Press

 

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CLASSICAL DIVERSIONS
AND THE PIANO JUST KEEPS ON EXPLODING…

“Who are the most innovative composers in New York right now?  Ask visionary pianist Kathleen Supove, who curates the new music series at the Flea Theater, in New York. Crowned “the downtown piano queen” by The New Yorker, Supove is known for her massively intelligent and passionate command of both modern/contemporary piano repertoire and the recital form itself—often infusing her performances with savvy theatrics to charge them (and the audience) with new energy.  “Through her Exploding Piano series, developed and expanded at The Flea,” says the theater’s website, Supove “has commissioned pioneering works of concert theater and music for piano with electronics and multimedia by a Who’s Who of today’s most exciting composers.”

On Monday, May 4, Supove and the Flea present two of what Supove calls New York’s “most daring” composers in the finale of this season’s Exploding Piano series: multitalented percussionist Michael Evans, collaborating with video artist Naval Cassidy and employing surveillance cameras to create a work called Trouble’s a Brewin’; and Akemi Naito, who presents The Woman in the Dunes, a multimedia piece based on the novel by Kobo Abe.“I’ve always found the work of Michael Evans to be really fresh,” says Supove, whose latest, critically-acclaimed solo CD, Infusion, is on the Koch International Classics label and features works for piano and electronics by American composers Carolyn Yarnell, Marti Epstein, Randall Woolf, and Elaine Kaplinsky. “Not only is he an expert percussionist, but he has a truly authentic sense of play, an almost naive, ‘amateur’ quality (and I mean this in the best sense!) to his performances and concepts. I love the idea of surveillance in a piece, as it’s the ultimate breaking down of the fourth wall!“Akemi Naito’s work is an ambitious one,” continues Supove, “–the subject being the Kobo Abe novel, and a blending of Noh Theater, video, and music. I’m excited to see exactly how, through her elegant music, she will gently break down all the barriers between disciplines and blanket the space of The Flea Theater!” 

– Kathleen Supove, Classic TV, The Greatest Performing Arts Online

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LaDonna Smith and Michael Evans

Deviant Shakti – Trans Museq 19

For all of you that know LaDonna Smith, you may –and even must– know that you will not know what will you will hear and experience. For me, that’s a very good thing. I like to be in the dark. I like to be on the other side. That is, at least I know when LaDonna Smith plays her viola and violin that I will be taken to another side. That being said, the new CD by Michael Evans and LaDonna Smith does not disappoint.

Improvisational music can be difficult for some to digest. Sometimes it takes a little extra “nudge” and effort to comprehend. However, this new recording is more accessible than many so-called “noise” recordings. The duo are pros at what they create. And they are way ahead of current sound experiments.This recording is hypnotizing. It is a glorification of strings and percussive output that stings deep inside the eardrums connecting to the psyche.“Tenacious Rebel Autarchy” pulls the Appalachian Hills and Mountains and fills with a sense of careful and subdued chaos. Chaos is not the focus. It may be the outcome. But solitude is in the moment. It is a reflection of a distant relative. . . .a missed opportunity.“Atomized Ascension” erodes the very best of anyone’s soul. The piece is creepy and hard to hold on to. It’s a song to forget your long lost lovers. Evans’ percussive beats haunt and hinder for the most chilling accompanying to the stings Smith puts forth.Deviant Shakti is a CD for the meek and agonized. But the concept is for the uplifting, caring and hopeful society.Make this disk a part of your collective experience.
– Hunter Bell: OMNI PLUG
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LaDonna Smith and Michael Evans
Deviant Shakti – Trans Museq 19
“Deviant Shakti” is a fantastic recording featuring two accomplished, venerable musicians performing at their improvisational height.  Evans, a percussionist and Theremin player,  has studied drums with Milford Graves, technique with Joe Morello, tabla with Misha Masud, kanjira with Ganesh Kumar and Hatian/Afro-Cuban hand-drumming with John Amira.  His playing in tandem with LaDonna highlights many of these influences and is imbued with remarkable subtlety and technique.  Smith has commented to me on several occasions her joy playing with percussionists, in particular Evans, and the rapport they exhibit on this recording shows off the ecstatic tendencies of her music.

Noted for her passion and virtuosity, Smith shines yet again on this release, and though I haven’t had the opportunity to discuss with her the qualification ‘deviant’ in the title “Deviant Shakti,” always present in her performances and recordings is that primordial energy to which she alludes.  For more of her take on her music and how it relates to her life, I did an interview with her for Perfect Sound Forever in 2003 which can be found here. Her thoughts and outlook are as profound as the sounds she creates.

Together, these two artists draw on a mind-boggling sphere of influences, not only creating new idioms along the way, but displaying their love for musics around the globe, whether they be insects in the backyard or the flowing, flowering sounds of Bollywood .  This love translates not into the gauche terminology “world music,” but rather into a new, contemporary sound, often paradoxically so in that it draws from many classical forms.  It’s no small feat and not an endeavor for anyone not seriously concerned with the directions of music for a shrinking Earth.

Davey Williams penned the liner notes, and within those he succinctly writes, “Meanwhile, two travelers follow different routes towards a single destination, which is everywhere and nowhere simultaneously, a place that exists as an ever-changing motion, a flow of unified soundings calling to me with the dynamism of a forest.

I hear the back country of the constellations in this music, a rough and tumble fluidity, a barn dance with benign movie monsters of supreme elegance.

I go for a swim, bathed in this audible delight.”

Indeed, supreme elegance sums up in two words both the product and the musicians, here heard at what never seems to peak for them—each outing seems to go places unfathomable and unbelievable.  With both elan and ferocity, Smith and Evans have captured (yet again) the direction of new music, mapped it and have projected the paths for their next sonic discovery.

– P. Somniferum

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LaDonna Smith and Michael Evans
Deviant Shakti – Transmuseq 19

Here’s our longtime improvising pal LaDonna creating crystal-clear improvised havoc with her violin/viola in tandem with Michael Evans, doing percussion, drums, electronics & Theremin!  As many of you who read this ‘zine on a regular basis may know, I first met LaDonna way back in the earliest days of her label, Transmuseq… I was doing a lot of performance art & played with her & guitarist Davey Williams (also reviewed in this issue).  My first listen to this CD was through speakers, & to be fair to the artists, decided right away that it MUST be taken in through headphones… doing the listen in any other fashion takes away from the intense concentration and focus that you must have when experiencing improvised music; and I can tell you that you’d be missing a lot… this is one of the intricately woven sonic tapestries I’ve ever heard from LaDonna… EVERY note has a new adventure, and you’ll find yourself absorbed to the ‘nth degree after only the first 20 seconds.  There are “voices” in here that even the most able among us will find difficult to grok, even if we are at the highest levels of “the force”… Smith’s string antics mesh perfectly with Michael’s (r)evolutionary percussion to give you an insight of the language the creators of the universe speak in… what language, you ask?  Why, pure and unadulterated music, of course, unfettered by convention or mediocrity.  If you are inclined to thinking that artistry can only be “true” if it reflects the conventions man often wants to superimpose over the chaos that life really is – go elsewhere… but if you appreciate sonics that take you to new levels, you’ll have no choice but to get this one!  The “EQ” (energy quotient) level on this one is what gives it away as one of the best improvised albums in a long time – it gets a 5.0 (which is at the top of the Zzaj energy scale… you can’t go any higher).  It is, of course, MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED for those listeners who are unafraid of “different” music, as well as the “PICK” of this issue for “best improvised duet”!  Get more information (& listen to short samples) at CD BABY!

– Rotcod Zzaj (Dick Metcalf)

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ANDERS NILSSON’S AORTA ENSEMBLE With FULMINATE TRIO/CENNET JOHNSON –

Aorta Ensemble – Kopasetic 026; EEC

With Anders Nilsson on electric guitar, Mattias Carlson & Cennet Jonsson on reeds, David Carlsson on electric bass, Ken Filiano on acoustic bass and Michael Evans & Peter Nilsson on drums. This is local guitar great Anders Nilsson’s dream project combining the talents of both of his bands from Sweden (Aota) and New York (Fulminate Trio). Over the past few years Anders Nilsson has become of the most exciting and inventive guitarists to emerge from the downtown scene working with Ras Moshe, Fay Victor and leading his own bands. Each performance of both live and on disc has knocked me out so I was excited to hear this new combined band project.

Three of the five tracks were written by Anders with two Ensemble improvisations. “Soudfear” begins with an ominous vibe, the guitar quietly leading the ensemble while the reeds (flute & sax) play spooky, simmering harmonies. The piece drifts and builds very slowly, the sound harkens back to the great days of 70’s jazz/rock without any bombast. On “Tuning In’ the entire ensemble swirls powerfully around Anders guitar, eventually hitting their stride when that great
fusion groove kicks in midway. Both the blisterin’ saxes and waves of basses and drums provide a storm-like waves that pull us in for the exhilarating ride. “3D” is an epic length piece that again ascends majestically from its stark beginning. When Anders enters with that dark, mysterious riff after 5 minutes, it sends chills up & down my spine like those nightmarish moments on the first Mahavishnu Orchestra album. The great music on this disc has the original charm of mid-seventies jazz/rock without any of the excess or cliches. This is one of the best electric jazz discs I’ve heard in a long while. 

– Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG

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 FULMINATE TRIO PRESS:
Fulminate Trio (Generate)
This daring trio of drummer Michael Evans, guitarist Anders Nilsson and in-demand free-jazz bassist Ken Filiano operates on a delicate acute-listening dynamic for half of this experimental ECM-ish program (particularly on Carla Bley’s “Floater” and Nilsson’s ambient “Sound Fear”). But they are also capable of exploding with rock-fueled dissonance and bombast, as on Evans’ “Road Runner”. Filiano, a deep-toned anchor on upright, contributes extraordinary arco work throughout, while Evans shines in rubato situations, a la Paul Motian. And Nilsson is steeped in the renegade six-string tradition of Bill Frisell, David Torn, Terje Rypdal and Fred Frith.

– Bill Milkowski, Jazz Times 

 
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Ken Filiano Fourfer: The bird, the breeze and Mr. Filiano
Fulminate Trio with drummer Michael Evans and guitarist Anders Nilsson, Filiano completes the Fulminate Trio, for the five tracks of their eponymous debut. Carla Bley’s “Floater” forms a languidly dreamy opener with resonant guitar/bass congruencies drifting effectively over shuffling percussion; otherwise Evans and Nilsson originals comprise the remainder of the 55-minute program. A strong collective group aesthetic prevails, resulting in dense soundscapes, through which the ear is drawn to Nilsson’s sometimes rocky, sometimes lyrical guitar lines. “Road Runner/Coyote” is a doomy mélange of scuttling guitar, slashing arco and rumbling percussion while “The Red One” starts in a similar vein, combined with sparingly deployed electronics, before Filiano deconstructs a loping bass riff over which Nilsson spins expansive stories.
– John Sharp, All About Jazz Magazine
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David Grubbs
An Optomist Notes The Dusk (Drag City)
David Grubbs has long worked at balancing pure sound with memorable song. On the singer and multi-instrumentalist’s most successful records–such as Bastro’s Sing The Troubled Best, Gastr del Sol’s Camofleur and under his own name, The Thicket–Grubb’s has unified these two poles in refreshingly whimsical ways. His latest full-length is a moodier, more oblique work that can feel obscure (the lengthy soundscape “The Not-So-Distant”) or even pretentious (“Eyeglasses of Kentucky,” a haunting piece weakend by fussy lyrical allusions to photographer Ralph Eugene Meatyard). But there’s no denying the potency of “an Optimist Declines,” a duet with local percussion luminary Michael Evans. Here and elsewhere on the record, abstraction melds seamlessly with emotion, proving that there are still plenty of novel ways to expand the singer-songwriter tradition.
– Hank Shteamer, Time Out NY
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Jazz Consumer Guide (19): Surplus Notes

Fulminate Trio (2007 [2008], Generate):

Drummer Michael Evans, bassist Ken Filiano, guitarist Anders Nilsson. Evans and Nilsson write, so I figure them for the pecking order. Filiano is a first-call bassist, with an uncanny knack for showing up on records that are better than you’d expect. Evans lists a lot of stuff I’ve never heard of on his discography, going back to 1981, nothing under his own name. Nilsson is a guitarist I like a lot. He seems to be struggling to stay within the framework here, rather than busting out. The tension works more often than not, but I wouldn’t mind something more. B+(**

 – Tom Hull, Notebook

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Electric Eclectics
Festival of Experimental Music and Sound Art  

LIBRARY PRESENTS AN EVENING FOR YOUNG DRUM ENTHUSIAST
Young musicians, especially those who have dabbled with a drum kit or other percussion instruments are invited to L. E. Shore Library on Tuesday, July 29th, from 7 to 9pm, for a return visit by exciting New York percussionist Michael Evans.
For the past 2 summers, Evans has visited the Library as part of the annual Electric Eclectics music festival which takes place in Meaford on the Civic Holiday weekend. Evans is a great mentor to youth and brings with him an amazing background playing with many popular bands and musicians and exploring music from around the world. His approach is to blend amazing energy, a sense of fun and a love of experimentation with a lot of hard work practicing his craft. This workshop is free and is open to young people in their teens and twenties who may have already had a little experience playing the drums and want to learn some more. It will be a relaxed and casual evening with a chance to hear some stories about the music scene in New York City and around the world. Call or email the library to sign up for this event or for more information.
July 2008, The Blue Mountains, Ontario – Page 7
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Electric Eclectic Festival’s Jesse Stewart/Michael Evans percussion duo performance:
“After an interstitial break mixed by New York’s DJ Failure (Fabio Roberti of WFMU radio), percussionists Michael Evans (NY) and Jesse Stuart (Ontario) took to the stage. Improvising rhythms on sheet metal, found objects, a drum kit, and ethnic percussion instruments, the two virtuosos performed intricate rhythms touching on the avant-garde that segued into kinetic, head bopping swings, the climax of which was, with Stuart at the kit, Evans reaching a seemingly trance-like state as he whirled a pair of African aslatos in each hand. (An aslato is a shaker-like instrument fashioned from two small gourds attached by a string, their sound produced by seeds inside the gourd and by bouncing them off each other as they are swung.)”
– Tim Sweet, NYFA Current, August 2008
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MEJA PRESS:
MEJA : MICHAEL EVANS & JEFF ARNAL C3R 008
“Eschewing bombast and grandstanding, percussionists Michael Evans and Jeff Arnal are sympathetically matched in their sensiblities, creating settings that are not lacking for traditional melodics and harmonics because they fully understand the musical reach of their drums. Born of improvisation sessions, the diversity on these fourteen pieces is striking. A full album experience has been created by smartly sequencing the pieces to create a dramatic arc that celebrates warmth, surprise and adventure. They jump into skittering density, as on the busy precision of “Fear Active” and the elliptical “Opening.”
They lock horns on hi-hats (the cheekily titled “Two Hats Are Better Than One”) and wood blocks (“Drifting W-Peer”). There are also moments of open-ended expansiveness (With a Hint Of…”) and even lightly comedic portraiture (Labrador Labyrinth”). Two drummers create one full and balanced meal.”
 – David Greenberger, Signal To Noise
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MEJA [MICHAEL EVANS/JEFF ARNAL] – MEJA C3R 008
From the online issue of Touching Extremes:
“Childhood secrets time. As a tiny toddler I was MAD for drums, to the point of convincing my parents to buy me a miniature set which I banged with nice attitude; they even used to carry Massimo and his drums around various Roman parks in order for me to make all the noise I wanted without breaking the condominium’s peace (well, in the early seventies there WAS some peace in condominiums every once in a while). I still can behave myself well enough with odd meters (sigh). With all the due respect, the great drumming that’s presented by Evans and Arnal in MEJA reminded me a lot of those happy times, such are the fantasy, the brisk joyfulness, the incredible variety of techniques and sources that these men apply in their music, in almost a full hour of genreless percussive delight. No wonder that these players have been active on many fronts of the improvisation warfare, including working with dancers and actors, as this music is an experience of gestural freedom that we can elaborate over or simply enjoy as it is, conscious of the fact that we’re in front of serious artistic value from every point of view. Structures and functions subside to unpredictable sketches, colours and timbral weights, the whole continuously shifting in total absence of complications – even if this is far from being an easy listen. Everything that Evans and Arnal play seems to be in logical correlation, whatever the form. Very, very nice.”
– Massimo Ricci “The Purple Prose Peddler” www.touchingextremes.org
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MEJA [MICHAEL EVANS/JEFF ARNAL] – MEJA C3R 008
Featuring Michael Evans and Jeff Arnal on drums & percussion. You might know Michael Evans from his work with EasSidePercussion (CD on Avant) or from his collaborations with Karen Mantler. He also leads a band that is a tribute to South African legends The Blue Notes (Chris McGregor, Dudu Pukwana, Mongezi
Feza, etc.) called the Swirling Lotus Blossom Bandits. Jeff Arnal runs the ‘Improvised & Otherwise’ Fest in Brooklyn and has a half dozens discs with  different duos (Dan DeChellis & Dietrich Eichmann), a trio (Rara Avis) and a fine quartet called Transit on Clean Feed. Drum duo discs are not as much of a rarity as they once were: Milford Graves & Sonny Morgan (from the sixties), Billy Martin & Bob Moses or Calvin Weston (more recently). On each piece, both drummers well work together, blending their percussive wares into a seamless sound. They are often quite subtle, using brushes and playing hand drums with restraint.
Each piece builds and becomes more intense as the tempo increases and the communion becomes more-clear. I like when they work with drones and hums, rubbing drums and scraping hand-percussion ever so quietly and filled with suspense. They often deal with colors and shapes rather than providing a series of rhythm grooves. Cleanly recorded and balanced just right. Two fine
drummers with a thoughtfully displayed blend of sounds and nothing to prove other than some fine music.
– Bruce Lee Gallanter DMG
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MEJA [MICHAEL EVANS/JEFF ARNAL] – MEJA C3R 008
In an email from Carl Sawyer (father of creative-NYC-improviser percussionist, Ryan Sawyer: and member of the Tall Firs, Stars Like Fleas, etc.) to me:
Hello Mr. Evans, A few days ago I check my mail and I find a CD mailer with a copy of the CD named MEJA. It’s all percussion by two guys from Brooklyn. I have adrummer son in Brooklyn so I send him a text message, “Why did Jeff Arnal send me a CD?” and he replies “Cuz I asked him to” and I tell him “It sounds like lullabies.” Later we talk and I find out that he went to a show where these disks are being given away at the door but they run out so they ask attendees to give their name and address; he gives ’em my address. He tells me that he bought a copy for himself but when I ask him what he thinks of it he confesses that he has not listened to it yet. I mention the lullabies and he says he though I was joking. I wasn’t. MEJA is a lovely, soothing, almost pastoral piece of music. I’ve listened to it two or three times while I’m working and it just kind of hangs there behind what I’m thinking until I realize I’m not working, I’m listening to it again. I’m not a drummer, nor am I much of a musician any more but I recognize technique when I hear it and I know enough to
realize how hard it is to make it sound easy, how difficult it is to make it sound simple. It’s easy to get all distracted by what you think and what you know and sometimes it’s fun but it seems to me that this kind of stuff happens instead of just listening, so I’ve tried to just let it play. It rolls and it flows and it doesn’t demand my attention, it just pulls gently and draws me away. It’s REALLY lovely. I listened to it a couple of times the day I got it and that night I put it on when I went to bed. I was asleep before it finished. Lullabies.
Anyway, thanks for the CD. I’m writing to you, Michael, because Ryan said that you and he are friends but I’m going to cc this to Jeff because I want to thank him, too, for making good music. I don’t have any idea what you guys had in mind when you made it but I know what it means to me. Good music, just for me. Well done.
Thanks, Carl Sawyer
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MEJA [MICHAEL EVANS/JEFF ARNAL] – MEJA C3R 008
In an email from Todd Capp (Stellar NYC creative-jazz/improvising drummer) to me:
Michael, Sorry for taking so long to thank you for the wonderful CD. Heard it 3 times already, and it remains one of my favorites. Beautiful, beautiful. Who needs horns when you already have two full orchestras? Really, sometimes I think other instruments are just superfluous, and listening to MEJA is definitely one of those times. Love the way you and Jeff play together; once in a while I can guess “who’s” playing “what,” but mostly it all sounds like one big octopercussionist.
– Todd Capp
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ESP PRESS:
ESP – EasSide Percussion (Avant Recordings 073)
 3 & 1/2 stars
Christine Bard, Michael Evans and James Pugliese comprise the modern percussion ensemble Easside Percussion, and ESP gets very experimental with the timbre, textures, and sounds one can make with a percussive tool. ESP contains a plethora of sounds you would not expect nor believe could be derived from percussion, but with some minimal electronic sound manipulation from their toys, the ensemble sets a new direction for the percussive voice and composition.
-Ted Bonar, Modern Drummer
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ESP – EasSide Percussion (Avant Recordings 073)
Superb modern percussion trio, featuring Jim Pugliese, Christine Bard and Michael Evans. Utilizing dozens of odd percussive instruments, household objects, acoustic & electric and even a theremin!From dense landscapes like Xenakis, to funk and rock.
– Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
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ESP – EasSide Percussion (Avant Recordings 073)
Q: What do I think about Easside Percussion by EasSide Percussion? I don’t think you are going to like this…A: Track two, 1,000 voices should have been left off this album. It’s marginally better than the rest and frankly, only draws attention to their simplistic banality. Track three, Green Valleys is beyond belief. It sounds like a daschund being gently castrated with some nice rusty pliers. Cure isn’t that bad. Ha Ha. Got you. It’s just a tiny bit worse than say, the sound of the stuff that the BBC Radiophonic workshop recorded.
Track five, Freak Funk sounds like a late 80’s mobile phone ring right through to its (bleated) finish. Oh my god, I’ve clearly missed the whole point of this album – until you listen to track seven, Pear, you’ve no idea that the sound of the sort of thing you’d play to a blind man to make them appreciate the lot of a deaf and blind man is what EasSide Percussion was trying to create all along. Track ten, Fresh Tears is so, so. So, so, so fucking awful, that is.
In fact, I’m scared Easside Percussion will reproduce and foist a new generation of crud on us.
If you still like this crap, go buy it on Amazon or something.His choice 3 hated records are:
Scar Tissue: TMOTD
Gloria Gaynor: Best of Gloria Gaynor
Ray Anthony and his Orchestra: DreamThe most recent albums he pissed all over:
EasSide Percussion: EaSide Percussion
Depeche Mode: Leave in Silence
Lone Catalysts: Hip Hop
– www.chthonioni.net:
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ESP PRESS QUOTES:
“Absolutely amazing and sheerly borderless in its highly imaginative rendition was the music of the trio with Christine Bard, James Pugliese and Michael Evans. Pure rhythm, dreamlike feeling and precision to its perfection are only vague description for the phenomenon EasSide Percussion.”
– Thuringer Volkszeitung, Schmalkaden, Germany 1998
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“EasSide Percussion” from NYC are the incantation of perfect drum art. Jim Pugliese, Christine Bard and Michael Evans have played with Marc Ribot, John Cage and Phillip Glass. Now they enthused the large crowd at the “Turm” jazzclub. With the help of electronics they performed a well-balanced mix of free jazz, ambient music and classic rock-n-roll. The mixture of acoustic tunes and wide screen sounds made the evening a very exceptional concert event.
– Mitteldeutsche Zeitung, 1998
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“Interestingly, I had heard James Pugliese the previous night at Roulette.
Pugliese played hot drum duos and trios with Christine Bard and Michael Evans, each banging rhythms off the other with split second coordination.”
– Kyle Gann, Village Voice, 1995
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Other Press 
“Conversation between Michael Evans and Chris Corsano”, Fever Pitch #9, 2004-2005
“A Few Moments with Michael Evans by Gino Robair”, Fever Pitch # 9, 2004-2005″
Der Traumrepublikaner’, Robert Wyatt, ZeitLiterature Und Musik, Munich, Germany, October 2003
Interview in Sound Collector 8 “The Art of Skin Bashing: Conversations with Drummers Dan Brown and Michael Evans”, Sound Collector #8, August 2003
Karen Mantler: Astor Place Starbucks, Time Out, NYC, April 1997
Karen Mantler: Cat Woman, Keyboard Magazine, 1997
Karen Mantler: Farewell review Jazz Times, March 1997
“Queens Reich”, God Is My Co-Pilot, Rolling Stone, May 1995
“Tuxedo Junction”, Combustible Edison, Details, NYC, February 1995
“What Cocktail Nation?”, Combustible Edison, Option, November-December 1994
“In God We Trust”, God Is My Co-Pilot, Spin, 1993
“Masters Of The Free Universe”, Modern Drummer, 1992
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INDIVIDUAL QUOTES:

“I’ve always found the work of Michael Evans to be really fresh,” says Supove, whose latest, critically-acclaimed solo CD, Infusion, is on the Koch International Classics label and features works for piano and electronics by American composers Carolyn Yarnell, Marti Epstein, Randall Woolf, and Elaine Kaplinsky. “Not only is he an expert percussionist, but he has a truly authentic sense of play, an almost naive, ‘amateur’ quality (and I mean this in the best sense!) to his performances and concepts. I love the idea of surveillance in a piece, as it’s the ultimate breaking down of the fourth wall!“

– Kathleen Supove, Classic TV, The Greatest Performing Arts Online

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“Michael Evans is an amazing player of clattering junk percussion, drum kit, and his own special brand of electronics. Evans recalls the young Peter Sellers if he were attempting to make terrible fun of Spike jones and a cab driver and a giant cockroach all at once. He’s famous; he was in God Is My Co Pilot and is deeply connected with the WFMU vibe. He is also capable of otherworldly… restraint.”
– John Berndt (Baltimore improvising musician and director of Baltimore’s yearly High Zero Festival)
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“Michael Evans is a musician. Although his main instrument belongs to the percussion family, Evans is one of those rare instrumentalists who think musically–all the time.Whether you are discussing the use of rudiments in free improvisation or the deeper levels of multi-limb independence, it’s always within the context of music, not just technique for technique’s sake. As a multi-instrumentalist, he’s just as at home with the theremin and live electronics as he is with found objects and homemade instruments. During his November tour of Califonia, Evans’ suitacases were filled with the usual and the unusual. Including mechanical and motorized implements: a frightening amount of stuff! Remarkably, during his solo and ensemble improvisations, he only used what was necessary for the moment. Like any master performer. he kept his audience wanting more.”
– Gino Robair (percussionist) – Fever Pitch Magazine 2005
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“Michael Evans is a very funny mixture of serious percussionist and childlike explorer.” 
– Karen Mantler (jazz composer/musician)
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“Michael Evans is a very talented musician.” 
– Carla Bley (jazz composer)