Lucid Culture


A Rare Intimate Two-Night Stand by One of This Era’s Great Trumpeters

Trumpeter Jeremy Pelt is a busy guy, and usually isn’t found at intimate small-room shows. That’s why his upcoming two-night stand at Mezzrow on Dec 23 and 24 is a relatively rare treat. The first night, he leads a trio with pianist Bruce Barth and bassist Vicente Archer. On Christmas Eve Jeb Patton takes over the keys; sets are at 7:30 and 9 PM, with a $25 cash cover at the door.

Pelt’s latest album, Soundtrack – streaming at youtube – is a frequently bustling, evocatively urbane quintet session with Chien Chien Lu’s vibraphone a key to the sound. Archer swings hard right from the start in the opening number, Picking Up the Pieces, Pelt taking a bright, purposeful, solo up to some carefree stairstepping as drummer Allan Mednard tumbles and mists the windows. His work on this record is sensationally good, to the point where the sudden shift to an enveloping Victor Gould Fender Rhodes ambience isn’t jarring.

Built over Gould’s spaciously modal piano riff, the album’s title track has a methodical vibraphone solo, Mednard maintaining a lush, orchestral ambience with his washes of cymbals. Lu follows with a dancing, incisive solo before the bandleader pulls the song back in a wafting, reflective direction with his sagaciously crescendoing solo, Gould picking up with a similarly spare, churning attack.

Be the Light has a low-key, brisk clave groove beneath Pelt’s resonance, piano and vibes following a terse series of exchanges, Gould taking his time building to a spiraling, cascading solo. Part 1: The Lighter Side has a fleetingly expressive Anne Drummond flute solo before Part 2: The Darker Side kicks in. Her woody upward flights are warier as the rhythm section hit a funky syncopation, Pelt subtly edging his way into this agitated In a Not So Silent Way style theme with his mute as keyboardist Brittany Anjou adds distantly gritty synth textures.

Mednard announces Elegy with series of mystical cymbal flares, Pelt’s lingering lines more pensive than mournful over the spare contrast between Lu’s lingering vibes and Gould’s spacious piano accents. Pelt returns to an energetic but moody mid-60s Miles atmosphere with I’m Still Standing over Mednard’s syncopated sway and the echoey backdrop floating overhead.

I Love Music is an absolutely gorgeous, broodingly Lynchian ballad, Gould and Archer spare and resonant as Mednard rides the cymbals with his brushes. It’s the high point of the record.

The group pick up the pace with Shifting Images, Mednard matching Pelt’s driving insistence, Lu adding glistening, pointillistic texture as Archer burns through a series of chords. They close with You and Me, Mednard hinting at reggae, Lu bubbling in tandem with Gould’s Rhodes as Pelt maintains a saturnine, reflective pace.


December 15, 2022 - Posted by | jazz, Music, music, concert, review, Reviews | , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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