How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.
Drummer Don Peretz is onto something here as he pilots this New York City-based quartet through an expansive musical aura where improvisation and compositional structure attain a happy medium. Take for example, Russ Johnson's crybaby-like muted trumpet choruses on "Simple Man, as Perez and bassist Dave Ambrosio lay down a tight groove amid a tunefully, blues-oriented primary theme.
The simplistic connotations of the track's title summon up acute visual characteristics, but the band's makeover features a medley of programmatic horn choruses and loosely organized jazz grooves. Many of these pieces are stoked in wide-ranging mosaics of sound and style, spanning Ornette Coleman-style free bop, hard bop, and jazz-funk. However, the majority of Peretz's compositions boast sustaining melody lines, often coated with prophetic musical statements.
The quartet's rendition of Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit looms as a solemn jazz dirge where teen spirit is branded with sorrow and remorse. However, the rhythm section subsequently ups the tempo for the coda, suggesting an air of optimism.
This unit's sovereign approach to jazz covers quite a bit of terrain, as Peretz's arrangements generally convey tangible storylines that are embedded within the soloists' improvisations. (A recommended pick for 2005...)
Track Listing: Simple Man; Folk Song #2, Retro Phlegm, Old Man, Itermized Phone Bill pt. I & II, Son and
Dad, Smells Like Teen Spirit, No Train Again, Peretz Syndrome, No Walking, Bacon
Wrapped, A theme, Folk Song #1.
Personnel: Russ Johnson: trumpet; Christof Knoche, reeds; Dave Ambrosio, bass; Don Peretz, drums,