5

Richard Pellegrin: Down

Dan McClenaghan By

Sign in to view read count
In an All About Jazz review of pianist/bandleader Richard Pellegrin's Episodes IV-V (OA2 Records, 2015), the author states that Pellegrin's style lies "somewhere in the middle of the spectrum between jazz and 21st century classical music." That also holds true with Down, the third quintet offering from the Assistant Professor at Florida State University.

And if the music leans in the direction of jazz, it's of the accessible avant-garde variety.

Down features seven tracks from Pellegrin's pen, starting with "Trial," an adeptly arranged quintet piece featuring two stellar solos—one from the leader on piano and one from saxophonist Neil Welch. Pellegrin's piano style—and the composition itself—feel like something the late pianist Andrew Hill (1931-2007) might have done, not particularly in technique, but in the off-center originality and energy on its long and winding percussive road that leads to the the tenor sax turn. Saxophonist Welch cranks up the "ominous" with a low-in-the-throat growl inside the tumult of Evan Flory-Barnes' bass and Christopher Icasiano's drum backdrop. A marvelous opener.

"Birthright" is more pensive, and more about the group interplay gathered around the solos; and the same can be said for the title tune, with its emotive and mournful trumpet turn from R. Scott Morning.

The first five cuts on Down were recorded during one studio session; the last two, "Down (Introduction)" and a second take on "Down" were recorded in Memorial Baptist Church, Columbia, Missouri, with the core quintet augmented by the seven piece Mizzou New Music Ensemble—two reeds, two percussionists, a violin, a viola and a cello. This classical group—presumably not as familiar with improvisation as the jazz quintet they join here—helps create a rich, expansive and beautifully-textured sound experience, featuring masterful solos from saxophonist Welch and bassist Flory-Barnes that are "not ordinary solos," according to Pellegrin. Indeed, not your ordinary jazz album, in the best possible sense of "not ordinary."

Track Listing: Trial; Birthright; Down; Acceptance; Exile; Down (Introduction); Down (featuring the Mizzou New Music Ensemble).

Personnel: Rich Pellegrin: piano; R. Scott Morning: trumpet; Neil Welch: tenor saxophone; Evan Flory-Barnes: bass; Chis Icasiano: drums; The Mizzou New Music Ensemble (6, 7): Erin Spenser: flute; Jeremiah Rittel: clarinet; Britney Stutz: violin: Rachel Czech: cello; Jose Martinez: percussion; Taylor Burkhardt: percussion.

Title: Down | Year Released: 2019 | Record Label: OA2 Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Shop for Music

Start your music shopping from All About Jazz and you'll support us in the process. Learn how.

Nothing Comes to Mind

Nothing Comes to Mind

Richard Pellegrin
Three-Part Odyssey

Album Reviews
Read more articles
Down

Down

OA2 Records
2019

buy
Episodes IV-VI

Episodes IV-VI

OA2 Records
2015

buy
Three-Part Odyssey

Three-Part Odyssey

OA2 Records
2011

buy

Related Articles

Read New York Trio Album Reviews
New York Trio
By Troy Dostert
July 18, 2019
Read Invincible Nimbus Album Reviews
Invincible Nimbus
By Jerome Wilson
July 18, 2019
Read Syzygy Album Reviews
Syzygy
By Don Phipps
July 18, 2019
Read Visions Album Reviews
Visions
By Friedrich Kunzmann
July 18, 2019
Read Shafted Album Reviews
Shafted
By Edward Blanco
July 17, 2019
Read Live at the Bird’s Eye Jazz Club Album Reviews
Live at the Bird’s Eye Jazz Club
By Don Phipps
July 17, 2019
Read New Year Album Reviews
New Year
By Dan Bilawsky
July 17, 2019