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Drummer Don Peretz is onto something here as he pilots this New York City-based quartet through an expansive musical aura where improvisation and compositional structure attain a happy medium. Take for example, Russ Johnson's crybaby-like muted trumpet choruses on "Simple Man, as Perez and bassist Dave Ambrosio lay down a tight groove amid a tunefully, blues-oriented primary theme.
The simplistic connotations of the track's title summon up acute visual characteristics, but the band's makeover features a medley of programmatic horn choruses and loosely organized jazz grooves. Many of these pieces are stoked in wide-ranging mosaics of sound and style, spanning Ornette Coleman-style free bop, hard bop, and jazz-funk. However, the majority of Peretz's compositions boast sustaining melody lines, often coated with prophetic musical statements.
The quartet's rendition of Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit looms as a solemn jazz dirge where teen spirit is branded with sorrow and remorse. However, the rhythm section subsequently ups the tempo for the coda, suggesting an air of optimism.
This unit's sovereign approach to jazz covers quite a bit of terrain, as Peretz's arrangements generally convey tangible storylines that are embedded within the soloists' improvisations. (A recommended pick for 2005...)
Track Listing: Simple Man; Folk Song #2, Retro Phlegm, Old Man, Itermized Phone Bill pt. I & II, Son and
Dad, Smells Like Teen Spirit, No Train Again, Peretz Syndrome, No Walking, Bacon
Wrapped, A theme, Folk Song #1.
Personnel: Russ Johnson: trumpet; Christof Knoche, reeds; Dave Ambrosio, bass; Don Peretz, drums,
I love jazz because anything is possible; it has few rules and the best jazz breaks those ones. I prefer free improv because it doesn't really have any rules at all.
I was first exposed to jazz in my teens (in the late sixties).
The first jazz record I bought was Filles de Kilimanjaro by Miles Davis, shortly followed by Extrapolation by John McLaughlin.
My advice to new listeners is to listen as widely as possible and not to make snap judgments--stick with it.