35

Ralph Peterson: The Duality Perspective

Dan Bilawsky By

Sign in to view read count
Ralph Peterson: The Duality Perspective Balance is often overlooked in music criticism, yet it's such an important aspect in music-making and life. Light doesn't exist without dark, bold only takes shape when placed next to bland and earthbound realities are only truly understood by those who also know how to take flight. Drummer/educator Ralph Peterson understands this better than most, and The Duality Perspective documents his balanced outlook for all to hear.

This album is really two records in one, as Peterson splits the program between the latest incarnation of his two decade-old Fo'tet and his sizzling sextet, but the veteran maintains a sense of presentational continuity across these ten tracks. Part of the reason for this has to do with the bonds formed between the musicians and a shared philosophical outlook on how music should be made. The large majority of the players on this date have come under the expert tutelage of Peterson in some way, shape or form, and their connection and affection shows.

The other key to consistency here, which goes beyond the borders of either band, is Peterson himself. His pulse is the real connective tissue between the sounds of both groups. His drumming is always informed by a panoramic understanding of music, as he takes in the big picture and the small details at the same time. Peterson also posits that contrast is key to the realization of possibilities in performance, and understands that music, like life, can be a thing of beauty one minute and a slap in the face the next. He possesses a toolkit full of technique and taste that he uses to put every piece in good working order.

The clarinet and vibraphone-focused Fo'tet finds its footing with the swing-funk hybrid feel of "One False Move," takes Thelonious Monk's music to new places with an odd-metered Latin-ized look at "4 in 1," and wears its collective heart on its sleeve during "Addison And Anthony," which Peterson wrote for his twin grandchildren. The sextet is more typical in construction, with bass, drums, piano and occasional percussion in the back lot and saxophone(s) and trumpet out front, but the music still works off of the same sense of organic motion—flexible, yet focused—that's felt on the Fo'tet material. Saxophonists Tia Fuller and Walter Smith III sound terrific in this setting, but trumpeter Sean Jones is the undisputed star. His work on the final tracks—"You Have Know Idea" and "Pinnacle""—takes the music to new heights.

Peterson proudly displays the roots of his artistry on the album cover by name-checking mentors/heroes, but the music isn't about looking back at the past; The Duality Perspective thrives on the here and now.


Track Listing: One Flase Move; 4 In 1; Addison And Anthony; Bamboo Bends In A Storm; Princess; Coming Home; Impervious Gems; The Duality Perspective; You Have Know Idea; Pinnacle.

Personnel: Ralph Peterson: drums; Joseph Doubleday: vibraphone; Alexander L.J. Toth: bass; Felix Peiki: clarinet, bass clarinet; Luques Curtis: bass; Zaccai Curtis: piano; Sean Jones: trumpet; Walter Smith III: tenor saxophone; Tia Fuller: alto saxophone, soprano saxophone; Bryan Carrott: marimba (2); Reinaldo Dejesus: percussion (2, 4, 7, 9); Edwin "Eddie" Bayard: percussion (7, 10); Victor Gould: piano (9, 10).

Year Released: 2012 | Record Label: Onyx Music Label | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

More Articles

Read The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door CD/LP/Track Review The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 25, 2017
Read The Angel and the Brute Sing Songs of Rapture CD/LP/Track Review The Angel and the Brute Sing Songs of Rapture
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Coldest Second Yesterday CD/LP/Track Review Coldest Second Yesterday
by John Sharpe
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Chicago II CD/LP/Track Review Chicago II
by Doug Collette
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Follow Your Heart CD/LP/Track Review Follow Your Heart
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Over the Rainbow CD/LP/Track Review Over the Rainbow
by Paul Rauch
Published: February 24, 2017
Read "Espiritu Zombi" CD/LP/Track Review Espiritu Zombi
by Mark Corroto
Published: August 22, 2016
Read "Starer" CD/LP/Track Review Starer
by Glenn Astarita
Published: July 26, 2016
Read "Rise Of Orion" CD/LP/Track Review Rise Of Orion
by Karl Ackermann
Published: December 15, 2016
Read "The Candy Men" CD/LP/Track Review The Candy Men
by Jack Bowers
Published: November 28, 2016
Read "Hark The Herald" CD/LP/Track Review Hark The Herald
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 6, 2016
Read "Equal Poise" CD/LP/Track Review Equal Poise
by Karl Ackermann
Published: May 17, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!