Charles Evans

The King of All Instruments

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Charles Evans explores all of the tones and timbres of the baritone saxophone using multiple overdub techniques on this "solo" recording that is a tribute to family members, friends, his mentor David Liebman, or influences Gerry Mulligan and Charles Ives. Though the rich, lower-level sound normally associated with the burly bari is heard, Evans emphasizes the upper octave range of the instrument not normally heard in improvised music, and surprisingly, hits many unheard microtones that approach electronic music at times. The richness of the instrument in reference to its being the "king" is only the beginning of this fascinating demonstration of multiphonics taken in a completely different realm from any others who play it in a big-band format or any creative music circles. You know you're in for a wild ride upon listening to the opening three part suite "On Tone Yet?," starting with a high-end sad ballad, then loaded up harmonics, and a concluding short tone poem. A two-segment tribute to his father Clarence Evans evokes a one-tone bass base and soulful but solemn remembrances during "Junie," with a bit of minimalist thrown in. You can't help but hear a similar stance via the World Saxophone Quartet in the overdubbing of "A Deya in the Life of a Mulligan" in its cool groove, jaunty texts, and ballsy refrains, while sour tones in mixed joy and fears, fun, and tears identify "Mother & Others," while deeper 12-tone rows in irony and humor marks the light macabre tone in "What Would of Ives?" The lengthy tribute to Liebman, "It's the Right Toe, Bro" is basically a solo where Evans exploits the full tonal range of the baritone, evoking overblown sounds that could easily be mistaken as electronics when they are, in fact, pure acoustic wizardry. As the emotional content of this goes beyond the pale, with no apologies to self-proclaimed media icon "royalty" like Howard Stern or Larry King, Charles Evans has made a mighty statement unique unto itself, a same sax marriage of epic proportions, deserving a listen for all who enjoy challenging creative improvised jazz-based music.

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