Source: The New York Times
The pivotal track on “#Jiveculture,” an awkwardly titled but persuasive new album by the trumpeter Jeremy Pelt, is “Einbahnstrasse,” which you wouldn’t be wrong to call a ditty. Context is everything: The song was composed by Ron Carter, the redoubtable bassist, who has recorded it in the company of some exalted peers. But Mr. Pelt, leading a quartet anchored by Mr. Carter, sounds undistracted by legacy or history. He’s just here to eat the tune for breakfast.
Mr. Pelt, who will turn 40 this year, has been a fierce and self-confident talent since his mid-20s. “#Jiveculture” is his seventh album on the HighNote label, and it comes on the heels of several smartly arranged experiments: bands with two drummers or elegant chamber embroidery or chiming electroacoustic effects. To the extent that the album has a concept, it’s simple chemistry — primarily with Mr. Carter, with whom he’s collaborating for the first time, but no less with Danny Grissett on piano and Billy Drummond on drums.
Mr. Pelt has an intensely focused sound on trumpet, a warmblooded gleam. It’s hard to imagine his sounding much better than he does here on “Dream Dancing” and “Love Like Ours,” sashaying ballads from two different songbook eras, each also a platform for the cruising eloquence of his rhythm section.
Those tunes appear, like “Einbahnstrasse,” on the front half of the album, under the heading Part I. (No plans have been announced for a vinyl release, but the tracks are organized as if with that format in mind.) The second half consists of four Pelt originals, in a post-bop dialect loosely traceable to the Miles Davis Quintet of the 1960s, which included Mr. Carter; “Desire” could almost pass for one of Wayne Shorter’s compositions for that band.
But again, Mr. Pelt doesn’t sound hemmed in by that frame of reference; he’s using it to his own aims. His exploratory fire on “The Haunting,” like his controlled glow on “Rhapsody,” rings with conviction. It’s surely no coincidence that Mr. Carter plays brilliantly throughout the album or that Mr. Grissett rises to a similar level: They have a fearless leader, and their agenda is clear. Nate Chinen
A Love Like Ours
Jeremy Pelt - trumpet
Ron Carter - bass
Danny Grissett - piano
Billy Drummond - drums