230

Ralph Peterson: Tests of Time

By

Sign in to view read count
Ralph Peterson’s newest effort once again casts the drummer in the role of the leader of a contemporary jazz quintet in the tradition of Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers. Blakey himself recognized Peterson’s potential early in the young drummer’s career, back when he was a sideman with the Terence Blanchard-Donald Harrison Quintet, and encouraged him to become a bandleader. Peterson has settled into the position nicely, confirming Blakey’s famous faculty for finding future leaders, and on the third disc with this latest edition of his group, featuring trumpeter Jeremy Pelt, saxophonist Jimmy Greene, pianist Orrin Evans and bassist Eric Revis, the young veteran follows in his mentor’s footsteps, demonstrating a similar penchant for featuring the “new stars on the jazz horizon.”

Like Blakey, Peterson always gives his sidemen a push to step out front and display their improvisational skills and on this date he also showcases the compositional contributions of his colleagues in conjunction with his well-documented ability in that department. The drummer offers four of his own originals—“Respect For Truth,” a hard bopping homage to Blakey; “Tests of Time,” a pensive piece reminiscent of the post-Messengers penmanship of Bobby Watson and Wayne Shorter; the beautiful “Ballad For Queen Tiye,” a feature for Greene’s rarely heard, impressively full bodied flute; and “Dark Prince,” a dedication to Miles Davis, whose ‘60s quintet is one of the leader’s other major inspirations (as can be heard in his Herbie Hancock-inspired reharmonization of the standard “When I Fall In Love”), along with Freddie Hubbard, whose “Neo Terra” is also treated to an inspired new arrangement.

Pelt, who is strongly influenced by Hubbard himself, contributes two compositions, “Telepathy," a thoughtful, harmonically intricate piece and “Cheryl,” a cheerfully melodic waltz. Evans’ “Prayer For Columbine” is a powerfully mournful remembrance of the Colorado high school tragedy, further documenting the pianist’s increasingly recognizable style as a composer. Eric Revis’ labyrinthic “Questions” is an extraordinary exposition of the bassist’s impressive nascent writing skill. Greene, whose performances on tenor and soprano saxophones as well as flute are consistently inspired, demonstrates his skill with the pen on a particularly likable arrangement of Cole Porter’s “I Love You.” Peterson himself deserves a lion’s share of credit for his ability to put his stamp on all of the selections with his always interesting, and often surprising, drumming, whether it’s right up front, prodding in the background or, as is most often the case, moving in, out and around the melodic lines of the other players in the cohesive group he has assembled.


Track Listing: Respect For Truth (Ralph Peterson) Tests Of Time (Ralph Peterson) I Love You (Cole Porter) Telepathy (Jeremy Pelt) Neo Terra (Freddie Hubbard) Ballad For Queen Tiye (Ralph Peterson) Prayer For Columbine (Orrin Evans); When I Fall In Love (Young / Heymann); Question (Eric Revis); Cheryl (Jeremy Pelt); Dark Prince (Ralph Peterson).

Personnel: Ralph Peterson (dr), Jeremy Pelt (tr/flg), Jimmy Greene (ts/ss), Orrin Evans (ap), Eric Revis (ab)

Title: Tests of Time | Year Released: 2004 | Record Label: Criss Cross


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Kurrent CD/LP/Track Review Kurrent
by C. Andrew Hovan
Published: October 17, 2017
Read Duets CD/LP/Track Review Duets
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: October 17, 2017
Read Rev CD/LP/Track Review Rev
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: October 17, 2017
Read The Frequency Modulators Orchestra, Vol. 1 CD/LP/Track Review The Frequency Modulators Orchestra, Vol. 1
by Jim Olin
Published: October 17, 2017
Read The Adventures of Zodd Zundgren CD/LP/Track Review The Adventures of Zodd Zundgren
by Karl Ackermann
Published: October 16, 2017
Read Any Other Way CD/LP/Track Review Any Other Way
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: October 16, 2017
Read "The Imperfect Sea" CD/LP/Track Review The Imperfect Sea
by Mark Sullivan
Published: May 4, 2017
Read "Polygon" CD/LP/Track Review Polygon
by Pascal-Denis Lussier
Published: May 21, 2017
Read "Regards To You II" CD/LP/Track Review Regards To You II
by Geannine Reid
Published: December 4, 2016
Read "Find the Way" CD/LP/Track Review Find the Way
by Karl Ackermann
Published: May 26, 2017
Read "Still" CD/LP/Track Review Still
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: October 23, 2016
Read "The Many Minds of Richie Cole" CD/LP/Track Review The Many Minds of Richie Cole
by Rob Rosenblum
Published: April 24, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.