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Peter Martin: In the P.M. (2005)

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Peter Martin: In the P.M. How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.

Peter Martin is an intelligent, erudite pianist with a careful and acute ear for composing and arranging. He decided to demonstrate both talents by sneaking into studio with his long time trio mates, bassist Reuben Rogers and drummer Greg Hutchinson. These three players are hot off a supporting gig with vocalist Dianne Reeves. While primarily a piano trio instrumental recording, In The P.M. does feature up and coming vocalist Erin Bode on three of eleven selections.

In The P.M. offers a very contemporary take on the trio format. The Livingston-Evans chestnut "Never Let Me Go" sets the smart grove of the recording with crystalline exposition of Martin's musical ideas. The pianist's ballad take on the Stevie Wonder composition "If It's Magic" is a rich harmonic-melodic interpolation that establishes a new jazz standard.

Martin's composition "Modern Cacophony" highlights the pianist's command of percussive rhythm and time. Bassist Reuben Rogers provides the soulful "'Ting for Ray, showing off the trio's blues chops. The group's ballad prowess is solidified with the great J.J. Johnson's "Lament.

And then there is Erin Bode, who emerged with her 2004 release, Don't Take Your Time . She has a voice as fresh as a day lily and an effervescent approach that requires no makeup. All three of her feature pieces, "You'd Be So Nice To Come Home To," "The Nearness Of You," and "It Could Happen To You," boast well for her precise intonation and delivery. In short, perfect jazz singing for the listener who wants to really hear how the composers intended the songs to sound.

I fully recommend this recording and Martin's previous MaxJazz offering, Something Unexpected , from 2002. This is smart music.

Track Listing: Never Let Me Go; If Its Magic; Youd Be So Nice To Come Home To; Come Rain Or Come Shine; Modern Cacophony; Only In A Dream; The Answer; Lament; Ting For Ray; The Nearness Of You; It Could Happen To You.

Personnel: Peter Martin: keyboards; Reuben Rogers: bass; Greg Hutchinson: drums; Erin Bode: vocals (3,10,11).

Record Label: MAXJAZZ

Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


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