Jeremy Pelt – Tales, Musings, and other Reveries – High Note

Jeremy Pelt – Tales, Musings, and other Reveries – High Note HCD 7270, 58:02 ***1/2:

(Jeremy Pelt – trumpet; Simona Premazzi – piano; Ben Allison – bass; Billy Drummond – drums (right channel); Victor Lewis – drums (left channel))

Trumpeter Jeremy Pelt has been as consistent as winter’s snow. Every January (since at least 2010) Pelt has released a new CD. The early new year’s issues featured predominantly mainstream hard bop. The last few years, however, Pelt has branched out to feature fusion, electronics, and more contemporary motifs.

This year, Jeremy has gone in a new direction with two heavyweight drummers driving the mix. Letting the listener know that Billy Drummond is on the right channel and Victor Lewis on the left channel, both provide a chance for active comparison, as well as letting the drum blend melt into the mix when appropriate. Having a “hot” trumpeter like Pelt leading the group keeps the focus on his trumpet prowess even when the drummers set the pace. Jeremy has a warm lyrical side to match his fire as well, that brings a realistic comparison to past trumpet legends, Freddie Hubbard, Lee Morgan, and Woody Shaw.

The CD is a mix of five Pelt originals, along with Clifford Jordan’s “Glass Bead Games,” Wayne Shorter’s “Vonetta,” and the standard, “I Only Miss Her When I Think of Her.”

The Jordan tune at nearly eleven minutes opens the release with Jeremy on a tear. The dual percussionists light a fire under the trumpeter, and he responds like Miles Davis on

Bitches Brew. It’s lights out, but with the extended time, Simona Premazzi gets some feature time on piano. “Vonetta” cools the heat, and lets Billy and Victor gently percolate behind Simona and Jeremy. “Harlem Thoroughfare” brings the funky energy of the borough out as the drums and trumpet interact.

“Everything You Can Imagine is Real” is a pretty ballad that exemplifies the CD’s title as it brings to mind some wandering thoughts. Ben Allison is most effective here. “Ruminations on Eric Garner” expresses the outrage of the killing of Garner last year by New York City police. The Van Heusen/Cahn standard, “I Only Miss Her When I Think of Her” is testament to Pelt’s meltingly beautiful lyrical side.

“The Old Soul of the Modern Day Wayfarer” provides a nice closer as it gives feature time to Premazzi and Allison. Ms. Premazzi has three releases worth checking out, and is active on the New York jazz scene.

TrackList: Glass Bead Games, Vonetta, Harlem Thoroughfare, Everything You Can Imagine is Real, Ruminations on Eric Garner, I Only Miss Her When I Think of Her, Nephthys, The Old Soul of the Modern Wayfarer

—Jeff Krow

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