Joey Peró – “Resonance” (self-published, no #), 52.7 minutes ****:
(Joey Peró, trumpet; Adam Nussbaum, drums; Andy Snitzer, tenor sax; Artie Reynolds, bass guitar; Bill Moring, upright bass; Paul Livant, guitar; Peter Rish, piano; Ralph Rolle, drums; Robert Walker, clarinet; Roger Rosenberg, baritone sax; Stephanie Cummins, cello; guest vocalists: Freddy Cole, Daryl Sherman, Phoebe Snow, Jack Antonoff)
Young Peró is a virtuoso trumpeter, trained at Julliard, who played at Obama’s inauguration. He can sail thru anything in any genre, and brings together his wide-ranging interests and abilities in this CD which seems to try harder to combine classical, jazz and rock strains than any previous effort. To my ears it doesn’t always succeed, but I think it would appeal more strongly to those coming to it from a strictly pop music background.
Peró’s style and sound is obviously inspired by Maynard Ferguson. He can soar to stratospheric heights with ease, and so does Phoebe Snow on her vocalizations at the end of Birth. (Though I love Phoebe Snow, they got on my nerves after awhile.) The dozen tracks are arranged as flowing from one to another without breaks, and never mind that the transition might take one from a classical-sounding trumpet piece to funky jazz with fuzz guitar or a rap-influenced number. The excerpts from the Arutiunian trumpet concerto take the classical work into the rock arena with rock guitarist Jack Antonoff distorting up a storm; Joey himself is the uncredited vocalist on the rather dreamy jazz track Looking In. The arrangement (co-written with co-producer Simon Boyar) of Brubeck’s (no credit for Brubeck) Blue Rondo a la Turk is a kick; it reminded me of something by Raymond Scott. The next-to-last track of Karl Jenkins’ (also no credit) music for the diamond commercial is also fun – giving it the status of a Vivaldi trumpet concerto but with a jazz big band accompaniment.
The sonics are first rate and for most this should be a fascinating listen. Peró follows in the footsteps of trumpeters such as Wynton Marsalis, who are equally at home with the classics or jazz. The CD sets itself apart too: one of those all-black pressings with a super-smooth playing side, looking like one of the 78 rpm kiddie records of the distant past. And the gold-on-black caricature of Peró on the cover is also striking.
TrackList: The Finest Romance, BACH: Partita No. 2 “Preludio,” Crazy, Birth (based on HANDEL’s “Ode to the Birthday of Queen Ann,” Defying Gravity, Excerpts from ARUTIUNIAN Trumpet Concerto, Wrapt, Looking In, BRUBECK: Blue Rondo, BACH: Goldberg Variation 1, JENKINS: Palladio, Resonance.
– John Henry