Live in Lisbon
Peter Evans Quartet
Kevin Shea (d), Peter Evans (t), Ricardo Gallo (p), Tom Blancarte (b),
Also Available on iTunes
Recorded at the Jazz em Agosto Festival in 2009, “Live in Lisbon” proposes another way to deal with the old American standards. Instead of passively reproducing the song formats, trumpeter extraordinaire Peter Evans uses its compositional elements as “found materials”. And yes, there’s some analogies with the visual artist Marcel Duchamp’s “ready mades”. Those elements can be the tempos, the harmonies, the melodic phrases, but taken apart, deconstructed and gathered in different patterns, in order to enhance improvisation and to liberate choices during the performative process. For instance, “All The Things You Are” by Jerome Kern, “Lush Life” by Billy Strayhorn”, “Duke Ellington’s Sound of Love” by Charles Mingus, and “What Is This Thing Called Love” by Cole Porter are subjected to this procedure. In consequence, each piece functions like a puzzle being assembled moment by moment – you can recognize the inner materials or not, but they’re always present in some form. This is not an attempt to turn simple things complex, but to achieve a looser approach in the context of the centuries old equation between written (by historic masters) and spontaneous collective composition (with contributions from Ricardo Gallo, Tom Blancarte, and Kevin Shea). In his liner notes, Evans says it all: “It is great fun to see what elements of surprise we can squeeze out of something that, on its surface, may seem very familiar.” In truth, simplicity is the name of the game here played, and it emerges in various levels, from the most intriguing to the unexpected.