Little Trumpeter Boys
As is the case when I write about jazz, I rarely know what to say. So with these two releases sitting in the queue for over a month and knowing all the while they’d made the A-list, I finally broke down and wrote short, informative pieces. Haven’t heard any other Etienne Charles release, though I’ve explored Evans’s solo stuff and it’s all primo; his work with MOPDtK ain’t bad, neither.
ETIENNE CHARLES – Creole Soul (Culture Shock Music): Trinidadian trumpeter’s fourth release examines Caribbean pop and folk traditions through the lens of American bop. Six originals and four covers, the best of those Monk’s “Green Chimneys,” the most surprising Marley’s “Turn Your Lights Down Low.” Talented as he is, recruiting a sextet sometimes spreads the attention, turning this dangerously close towards backdrop ear candy rather than a cohesive collective of performers you can examine individually. A MINUS
PETER EVANS – Zebulon (More Is More): Trumpeter of Mostly Other People Do the Killing drops from quintet to trio, features John Herbert on bass and hip-hop artist and frequent (former) Das Racist collaborator Kassa Overall on drums for four long avant-garde pieces stretching to the 80-minute mark, all culled from a performance at the now-defunct Brooklyn outlet Zebulon. No studio-engineered soundscape detours here, though the lengthy improvs can get abstract, but none of the space theatrics present on his debut or 2011’s Ghosts. For pieces of their length, possibly his best as leader. And he’s so damn young. A MINUS