Change is often a precursor for innovation. After many years of straddling modern mainstream, and progressive jazz via his burgeoning solo career and first-call session duties, trumpeter Jeremy Pelt leans a few notches toward the jazz-fusion spectrum on Water and Earth. However, the artist doesn't take matters to the extreme and serves up a compellingly divergent track mix, owing patronage to bop and outlying areas of the jazz vernacular. Using trumpet effects in spots, including the dual keyboard attack of Frank LoCrasto and David Bryant, the album gels amid the artists' razor-sharp focus, robust exchanges, and variegated tonalities.
Pelt sparks remembrances of trumpeter Miles Davis' fusion era on "Boom Bishop." Sparked by his rocketing, bop lines and drummer Dana Hawkins' feeding frenzy-like approach to the pulse, the ensemble settles into a classic Bitches Brew (Columbia, 1970)-style vamp, spiced with a contemporary hue. Featuring saxophonist Roxy Coss' yearning notes, and the keyboardists' dark Fender Rhodes voicings, the musicians levitate the momentum atop staggered flows. Pelt's electronic trumpet treatments take center stage due to a succession of cosmic wah-wah choruses and illusory navigations, where the band treks along an oscillating soundscape, leading to a sultry fadeout during the finale. Here, Pelt tenders a revved-up communion with some very hip musical spirits.
Jeremy Pelt: trumpet; Roxy Coss: soprano saxophone and tenor saxophone; David Bryant: piano, Fender Rhodes, Clavinet and Hammond B-3 organ; Frank LoCrasto: keyboard, Fender Rhodes and Prophet; Burniss Earl Travis: acoustic and electric bass; Dana Hawkins: drums.
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