March 2009

Jeremy Pelt Quintet
March 25, 2009 The Rex Toronto
Report by David Fujino with photo by Mike Colyer
Jeremy Pelt's quintet drove straight from Boston to play on The Rex stage.

They were tired, Pelt said, but our applause and attention energized them. In turn, the musicians' headlong dive into "David and Goliath" energized us.

The dense modal tune certainly inspired some serious blowing.

Pelt's blistering trumpet lines came out of the virtuoso tradition of people like Clifford Brown, Freddie Hubbard, and Terence Blanchard, while his front-line partner, tenor saxophonist JD Allen, consistently soloed with taste, structure, and soul.

Throughout the evening, pianist Danny Grissett kept spreading subtle tone colours as Dwayne Burno's grounded and lithe bass lines threaded through Gerald Cleaver's mellow mix of expressive drumming and four-to-the-bar hi-hat time.

The ballad, "If You Could See Me Now", was a flugelhorn feature in which Pelt quoted phrases such as 'My momma done told me' and "I'm Beginning to See The Light" as building blocks of his generous-hearted solo — and Burno's full-throated bass and Allen's tenor blues inflections simply added to the emotion.

The first set ended with "46664 — Freedom Fighters" written for Nelson Mandela. 466 was Mandela's cell number and 64 was the year he entered prison. And this proved to be a physicalized yet thoughtful and grounded drums and bass duet with a lot of feeling and a sense of adventure.

Jeremy Pelt
The Jeremy Pelt Quintet delivered a lot — fine playing, moody tunes, strong solos, and musical satisfaction, and I have to say, as a result of just hearing the quintet in the first of two nights, the present and future health of the modern jazz mainstream looks positive.
Jeremy Pelt Quintet
Jeremy Pelt — trumpet
JD Allen — tenor saxophone
Danny Grissett – piano
Dwayne Burno — bass
Gerald Cleaver — drums
We welcome your comments and feedback
David Fujino
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Mike Colyer
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