Thursday, April 01, 2010

Jeremy Pelt - Men of Honor (HighNote, 2010)

Trumpeter Jeremy Pelt makes a fine modern mainstream jazz statement on this new album. Joined by J.D. Allen on tenor saxophone, Danny Grissett on piano, Dwayne Burno on bass and Gerald Cleaver on drums, the group uses the open ended hard bop of the 1960's as a template for their contemporary explorations of improvised music. The urgent and driving feel of "Danny Mack" is a highlight, starting ominous and slow and then generating heat through application of prodding piano chords and propulsive drumming. Pelt's trumpet breaks through punching and stabbing through the music. Cleaver is a key ally here, his strong, deeply rolling drums keeps things moving along briskly. Punchy and smeared horn lines and strong agile drumming are also the key to the success of "Us/Them" which also features Allen and Cleaver trading short bursts of music. "Brooklyn Bound" has a darker hued feel, using supple horns and gently probing ballad saxophone, Pelt's trumpet takes on a dry and patient tone here and on the moody ballad "From a Life of the Same Name" where the group takes a spare and light approach caressing the melody of the song gently before moving into a series of solos backed by lush piano chords. This was a thoughtful and classy album of modern mainstream jazz, with fine soloing and ensemble playing throughout. Men of Honor -

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