All the Gravitation of Silence, the new release from trumpeter Peter Knight, presents an alluring collection of original compositions and improvised meanderings that explore and celebrate melody with some of the finest players on the Melbourne scene. Notably, the line-up assembled for All the Gravitation of Silence brings together the extraordinary talents of pianist, Colin Hopkins, and guitarist, Stephen Magnusson. The combination of these two highly original voices along with Knight, and rhythm section, Frank Di Sario (bass), and Tony Floyd (drums), has produced some startlingly beautiful results.
A recent review:
Trumpeter-composer Peter Knight has established himself as a significant voice on the national scene over the last few years. He won some very positive reviews for his debut album, Between Two Moments, in 2001 then for recordings with his 5+2 Brass Ensemble and the co-op band Way Out West. Fine as these recordings were, his latest album represents a significant advance. It’s a gem, one that seeks to explore a relatively narrow range of moods and colours and succeeds brilliantly.
A key ingredient is the choice of personnel: in Colin Hopkins (piano) and Stephen Magnusson (guitar), Knight has two of the most distinctive stylists on the Melbourne scene. They are fully attuned to Knight’s approach, which here is all about melody – melodic statement, variation and development. Knight’s own playing, whether he is using a mute (or more often) an open horn, is richly expressive; he is a ‘less is more’ trumpeter in the Miles Davis tradition. As much as the notes played, the emphasis is on the expression conveyed in those notes, the tone used, the feeling of space surrounding each note, which gives it extra weight. It’s about nuance, rather than brashness or drama.
As suggested above, Hopkins and Magnusson complement the trumpeter superbly; some of the guitarist’s best work involves subtle colourings in the background. Bassist Frank Di Sario and drummer Tony Floyd also make tasteful, constructive contributions.
Knight wrote most of the pieces and there are some striking melodies, for example, ‘Cruikshank Park’ and ‘Eunoia’ sound like pieces that the great Kenny Wheeler might have written. Three pieces collectively improvised in the studio ('Haiku Number 1', 'Haiku Number 2' and 'Haiku Number 3') stand up very well alongside the pre-composed pieces, providing an effective change of pace.
The mood is almost uniformly low-key, introspective; only ‘Franky D’, towards the end of the album, offers a more urgent pulse and a fiery solo from Magnusson. I’ve found this an album I’ve especially enjoyed listening to first thing in the morning, or late at night.
Rhythms Magazine October ‘06