All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

126

Valery Ponomarev: Beyond The Obvious

Ken Franckling By

Sign in to view read count
Beyond The Obvious is ex-Jazz Messenger Valery Ponomarev's seventh CD as a leader for Reservoir. His Means of Identification, recorded in 1985, was the label's debut release. Beyond The Obvious stands apart from the six prior (all quintet) sessions in terms of its instrumental format. It's out at a time when the Russian-born trumpeter is in the news for a troubling incident. In mid September, Ponomarev reportedly had his arm broken by Charles DeGaulle Airport security after refusing to relinquish his trumpet. He was asked to check his trumpet at the gate, despite the fact that it was already properly tagged as carry-on baggage.

Beyond the Obvious features a piano-less quartet, balancing two horns (Ponomarev's trumpet and Don Braden's tenor sax) with the bass and drums of Martin Zenker and Jerome Jennings, respectively. Jennings, who has toured and studied with Ponomarev, is a graduate student at New York's Juilliard School of Music. Suffice to say that he plays with empathy and talent belying his years.

This is a half-and-half mix of jazz standards and savory originals, one of which ("Love On Sale ) is an extended Ponomarev composition loosely based on Cole Porter's Tin Pan Alley chestnut "Love For Sale. The opening "You Dig, whose odd conversational patter title is actually the melody, was recorded by Ponomarev and the rhythm section while Braden sat in traffic on the way to the studio. It's a clever full-throttle blues.

Even on the standards—including "Close Your Eyes and "Chelsea Bridge —Ponomarev is the clever rearranger, enabling the quartet to mine interesting new facets, hence the project title. There's an intensity and beauty to their interpretation of Ornette's classic "The Blessing, from the late '50s. "Chelsea Bridge features three primary solo voices—trumpet, tenor and bass—and is a gem. Check out the subtleties and rhythmic variations that the ensemble adds to Lee Morgan's "Party Time, a classic blues from one of the leader's trumpet heroes.

Braden and Ponomarev's horn lines artfully complement each other both in tandem and as foils throughout this session. It's clear that the leader, so thoroughly grounded in bebop, is extending that exciting tradition.


Track Listing: You Dig, I Hear You, You Know What I Mean Etc.; Close Your Eyes; Party Time; The Blessing; From Cat To Nat; Sale On Love; Chelsea Bridge; Gina's Cooking.

Personnel: Valery Ponomarev: trumpet; Don Braden: tenor saxophone; Martin Zenker: bass; Jerome Jennings: drums.

Title: Beyond The Obvious | Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: Reservoir Music

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

CD/LP/Track Review
Book Reviews
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Beyond The Obvious

Beyond The Obvious

Reservoir Music
2006

buy
 

The Messenger

Reservoir Music
2001

buy
 

Profile

Reservoir
1991

buy
 

Means Of...

Reservoir
1987

buy

Related Articles

Read Half Light CD/LP/Track Review
Half Light
by Karl Ackermann
Published: May 24, 2018
Read The Groove Hunter CD/LP/Track Review
The Groove Hunter
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: May 24, 2018
Read Powered by Life CD/LP/Track Review
Powered by Life
by Geno Thackara
Published: May 24, 2018
Read Seymour Reads The Constitution! CD/LP/Track Review
Seymour Reads The Constitution!
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: May 24, 2018
Read Mephiti CD/LP/Track Review
Mephiti
by Mark Sullivan
Published: May 24, 2018
Read Seymour Reads The Constitution! CD/LP/Track Review
Seymour Reads The Constitution!
by Doug Collette
Published: May 23, 2018
Read "Twio" CD/LP/Track Review Twio
by Phil Barnes
Published: May 2, 2018
Read "Ellipse" CD/LP/Track Review Ellipse
by Matt Hooke
Published: March 27, 2018
Read "Turbulence" CD/LP/Track Review Turbulence
by Tyran Grillo
Published: March 17, 2018
Read "Embodied Hope" CD/LP/Track Review Embodied Hope
by Roger Farbey
Published: November 6, 2017
Read "Find the Way" CD/LP/Track Review Find the Way
by Karl Ackermann
Published: May 26, 2017
Read "Truth Decay" CD/LP/Track Review Truth Decay
by John Kelman
Published: March 7, 2018