Born to play the blues and raised on jazz's most recent personality changes, Jeremy Pelt brings fire and passion to his audience while tempering each stroke with the improvisational tools that have grown out of tradition. The trumpeter's wah-wah comments, his low moan caresses and his dizzying romps through bebop heaven gather up a hundred years of jazz into one big picnic basket filled with seasonal delights. This appearance at New York City's Smoke features six of the leader's original compositions and one by bassist Derek Nievergelt.
The band is wired, literally and figuratively; Pelt uses occasional electronic effects with his trumpet in order to broaden his instrument's range of emotions, and the rest of the band takes advantage of the kind of 20th Century electronic technology that has been with us for several generations in order to get "plugged in and dangerous. Like familiar voices from the family around us, these instrumental textures make everyone in the house feel right at home.
Pelt, who will turn thirty-one in November, was born and raised in Los Angeles, went to school in Boston and settled in New York. His BA in Music from Berklee College of Music prepared him well and left him with a network of collaborations, which seems absolutely essential in this day and age of competitive business relationships. It's not his background that stands out when he takes the stage, however. It's simply what comes from deep inside him.
The trumpeter is at his best with a riveting ballad, such as "Cause, or a sensual blues, such as "Blues, where he leads his band in a storm of emotions. Several selections utilize organ combo textures with a hefty groove, while others recall the electric periods of Miles Davis. Pelt's trumpet creates a delightful session that shouldn't be missed.
Personnel: Jeremy Pelt: trumpet, flugelhorn, effects; Frank LoCrasto: Fender Rhodes electric piano, Hammond B3 organ, effects; Gavin Fallow: double-bass, electric bass; Dana Hawkins: drums; Al Street: electric guitar; Becca Stevens: vocals (4).