72

The Jeff Hellmer Trio: Peak Moments

BY

Sign in to view read count
The Jeff Hellmer Trio: Peak Moments
The album’s subtitle is “Featuring Rick Margitza,” and the fiery Trane tracker is very much in the thick of things on this strapping post–bop session, blowing passionately on tenor (seven selections) or soprano sax (“All the Things You Are”). Margitza takes a well–earned break only on the finale, a splendid reading by Hellmer’s trio of Leonard Bernstein / Betty Comden / Adolph Green’s wistful “Some Other Time” (from the Broadway musical On the Town ). Margitza is a vastly underrated player who, like role models Coltrane, Joe Henderson and Michael Brecker, combines exemplary technique with a fondness for exploring the tenor’s upper reaches, which he does without squealing, screeching or squawking. Hellmer, a respected writer and educator as well as pianist, comps and solos with confidence, power and dexterity, while Fremgen and Mannion keep steady time and add two more capable solo voices to the mix. Hellmer wrote “Peak Moments,” Margitza “14 Bar Blues” and the waltz “Heart of Hearts,” Fremgen the ballad “Song for Laurie,” Joel Alpers and Justin Reinhardt “Expatriate Blues.” Each of them is commendable but I can’t help favoring the time–tested standards, “All the Things,” “Alone Together,” “What Is This Thing Called Love” and “Some Other Time,” perhaps in part because they seem to uncover reserves of energy that aren’t as apparent elsewhere — but that could be illusory, as given a choice between standards and originals I almost invariably lean toward the former. In any case, the entire album is top–drawer; Hellmer, his trio and Margitza make a wonderful team and there are any number of Peak Moments to savor during their challenging discourse.

Track Listing

What Is This Thing Called Love; Peak Moments; Expatriate Blues; 14 Bar Blues; Song for Laurie; All the Things You Are; Heart of Hearts; Alone Together; Some Other Time (67:07).

Personnel

Jeff Hellmer, piano; John Fremgen, bass; Ad Mannion, drums. Guest artist

Album information

Title: Peak Moments | Year Released: 2001 | Record Label: Viewpoint Records

Post a comment about this album

Tags

Shop Amazon

More

Svevning
Fredrik Rasten
Shadow Plays
Craig Taborn
Room 118
OSU Jazz Orchestra
Live at the Village Vanguard
Christian McBride & Inside Straight
My Astorian Queen
Martin Wind Quartet
Piano Blossoms
Marcos Ariel

Popular

Get more of a good thing

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.