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Jeremy Pelt - Jeremy Pelt The Artist (2019)

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Jeremy Pelt - Jeremy Pelt The Artist (2019)

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1 	The Rodin Suite, Pt. 1_ L'Appel Aux Armes 	6:55
2 	The Rodin Suite, Pt. 2_ Dignity And Despair (Burghers Of Calais) 	1:59
3 	The Rodin Suite, Pt. 3_ I Sol Tace (Gates Of Hell) 	5:59
4 	The Rodin Suite, Pt. 4_ Camille Claudel (L'Éternel Printemps) 	2:33
5 	The Rodin Suite, Pt. 5_ Epilogue 	4:47
6 	Ceramic 	3:41
7 	Feito 	6:54
8 	Watercolors 	5:58
9 	Ask Of Now 	6:54

Jeremy Pelt - trumpet
Victor Gould - piano
Frank LoCrasto - Fender Rhodes, effects
Chien Chien Lu - vibraphone, marimba
Vicente Archer - bass
Allan Mednard - drums
Ismel Wignall - percussion


Jeremy Pelt is a terrific trumpet player and bandleader whose records offer enough consistency to make us search for new material. He is also an extremely reliable sideman with important contributions in projects by Vincent Herring, Ralph Peterson Jr., Wayne Escoffery, and more recently, bassist Ben Allison.

His new outing, Jeremy Pelt The Artist, finds him fronting a dynamic group with Victor Gould on piano, Frank LoCrasto on Fender Rhodes and effects, Chien Chien Lu on vibraphone and marimba, Vicente Archer on bass, Allan Mednard on drums, and Ismel Wignall on percussion.

The album’s first five tracks constitute The Rodin Suite, a compositional effort inspired by the work of French sculptor Auguste Rodin. Like the sculptor himself, Pelt doesn’t rebel against the past, but arrange everything in a clever way, introducing new elements that shape the music with a winsome modern feel. On “Pt 1: L’Appel Aux Armes”, Wintz’s scorching guitar licks emerge from the cumulative instrumental layers initiated by Gould’s piano. The rhythm mutates graciously, becoming a fine receptacle for a warm dialogue established between vibraphone and piano. Pelt’s buoyant trumpet, then becomes the center of attention when his wonderfully chosen notes populate the colorful harmonic tapestry.

“Pt 2: Dignity and Despair” works like a languid transition to “Pt 3: I Sol Tace” where streams of percussion join trumpet lines affected by wah-wah and delay. Archer orders his contrabass to walk leisurely. Later on, he is doubled by Lu’s vibraphone and forms a smoothly groovy alliance with Mednard while psychedelic acid jazz shouts echo in the air.

Whereas “Pt 4: Camille Claudel” is a volatile ballad featuring the melodic conductions of Wintz and Pelt, the softly “Pt 5: Epilogue” is launched by solo bass and complemented with an initial primal thud (later extended to cymbal legato), muted trumpet, and the electric charm of LoCrasto’s Rhodes.

The rhythmic flux on “Ceramic” is suggestive of electronica, yet its essence is mainly post-bop like on “Feito”, which categorically swings with Pelt showing off lucid phrases that resonate with the style of Freddie Hubbard and Wynton Marsalis. He is followed by Lu and Gould, whose conviction doesn’t consent to energy interruptions.

You will find the rhythm section swinging in the pocket again on “As of Now”, which closes out the album full of supercharged jazz harmonies, right after the 3/4 musical sunshine that is “Watercolors”.

This is deftly composed material put in practice with taste by a sophisticated new group that works pretty well together. ---Filipe Freitas, jazztrail.net


Showcasing a five-part suite based on the work of French sculptor Auguste Rodin, Jeremy Pelt's 2019 album, The Artist, finds the trumpeter translating his love of the visual arts into a set of deeply textured compositions that touch upon harmonically rich modalism, driving post-bop, and lyrical balladry. Beginning with the hypnotic "The Rodin Suite, Pt. 1: L'Appel aux armes," which translates fittingly as "the call to arms," The Artist evokes the '70s jazz of artists like Woody Shaw and Bobby Hutcherson. It's a sound Pelt has long embraced, at least as far back 2013's fusion-influenced Water and Earth, and one that he has increasingly made his own. Which is to say, while The Artist brings to mind the vibes, keyboard, and groove-oriented aesthetics of '70s jazz, it never sounds like pastiche, and remains a nuanced palette for Pelt to draw from. Adding rich colors to this palette are Pelt's bandmates: pianist Victor Gould, bassist Vicente Archer, guitarist Alex Wintz, marimba player Chien Chien Lu, and percussionist Ismel Wignall. Together they play with a deft sense of group interplay that's as much the focus as Pelt's own improvisatory prowess and balmy tone. In fact, Pelt bows out of "The Rodin Suite, Pt. 2: Dignity and Despair (Burghers of Calais)" altogether, allowing Gould to lead the ensemble with his gem-tone keyboard warmth. "The Rodin Suite, Pt. 3: I sol tace (Gates of Hell)" is perhaps the most fusion-sounding track as the trumpeter paints the song's intro with thick wah-wah and echo pedal-dipped lines against a backdrop of woody marimba and conga, before settling into an arid, slow-burn noir groove. Similarly evocative is "The Rodin Suite, Pt. 4: Camille Claudel (L'Éternel printemps)," whose sparkling chimes, fuzzy marimba, and drawn-out dual guitar and trumpet melody conjure the image of sculptor Camille Claudel (Rodin's muse and partner), framing her tragic story in a haze of sadness and midday languor. Elsewhere, Pelt continues to pull inspiration from the visual arts, offering up the buoyant Latin rhythms of "Ceramic," the propulsive swing of "Feito," and the exuberant harmonic spirals of "Watercolors." With The Artist, Pelt has crafted an album that engages your attention and captivates your imagination much in the same way Rodin's famed sculptures continue to fascinate audiences. ---Matt Collar, AllMusic Review

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