289

Jeremy Pelt: Identity

John Kelman By

Sign in to view read count
Jeremy Pelt: Identity Still on the shy side of thirty, trumpeter Jeremy Pelt has already established quite a name for himself, building an impressive body of work collaborating with artists including Ralph Peterson, the Mingus Big Band, and Wayne Shorter. Winner of the Downbeat Critics Poll for Rising Star on trumpet two years running, as well as the Jazz Journalist Association's award for one of the Best Emerging Stars, he's developed remarkable cachet in record time.

With the exception of Close to My Heart, which, despite being a "with strings record, still bucked convention by virtue of material choices, his previous albums ('02's Profile and '03's Insight) have demonstrated a surprisingly astute neo-bop composer in the making. As a player he's been a bit of a chameleon—a bit of Lee Morgan here, a little Freddie Hubbard there—and so the only real question is: will the real Jeremy Pelt please stand up?

In the liner notes to his latest release, Pelt differentiates between having a sound and an identity. It may be a subtle distinction, but it's one that he exploits to full advantage on Identity, an album that covers surprisingly broad territory yet manages to define a musical congruity that links his various concerns. In some ways, he's the trumpet equivalent of another young player, vibraphonist Stefon Harris, but the difference is that while Harris explores various aspects of his musical identity on separate albums, Pelt has put them all out for show on one.

Pelt augments his recently-formed quartet with keyboardist Frank LoCrasto, bassist Vicente Archer, and drummer Eric McPherson by adding vibraphonist Warren Wolf, guitarist Mike Moreno, and woodwind player Myron Walden on selected tracks. In doing so he acquires an expansive palette, allowing him to veer from the swinging neo-bop of "Re-Invention to the hypnotically insistent pulse of "Scorpio." With Pelt's electronically treated trumpet, Walden's bass clarinet, Moreno's delayed guitar, and LoCrasto's army of keyboards, "Scorpio" finds an intriguing middle ground between the trance-inducing openness of Miles Davis' In a Silent Way and the denser textures of Bitches Brew, all the while avoiding the angularity that made the latter such a challenging listen for jazz purists.

The whole album, in fact, feels like a chronological lesson in Davis' evolution from the mid '60s through to the early '70s. However, with Pelt's group never digging into the kind of rock rhythms that would ultimately obsess Miles, Identity never loses site of its inherent jazziness. Pelt adds Miles as a clear influence through his warm tendency to favour the midrange of his instrument, but while Miles' voice shifted considerably through the period in question—in no small part due simply to the passage of time—Pelt's voice is completely consistent throughout the evolution of Identity.

There's a purity about Identity that supposes how Miles might have evolved had he developed an interest in the textural possibilities of electric instruments, without the aggression and density of rock and roll. And that, perhaps, is the personal identity Pelt refers to, one which will undoubtedly continue to distinguish him on future projects.


Track Listing: Re-Invention; Eddie's Story; Seek; Suspicion; Eye of the Beholder; Celestial; Angular; Haiku; Scorpio; Dusk.

Personnel: Jeremy Pelt: trumpet, flugelhorn, effects; Frank LoCrasto: piano, electric piano, organ, synthesizer, effects; Vicente Archer: bass; Eric McPherson: drums. With Mike Moreno: guitar; Warren Wolf: vibraphone; Myron Walden: soprano saxophone, bass clarinet.

Year Released: 2005 | Record Label: MAXJAZZ | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

More Articles

Read Over the Rainbow CD/LP/Track Review Over the Rainbow
by Paul Rauch
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Before The Silence CD/LP/Track Review Before The Silence
by John Sharpe
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Process And Reality CD/LP/Track Review Process And Reality
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Masters Legacy Series, Volume 1 CD/LP/Track Review Masters Legacy Series, Volume 1
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Backlog CD/LP/Track Review Backlog
by Mark F. Turner
Published: February 24, 2017
Read The Picasso Zone CD/LP/Track Review The Picasso Zone
by Franz A. Matzner
Published: February 23, 2017
Read "Home" CD/LP/Track Review Home
by Karl Ackermann
Published: May 10, 2016
Read "Visual Music" CD/LP/Track Review Visual Music
by Karl Ackermann
Published: April 27, 2016
Read "The Soul Jazz Beat Vol. 2" CD/LP/Track Review The Soul Jazz Beat Vol. 2
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: July 20, 2016
Read "Billionaire Blues" CD/LP/Track Review Billionaire Blues
by Mark Werlin
Published: January 19, 2017
Read "Dobbeltgaenger" CD/LP/Track Review Dobbeltgaenger
by John Sharpe
Published: August 8, 2016
Read "Odil - Something" CD/LP/Track Review Odil - Something
by Geno Thackara
Published: July 27, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

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!