2

Ralph Peterson: ALIVE at Firehouse12 Vol. 1 - The Unity Project

Steve Bryant By

Sign in to view read count
Ralph Peterson: ALIVE at Firehouse12  Vol. 1 - The Unity Project Drummer/composer/bandleader Ralph Peterson has got to be one of the hardest working men in jazz today. He seems to drop a new CD every few months, and the kicker is that the theme and product are markedly different than his previous efforts. In addition, he changes lineups like guys change socks. The band on ALIVE At Firehouse 12 Vol. 1—The Unity Project is not the same one on his previous outing, 2012's The Duality Perspective (Onyx). As a matter of fact, Peterson uses the same instrumental lineup that the late legendary organist Larry Young used on his classic Unity (Blue Note, 1964). However, while Peterson pays homage to one of Newark, NJ's favorite sons, this is hardly a tribute album. Except for a burning rendition of Woody Shaw's classic "The Moontrane" and "Old Folks," all the cuts on this date are Peterson originals.

The set—available only as a digital download but in multiple formats including FLAC an high and low compression MP3—was recorded at the famed New Haven venue Firehouse 12, taking it right out of the gate on the opening "Minor League" with a high-gear solo from organist Jake Sherman, who skillfully plays off the irresistible force of Peterson's attack—which, as usual, kicks off on overdrive. Berkeley tenor man Craig Handy—who doesn't get the press of his homeboys David Murray and Joshua Redman—swings hard from the get-go. The sleeper here, though, is Josh Evans who is one of the most original young voices on trumpet to come down the pike in a long time. He grabs hold of his solo, kicks into fifth gear and doesn't let go until he's finished. "Sonora" follows in a more sedate tempo, with an ever-so-subtle Brazilian motif. The tune is punctuated by Handy's very tasty run on soprano sax; the dynamic saxophonist also swings hard on the next piece, "Second Thoughts."

Even with the superb lineup of his Unity Project, this is undeniably another one of Peterson's high-wire acts. He seems to be the only drummer out there to pick up the mantle of Art Blakey, and he definitely rises to the occasion. On the up-tempo pieces Peterson drives that train, daring the band to hang on. Perhaps it's a good thing that Peterson believes in using young cats, because they need all their energy to keep up with him. The thing, however, is that these boys can hang. Sherman and Evans are two of the most dynamic voices on their respective instruments to break out in a long time. Handy is a pleasure to hear as he takes care of business. As usual, Peterson brings Da Noize in indomitable fashion.


Track Listing: Minor League; Sonora; Second Thoughts; Old Folks; Lexi's Song; The Moontrane.

Personnel: Ralph Peterson: drums; Craig Handy: tenor saxophone, soprano saxophone; Josh Evans: trumpet; Jake Sherman: organ.

Year Released: 2013 | Record Label: Onyx Music Label | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

More Articles

Read Road to Forever CD/LP/Track Review Road to Forever
by Jack Bowers
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Avenida Graham CD/LP/Track Review Avenida Graham
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 27, 2017
Read TAI Fest #1 (Vol.1&2) CD/LP/Track Review TAI Fest #1 (Vol.1&2)
by Nicola Negri
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Goat Man & The House of the Dead CD/LP/Track Review Goat Man & The House of the Dead
by Dave Wayne
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Backlog CD/LP/Track Review Backlog
by James Nadal
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Acceptance CD/LP/Track Review Acceptance
by Tyran Grillo
Published: February 26, 2017
Read "The LA EP" CD/LP/Track Review The LA EP
by Jack Bowers
Published: March 27, 2016
Read "Leap Of Faith" CD/LP/Track Review Leap Of Faith
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: July 26, 2016
Read "Conversations About Not Eating Meat" CD/LP/Track Review Conversations About Not Eating Meat
by Mark Corroto
Published: June 13, 2016
Read "Floa" CD/LP/Track Review Floa
by Phil Barnes
Published: July 23, 2016
Read "Daylight Ghosts" CD/LP/Track Review Daylight Ghosts
by Troy Dostert
Published: February 5, 2017
Read "Impermanence" CD/LP/Track Review Impermanence
by Mark Sullivan
Published: April 17, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: Jazz Near You | GET IT  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!