119

Pete Zimmer Quintet at Cecil's Jazz Club

David A. Orthmann By

Sign in to view read count
An enterprising young drummer, composer, and bandleader, Pete Zimmer stakes his claim inside of the broad parameters of hard bop.
Pete Zimmer Quintet
Cecil's Jazz Club
West Orange, NJ
August 11, 2006

An enterprising young drummer, composer, and bandleader, Pete Zimmer stakes his claim inside of the broad parameters of hard bop. Throughout a pair of releases on Zimmer's Tippin' Records label, Common Man and Burnin' Live At The Jazz Standard, all of the essential elements fall into place. A tight, efficient band forges a balanced ensemble sound; three primary soloists, tenor saxophonist Joel Frahm, trumpeter Michael Rodriguez, and pianist Toru Dodo, possess sturdy individual voices; the rhythm section digs in and swings hard, yet can become more flexible when the occasion demands; and, most importantly, several of Zimmer's compositions say something fresh without straying from recognizable stylistic blueprints.

A recent performance at Cecil's Jazz Club was even more impressive than the recordings. Although Zimmer opened a couple of the numbers and played a few extended solos, in large measure the drums weren't in the forefront. He seemed content to keep the band moving in tandem with the terrific young bassist, David Wong. Joel Frahm took the solo honors by finding different ways to approach Zimmer's compositions. On the set's opener, "Down and Up, his thickset tone framed symmetrical, evenly paced lines. Frahm took a far more intense route during "Common Man by connecting low somber tones and high careening sounds. A ballad feature, "Time That Once Was, had a searching quality and included lovely strings of melodies.

Throughout the set Michael Rodriguez showed that he is in the process of developing a distinctive style. Tying together piercing cries, low buzzing sounds, and splendid, clear tones, his "Common Man solo was technically impressive and told a story. Rodriguez started off Zimmer's "Getting Dizzy with bright melodies in the middle register, then spat out a brief phrase and played a softer variation, as if going in and out of focus.

Sounding both lazy and obsessive, Toru Dodo's impressive original composition "Dot Dot was slightly off the set's beaten path. Taken at a deliberate tempo in 3/4 time, the horns repeated overlapping phrases and Dodo's piano added a related theme. As the band broke out into straight-ahead 4/4, his solo included relaxed song-like expressions, brief snaking passages that became longer and more complex, and extended right hand single note lines that were tersely answered by the left.


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read "Pat Martino Quintet at Chris’ Jazz Café" Live Reviews Pat Martino Quintet at Chris’ Jazz Café
by Victor L. Schermer
Published: November 29, 2016
Read "Pittsburgh JazzLive International Festival 2017" Live Reviews Pittsburgh JazzLive International Festival 2017
by C. Andrew Hovan
Published: June 24, 2017
Read "Quentin Baxter Quintet at Simons Center Recital Hall" Live Reviews Quentin Baxter Quintet at Simons Center Recital Hall
by Rob Rosenblum
Published: December 6, 2016
Read "Mike Zito at the Iridium" Live Reviews Mike Zito at the Iridium
by Mike Perciaccante
Published: June 24, 2017
Read "London Jazz Festival 2016" Live Reviews London Jazz Festival 2016
by Duncan Heining
Published: November 25, 2016
Read "Craig Handy Quartet at Sunset Jazz Club" Live Reviews Craig Handy Quartet at Sunset Jazz Club
by Patricia Myers
Published: July 14, 2016

Smart Advertising!

Musician? Boost your visibility at All About Jazz and drive traffic to your website with our Premium Profile service.