5

Peter Brendler: Outside The Line

Bruce Lindsay By

Sign in to view read count
Peter Brendler: Outside The Line Thirteen years after graduating from Berklee and over a decade into his career as a professional bassist, Peter Brendler has taken the plunge and released his first album as leader, Outside The Line. Look before you leap, as they say. Wise advice, if the quality of this debut is anything to go by.

Brendler has already shown himself to be a bassist with a wide stylistic and dynamic range—powerful and hard-driving on Jon Irabagon's wild and wacky Foxy (Hot Cup Records, 2010), in company with veteran drummer Barry Altschul; gentle and mellow alongside guitarist John Abercrombie on The Angle Below (Steeplechase Records, 2013). His playing on Outside The Line provides further evidence for his adaptability. His sound is characteristically bouncy and fat, but capable of subtle changes, twists and turns—drummer Vinnie Sperrazza's lighter touch contrasts well with Brendler's tone.

Three disparate cover versions adorn Outside The Line. The band kicks things off with a punchy take on Chet Baker's "Freeway," Peter Evans' muted trumpet flying over Brendler and Sperrazza's driving rhythm. Ornette Coleman's "Una Muy Bonita" is altogether gentler than the composer's version from Change Of The Century (Atlantic, 1959)—thanks especially to Rich Perry's tenor sax. Perry starts out by sharing bass duties with Brendler on Lou Reed's "Walk On The Wild Side," helping out with Herbie Flowers' iconic lines while Evans takes on the melody, then takes off with a solo of his own. Sperrazza shares credit with Brendler for building the song's laid-back groove.

Brendler's own compositions cover stylistic ground from bebop to free jazz to pre-bop romance. "The Golden Ring" shares something of the rhythmic slinkiness of "Walk On The Wild Side"; "Blanket Statement" mixes Coleman-ish sections with hints of Latin grooves; "Openhanded" moves more completely into free territory. "Drop The Mittens" mixes things up—a rock-solid rhythm underpins Evans and Perry's extended solos, Brendler's own fluid solo stands alone. "The Darkness" could have come straight from a '40s crime caper soundtrack—bass, drums, tenor and trumpet all hinting at the heist or the hit to come. "Blackout Reunion" also harks back to the '40s, a soundtrack to a film noir affair—but before things get too down, "Pharmacology" kicks in and feet are a-tappin.'

Exactly what line Brendler and his chums are outside isn't totally clear. A quote from legendary American Football coach Bill Parcells adorns the album sleeve—about men with odd-shaped balls—and may suggest a sporting metaphor, who knows. What's clear is that Outside The Line confirms Brendler's reputation as a commanding bassist. It also establishes his credentials as a band leader—hopefully this is a quartet with staying power—and as a composer with a sense of stylistic adventure and an ear for a decent tune. The world really can't get enough of those.

Track Listing: Freeway; Blackout Reunion; Pharmacology; Lawn Darts; Walk On The Wild Side; Blanket Statement; Una Muy Bonita; Openhanded; Drop The Mittens; Indelible Mark; The Darkness; The Golden Ring.

Personnel: Peter Brendler: double bass; Peter Evans: trumpet, piccolo trumpet; Rich Perry: tenor saxophone; Vinnie Sperrazza: drums.

Year Released: 2014 | Record Label: Posi-Tone Records


Shop

More Articles

Read Malnoia CD/LP/Track Review Malnoia
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 24, 2017
Read Get 'Em CD/LP/Track Review Get 'Em
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: April 24, 2017
Read Radioactive Landscapes EP CD/LP/Track Review Radioactive Landscapes EP
by Troy Dostert
Published: April 24, 2017
Read Wake Up Call CD/LP/Track Review Wake Up Call
by Glenn Astarita
Published: April 24, 2017
Read The Many Minds of Richie Cole CD/LP/Track Review The Many Minds of Richie Cole
by Rob Rosenblum
Published: April 24, 2017
Read LifeCycle CD/LP/Track Review LifeCycle
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 23, 2017
Read "Say So" CD/LP/Track Review Say So
by Glenn Astarita
Published: September 14, 2016
Read "Very Early" CD/LP/Track Review Very Early
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 23, 2016
Read "Peace" CD/LP/Track Review Peace
by Budd Kopman
Published: December 18, 2016
Read "Four Plus Three" CD/LP/Track Review Four Plus Three
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: June 5, 2016
Read "Saturday Songs" CD/LP/Track Review Saturday Songs
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: August 5, 2016
Read "The Expensive Train Set" CD/LP/Track Review The Expensive Train Set
by Jack Bowers
Published: October 5, 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!