Charles Evans redefines the literature for the saxophone with one of the most inventive releases of the year.
Brent Black / @CriticalJazz
So what is all the fuss? Simple.
Subliminal Leaps finds the well traveled baritone saxophonist Charles Evans utilizing jazz instrumentation but with 20th century classic techniques and harmonies, the influx of free jazz improvisation in this setting may well redefine the avaunt garde movement as we know it. Oh yeah, did I mention this work was specifically written for and features saxophone master David Liebman? Dave Liebman put down his tenor for a fifteen year stretch in an effort to establish a personal voice on soprano. Mission accomplished.
This rare combination of baritone and soprano saxophone is part of the small jazz collective here with long time Liebman friend and colleague bassist Tony Marino and pianist Ron Stabinsky who plays an incredibly important role in this most daring of projects. Stabinsky plays with a deft touch yet an expansive spatial quality that serves as the rhythmic glue binding this drummer less 4tet together. The chemistry on display is highly indicative of egos having been checked at the door and a harmonic exploration of melody is the focal point of this deconstructed journey into the improvisational unknown.
To sidestep the more traditional jazz vocabulary is no small task, to attempt this with an instrumental titan of the stature of a David Liebman will either work as a triumphant excursion of sonic bliss or...crash and burn quickly. Liebman and Evans work hand in glove and while some of the chromatic harmony may sound foreign at first, the synergy moves the music into an engaging realm and newly discovered idiom for both musicians and aficionados alike.
Improvisational music be it referred to as jazz or any other arbitrary label is about the spontaneous creation of human expression.
Subliminal Leaps is a profound recording destined to influence countless performers and delight casual listeners who enjoy moving outside the box.
Tracks: Dreamed -Out March; Certain Soprano; Mahler Method; Interruptions; Subliminal Leaps; Reprise.
Personnel: Charles Evans: Baritone Saxophone; David Liebman: Soprano Saxophone; Ron Stabinsky: Piano; Tony Marino: Bass