Melt All the Guns is the new EP by drummer Devin Gray. Together with Ralph Alessi (trumpet), and Angelica Sanchez (piano), they recorded five original tracks after few concerts in Canada and the United States during the Fall of 2019. These tracks were released on Rataplan Records on June 4, 2021.
Melt All The Guns
With a title like Melt All the Guns, one might expect some extreme or outrageous music from this Free Jazz drum-trumpet-piano trio. Even the album notes from Devin Gray show his engagement in and urge to express his feelings and thoughts about the issue of gun violence: “The increase of gun violence over the years—and particularly, in the United States—has upset me so much that I need to speak out. Simply put, we need to expand awareness and work for a future free from gun violence.”
However, Melt All the Guns is a lot subtler. It is not rageful. It does not lay blame. It feels more like a proper expression of feelings through the perfect medium that is music, and this music is thoroughly served by these three musicians, playing so intricately well together.
On the first track, “Think About It”, what gets your attention is the interplay between the musicians, and the ideal match of drum, piano, and trumpet. Additionally, there is no rage whatsoever. Instead, it expresses exasperation and incomprehension.
The same goes for “Jet Lag Party”, in which one can feel an obvious lack of communication or the impossibility of communication. The “jet lag” may refer to this impossibility as two different worlds. “Micro Waves” made me think about a person playing a partition without understanding it. But joined by others, he starts to believe he understands. These two tracks could very much express Samuel Beckett’s world.
“Melt All The Guns” sounds like a western to start with. But instead of the expected duel, what we get is all the soldiers, of all the wars, getting on stage for an absurd last run for their lives. Once back to the first stage, the duellists finally understand how nonsensical their actions are, but it is too late; they are already dying.. “Protect our Environment” is the track full of hope in the EP. It is not cheerful, but still positive enough to reconcile the present and the future.
Anyway, this is purely my personal interpretation; I am only aiming to highlight how strangely evocative this music is, and how strongly I recommend you try it.
Just a few days ago, I mentioned how there were not enough Jazz EP releases. Melt All the Guns just confirms how perfect this format can be.
Melt All The Guns
Think About It – Jet Lag Party – Micro Waves – Melt All The Guns – Protect our Environment
Melt All The Guns was released on the 4th of June 2021 // Rataplan Records
A Release Concert will be held on July 9th, 2021 at the SoapBox Gallery (Brooklyn). It will be streamed live.