Make a difference: Support jazz online

Support All About Jazz Your friends at All About Jazz are looking for readers to help back our website upgrade project. Of critical importance, this project will result in a vastly improved design across all devices and will make future All About Jazz projects much easier to implement. Click here to learn more about this project including donation rewards.

156

Valery Ponomarev: Beyond The Obvious

Nic Jones By

Sign in to view read count
Here's one of those rare cases where a title is relevant to the music. As an ex-member of Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers, Valery Ponomarev's name might lead many readers to believe he has his sights firmly set on some form of hard bop heaven. But that's not the case with this programme, which takes in compositions by both Billy Strayhorn and Ornette Coleman.

The absence of a piano gives the music a wide open feel, and both Ponomarev (trumpet) and Don Braden (tenor sax)—a man who seems capable of the extraordinary consistency that Hank Mobley once maintained on countless Blue Note issues—exploit the resulting space with invention and flair. Furthermore, there is ample tonal variation between them, and the resulting difference makes for effective contrast. "Party Time," a Lee Morgan original, arguably best exemplifies this; the two men negotiate the deceptively tricky lope of the melody over the bluesy foundation of bass and drums.

Ponomarev keeps attention from wandering on his fifteen-minute original "Sale On Love" by deploying of a number of devices which serve as points of inspiration for the musicians. Everything has an unforced feel, which is no mean feat in itself, and Braden in particular is at or near his substantial best.

If the absence of a piano might imply displacement, bassist Martin Zenker and drummer Jerome Jennings more than compensate for it. Ponomarev mentions the strength of Jennings' time in the accompanying booklet notes, and this is abundantly but not obtrusively clear here.

In avoiding the obvious, these musicians have made this strategic gambit sound entirely uncontrived, resulting in a set that sounds above all else like the documentation of artistic growth.


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

More Articles

Read Lux CD/LP/Track Review Lux
by Karl Ackermann
Published: January 20, 2018
Read Unleashed CD/LP/Track Review Unleashed
by John Sharpe
Published: January 20, 2018
Read I Think I'm Going To Eat Dessert CD/LP/Track Review I Think I'm Going To Eat Dessert
by Jerome Wilson
Published: January 20, 2018
Read 20 CD/LP/Track Review 20
by Ian Patterson
Published: January 20, 2018
Read Roppongi CD/LP/Track Review Roppongi
by Mark Sullivan
Published: January 19, 2018
Read Is Life Long? CD/LP/Track Review Is Life Long?
by Mark Corroto
Published: January 19, 2018
Read "Ultimate Hits" CD/LP/Track Review Ultimate Hits
by Doug Collette
Published: September 17, 2017
Read "The Stone House" CD/LP/Track Review The Stone House
by Mark Sullivan
Published: January 27, 2017
Read "Scarlett Roses" CD/LP/Track Review Scarlett Roses
by Doug Collette
Published: November 26, 2017
Read "Still Motion" CD/LP/Track Review Still Motion
by Glenn Astarita
Published: July 7, 2017
Read "Living Tribute" CD/LP/Track Review Living Tribute
by Jack Bowers
Published: May 27, 2017
Read "Platinum on Tap" CD/LP/Track Review Platinum on Tap
by Geannine Reid
Published: September 8, 2017