The Squid's Ear Magazine

Success Pistols (Finer / Bevins / Davidovici / Hong): First Shot (Amalgam)

Borrowing from jazz/improvised music, new compositional forms and avant reductionist traditions, the Montreal quartet Success Pistol release their debut album of compositions by saxophonist Dustin Finder, oral instructions including game pieces that leave room for improvisation; with Scott Bevins on trumpet, and husband and wife duo Eli Davidovici on bass and Mili Hong on drums.

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product information:

Label: Amalgam
Catalog ID: AMA035
Squidco Product Code: 32179

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2022
Country: USA
Packaging: Digipack
Recorded by James Benjamin and Sam Rae.


Dustin Finer-tenor saxophone, composition

Scott Bevins-trumpet

Eli Davidovici-bass

Mili Hong-drums

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Sample The Album:

Descriptions, Reviews, &c.

"Success Pistols is Dustin Finer (tenor saxophone, composition), Scott Bevins (trumpet), Eli Davidovici (bass), and Mili Hong (drums). Their sound borrows from new music, improvised music, and avant-minimalist traditions. Scores consist of instructions that Finer teaches the group orally; specificity of each instruction varies and unspecified elements are improvised.

The result is that each piece retains an identifiable sonic fingerprint while differing every performance. Works are taught orally, rather than by providing the written text scores, so that the music must be memorized immediately. This demands a high level of concentration and fosters a unique performer experience where modalities of listening and memory are used as compositional parameters. Some works also feature game elements that encourage the musicians to interact in playful ways, such as cueing one another with subtle winks.

First Shot is Success Pistols' debut recording."-Amalgam

Artist Biographies

"Dustin Finer is a Montreal-based saxophonist and teacher. Dustin grew up in Vermont where he began playing the saxophone at age nine. Throughout middle and high school Dustin studied with Michael Zsoldos and Fred Haas. Under their mentorship Dustin showed early promise, winning top chairs in both the Vermont All State Concert Band and the All New England Concert Band.

Dustin studied Saxophone Performance at McGill University's Schulich School of Music under the legendary Abe Kestenberg and inimitable Dr. Jacqueline Leclair. While at McGill, he was a recipient of the Angela C. Kramer Memorial Award in Music (2012) which is awarded by the Schulich School of Music Scholarship Committee to an outstanding undergraduate student. He graduated with Distinction for Outstanding Achievement in Saxophone (2014).

Since 2014, Dustin has performed with DF, a duo with friend and collaborator Daniel Freder. Described as "the 21stcentury lovechild of a basement jazz club, a campfire, and an Eastern European painter's loft-studio," (Leacock's) Dustin composes and performs original works for saxophone and looper and Dan designs, builds, and programs light installations which react to music in real-time. DF has been showcased in Nuit Blanche, the One Man Band Festival, Pop Montreal, and Ottawa New Music Creators. They recently gave a talk at TEDxYouth Montreal. DF often explores immersive and interactive performances, including a show in a Giant Blanket Fort.

With over a decade of experience, Dustin has a passion for teaching saxophone to all ages and ability levels.

A reservist with the Canadian Armed Forces, Dustin spent three summers (2013-2015) playing with the Band of the Ceremonial Guard where he was a musical section leader. He is a member of Les Fusilier Mont-Royal. He performs with their concert band, saxophone quartet, and marching band in Montreal and the surrounding region."

-Dustin Finer Website (

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Scott Bevins is a trumpeter, songwriter, composer, musical theatre, soundtracks and theme music.

-Scott Bevins Soundcloud (

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"Eli Davidovici has been performing as a professional bassist in the Vancouver and Montreal Jazz, Rock, Folk, and Hip Hop scenes since 2006 and has been teaching both privately and in group masterclasses for over a decade. Since obtaining his degree in Jazz performance from Capilano University in 2014, Eli has spent the majority of his time as a writer and producer of his own music, as well as working with musicians across the country and across scenes. He is available for hire as both a teacher and sideman, and currently resides in Montreal, Canada."

-Eli Davidovici Website (

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"Mili Hong began playing drums at the age of 16. She spent most of her life in South Korea until her early 20s when she moved to Vancouver, Canada to study English and Music. Although she originally planned to move back to Korea after completing her studies, she decided to remain in Vancouver to experiment and explore her new life in Canada's thriving and diverse music scene. At Capilano University she received a Bachelor of Music in Jazz Studies, majoring in Instrumental Performance and played in various ensembles from small combos to big bands which exposed her to numerous chances to explore different styles of drumming, while also studying with drum instructors Graham Boyle, Blaine Wikjord, Dave Robbins, and Dylan van der Schyff. While playing in Capilano University's "A" band, under the direction of Juno award-winning Brad Turner, she had the chance to play with notable guest artists such as Ian Froman, Mike Murley, and Randy Brecker. Mili is becoming an important member of Canada's Jazz scene through her playing in a variety of different projects including Eli Davidovici and The Watermill Project and has also been involved in several alternative rock projects, including Moondle and Corey Gulkin. Her lifetime goal is to continue learning about her art and herself through her continuous study of music and language."

-Mili Hong Website (

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Track Listing:

1. Pastiche No. 1 02:13

2. Speed Eater 03:00

3. Pastiche No. 2b 06:15

4. Descenders 03:51

5. three miniatures 04:40

6. JUST ON3 THING 06:18

Related Categories of Interest:

Improvised Music
Free Improvisation
Quartet Recordings
Canadian Composition & Improvisation
New in Improvised Music
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