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.


Shop

More Articles

Read Cheltenham Jazz Festival 2017 Live Reviews Cheltenham Jazz Festival 2017
by Nick Davies
Published: May 13, 2017
Read Omar Sosa At SFJAZZ Live Reviews Omar Sosa At SFJAZZ
by Walter Atkins
Published: May 13, 2017
Read Wadada Leo Smith At Firehouse 12 Live Reviews Wadada Leo Smith At Firehouse 12
by Franz A. Matzner
Published: May 11, 2017
Read Jazzahead! 2017 Live Reviews Jazzahead! 2017
by Henning Bolte
Published: May 11, 2017
Read Adrian Belew Power Trio at Ardmore Music Hall Live Reviews Adrian Belew Power Trio at Ardmore Music Hall
by Geno Thackara
Published: May 10, 2017
Read Bray Jazz Festival 2017 Live Reviews Bray Jazz Festival 2017
by Ian Patterson
Published: May 9, 2017
Read "Shirlee Temper At The Empress Theatre" Live Reviews Shirlee Temper At The Empress Theatre
by Walter Atkins
Published: April 30, 2017
Read "Peter Gabriel and Sting at the Pepsi Center" Live Reviews Peter Gabriel and Sting at the Pepsi Center
by Geoff Anderson
Published: August 6, 2016
Read "Monty Alexander Trio at Longwood Gardens" Live Reviews Monty Alexander Trio at Longwood Gardens
by Geno Thackara
Published: February 15, 2017
comments powered by Disqus

Why wait?

Support All About Jazz and we'll deliver exclusive content, hide ads, hide slide-outs, and provide read access to our future articles.

Buy it!