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Peter Evans Quintet: Destination: Void

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It might be hard to believe that Destination: Void comes from the same trumpet player who, a few months ago, performed a precise imitation of Miles Davis on Blue, Mostly Other People Do the Killing’s note-for-note recreation of Kind of Blue. What was warm and romantic then is icy and brusque now. It should send a message to aspiring trumpet players: Open minds can play it both ways.

The four pieces on Destination: Void emphasize Evans’ proclivities as an experimental composer, even as the quintet includes jazzmen Jim Black (drums and percussion) and Ron Stabinsky (piano and prepared piano). The first two tracks were written as tributes and prove to be the more challenging works on the album. “12” pays homage to Evan Parker, using one of the saxophonist’s favorite phrases as its foundation. Evans plays nothing but the five-note cell for most of the track while his bandmates joust on top of him. A demanding listen, it’s nothing compared to “For Gary Rydstrom and Ben Burtt,” a solo piece for Sam Pluta’s electronics. Dedicated to two film-sound designers, it consists of a two-note trumpet sample, percussive crashes and synthesizer squirts tumbling over one another. Visuals would help here.

After that sonic onslaught, the remaining pieces deliver tranquility, though they’re no “Blue in Green.” Evans wrote “Make It So” to suggest the orbits of celestial bodies; the silent moments carry as much weight as the music, creating a fascinating soundscape. “Tresillo” plays out like free improvisation though dynamics slowly reveal themselves, rising and falling repeatedly over its 27-minute duration.

Originally Published