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.


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