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Peter Martin, the 30-year-old from New Orleans, is the second pianist (after Bruce Barth) to be showcased on the MaxJazz label’s new piano series. (Interestingly, Bruce Barth is listed along with Martin as a co-producer.) The exciting date was recorded live in St. Louis, and it features a happening quintet in top form. Trumpeter Nicholas Payton shares the frontline with one of jazz’s best-kept secrets, tenor saxophonist Brice Winston; bassist Reginald Veal and drummer Adonis Rose anchor the rhythm section and get a good amount of solo room as well. Martin’s sophisticated take on bop and hard bop couldn’t be clearer than on the opening "Unusual Suspects," which could almost be a Jazz Messengers chart. He and the band also swing hard on "Attestation" (a line written over "Confirmation" changes), a mid-tempo version of Jackie McLean’s "Dr. Jackle," and Kenny Dorham’s minor-key burner "Lotus Blossom." But Martin’s musical insights don’t stop there. The jaunty, complex rhythmic structure of his Latin-tinged "La Pregunta" gives the band a lot to chew on, as does the playful rendition of Stevie Wonder’s "I Wish" that closes the album. Martin also offers a moving Jobim twofer, first playing "Triste" unaccompanied, then bringing Winston back for a duo on "Corcovado." His original ballads, "The Queen" and "Lovely One," give a good indication of his melodic gifts, not to mention his subtlety as an arranger — listen to how the trumpet and bass break away on "Lovely One," ending the piece alone, with a melancholy touch.
Track Listing: 1. Unusual Suspects 2. La Pregunta 3. The Queen 4. Attestation 5. Triste 6. Corcovado 7. Dr. Jackle 8. Lovely One 9. Lotus Blossom 10. I Wish
Personnel: Peter Martin, piano; Reginald Veal, bass; Adonis Rose, drums; Nicholas Payton, trumpet and flugelhorn; Brice Winston, tenor saxophone
I grew up listening to mainstream '70s rock then ended up on the staff at the college paper at San Diego State, and volunteered to review heavy metal LPs. My second semester, the music editor dropped a Fenton Robinson LP on my desk, Night Flight. You like metal; they play guitar--he plays guitar, the editor told me
I grew up listening to mainstream '70s rock then ended up on the staff at the college paper at San Diego State, and volunteered to review heavy metal LPs. My second semester, the music editor dropped a Fenton Robinson LP on my desk, Night Flight. You like metal; they play guitar--he plays guitar, the editor told me. If we don't run a review, Alligator Records is going to stop servicing us.
Night Flight opened up a whole new world for me--the blues led me, inevitably, to Basie, who led to Duke, who led to Mingus, who led to Miles, who led to ...