceased to operate in late 2007. On November 25, 2009, Weasel Walter announced that he was moving to New York City to join the band Behold... The Arctopus on drums and will be writing "new, more extreme material from scratch." He also formed Cellular Chaos with Marc Edwards (drummer), Admiral Grey and Ceci Moss."-Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Weasel_Walter)
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• Show Bio for Peter Evans
"Peter Evans is a trumpet player, and improvisor/composer based in New York City since 2003. Evans is part of a broad, hybridized scene of musical experimentation and his work cuts across a wide range of modern musical practices and traditions. Peter is committed to the simultaneously self-determining and collaborative nature of musical improvisation as a compositional tool, and works with an ever-expanding group of musicians and composers in the creation of new music. His primary groups as a leader are the Peter Evans Quintet and the Zebulon trio. In addition, Evans has been performing and recording solo trumpet music since 2002 and is widely recognized as a leading voice in the field, having released several recordings over the past decade. He is a member of the cooperative groups Pulverize the Sound (with Mike Pride and Tim Dahl) and Rocket Science (with Evan Parker, Craig Taborn and Sam Pluta) and is constantly experimenting and forming new configurations with like minded players. As a composer, he has been commissioned by the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), Yarn/Wire, the Donaueschingen Musiktage Festival, the Jerome Foundation's Emerging Artist Program, and the Doris Duke Foundation for the 2015 Newport Jazz Festival. Evans has presented and/or performed his works at major festivals worldwide and tours his own groups extensively. He has worked with some of the leading figures in new music: John Zorn, Kassa Overall, Jim Black, Weasel Walter, Levy Lorenzo, Nate Wooley, Steve Schick, Mary Halvorson, Joe McPhee, George Lewis, and performs with both ICE and the Wet Ink Ensemble. He has been releasing recordings on his own label, More is More, since 2011."-Peter Evans Website (http://pevans.squarespace.com/about/)
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Label: Thirsty Ear
Catalog ID: THI57196
Squidco Product Code: 14028
Packaging: Jewel Tray
Recorded on November 14th, 2009 at Mengroth, The Thousand Caves by Colin Marston.
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1. Mangosteen 3000 A.D. 8:58
2. The Stench Of Cyber-Burian 11:22
3. The Pseudocarp Walks Amoung Us 4:22
4. Scuppernong Malfunction 6:53
5. Yantok Salak Kapok 15:38
6. Metallic Dragon Fruit 7:27