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Album Review

Jason Palmer: Live From Summit Rock In Seneca Village

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Jason Palmer: Live From Summit Rock In Seneca Village
It must have been a feeling of great happiness and triumph in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic for musicians to actually perform for an audience. A live, in-person audience that is, not a Zoom session from a home studio. That joyous feeling is quite evident on Jason Palmer's Live From Summit Rock in Seneca Village recorded in May of 2021 in Central Park.

This release is the trumpeter's third for Giant Step Arts and his fifth with collaborator, saxophonist Mark Turner. Their sophisticated pairing makes for a honeyed silver-tongued sound. Together with bassist Edward Perez and drummer Johnathan Blake, Palmer and company expand five original compositions. Four were heard on his prior studio releases from Giant Step Arts, plus the opener "Falling In" which begins with solo trumpet. In another context, hearing background noise (here, airplanes flying over) would detract from the performance but, in light of the pandemic's isolation, the atmospherics signal a return to normality. As the quartet kicks into action, the music just flows. Turner's tenor saxophone sound maintains his patented silvery smoothness which is never agitated even by Blake's dynamic drumming.

Credit Palmer's writing for creating compelling motifs. His interest in painting inspires his compositions; "Landscape With An Obelisk" by Dutch artist Govert Flinck features an agile drum solo by Blake and his own churning solo. Rembrandt's "Self Portrait" opens with Perez' bass solo, who escorts the quartet by weaving a beautiful tapestry of sound. Then there is "Program For An Artistic Soiree" by Edgar Degas. The 1884 artwork, along with 12 other pieces, was stolen from a museum and has never been recovered. The quartet's music honors the feathery touch of the artist with its bright illuminated presentation.

Track Listing

Falling In; Landscape With An Obelisk (Flinck); Kalispel Bay; Self Portrait (Rembrandt); Program For An Artistic Soiree (Degas).

Personnel

Jason Palmer: trumpet; Mark Turner: saxophone, tenor; Edward Perez: bass; Johnathan Blake: drums.

Album information

Title: Live From Summit Rock In Seneca Village | Year Released: 2022 | Record Label: Giant Step Arts

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