Whenever the name of Peter Evans comes up among trumpet players, a tone of awe and amazement follows, as do hyperbolic celebrations of his prodigious talents as an improviser with the ability to execute with conviction and great precision the ideas of the moment.
In this trio called Pulverize the Sound, Evans' talents are well showcased, but it is also, if not mostly, the cohesion of the trio that impresses on the seven tracks. What we get is a contemporary power trio that has a lot of the primal energy that used to make rock music so interesting and engaging. Along with the trumpet (from what I can tell, a Bb flat horn and a piccolo are used) we get Tim Dahl's electric bass shredding like crazy in a very focused and ecstatic fashion (almost with a metal head guitar sound at times), and the crisp percussive array of Mike Pride on drum set, glockenspiel and "auxiliary percussion."
The album opens with a scorching, blistering three-minute power ride called "Downtick," a track that shows what the trio can do at high speed and with high energy, a vein they play in at several moments on the album. The trio can also be very attentive to nuance and play quite lyrically with lots of space, as in the multi-sectioned "STAG" and in "Lifo," whose opening moments have the tender tones of something like "My Funny Valentine," all while still pushing the limits of their chops and unleashing the propulsive, driving force that the three musicians can muster.
Evans' articulations are risk-taking, and you sense he is one who never plays it safe, but he lands on his feet with masterful control of his horn. In terms of style, this is group is hard to pigeonhole. It has the energy of a rock band, but with the vocabulary of a contemporary experimental ensemble, never dipping into any of the hackneyed jazz clichés that would reduce the music to pastiche or ironico-ersatz pabulum, although the beginning of "Breakover Point" echoes something like Miles Davis played on Bitches Brew. For good measure, there are the extended techniques here and there, so that this group's palette is quite large, much larger than you would expect from a trio!
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