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November by Jeremy Pelt

November by Jeremy Pelt

Album Review

Jeremy Pelt formed a new quintet prior to the making of November, featuring tenor saxophonist JD Allen, pianist Danny Grissett, bassist Dwayne Burno, and drummer Gerald Cleaver. Just 31 at the time of the sessions, Pelt has developed into one of the top trumpeters of his generation, developing a distinctive sound of his own. For his fourth Maxjazz release, he composed nine striking originals, beginning with the free-form introduction “Mata” (honoring his grandmother), which adds his cousin Jeff Haynes on percussion. Pelt’s trumpet and the ensemble passages shine in “Avatar,” while he adds a mute for the snappy “Clairvoyant,” also showcasing Burno. The exchanges between Pelt and Allen are fueled in the breezy post-bop cooker “Phoenix” by Burno and Cleaver. The tension in “466-64 (Freedom Fighters)” is hardly surprising, as it was inspired by Pelt’s visit to Nelson Mandela’s tiny prison cell (in which he was incarcerated for 20 years), with the insistent rhythm backing the brisk yet haunting theme played by trumpet and tenor sax. Yet the most memorable piece may be Pelt’s gorgeous ballad “Rosalie,” with Grissett providing…




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