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Brian's Corner

Jeremy Pelt – Noir En Rouge (Black in Red) Live in Paris France

Jeremy Pelt

Jeremy Pelt

Jeremy Pelt

Noir En Rouge (Black in Red) Live in Paris France

July 16, 2018 

Trumpet Master Series

American trumpeter Jeremy Pelt is an accomplished player with a conceptually mature sound and a contemplative knowledgeable approach to his craft. He is a masterful musician who has played with many notable front-liners since his arrival to New York city in 1998 (Last.fm.com biography). He has performed with the likes of Charles Mingus, Jimmy Heath, Ravi Coltrane, Cedar Walton, and Roy Hargrove just to name a few. A graduate of the Berklee school of music, his warm emotive tone and subtle control are soothing and conversational to the ear. These superb qualities are displayed on this fine album which was released earlier this year. These September 29th and 30th 2017 Sunset-Sunside club, Paris France dates featured the quintet of Jeremy Pelt, trumpet; Victor Gould, Piano; Vicente Archer, bass; Jonathan Barber, drums; and Jacquelene Acevedo, percussion. All the tunes on this album were written by Pelt, and as the album liner notes state, he went to this club for the express purpose of recording a live album; the result is an audio masterpiece.

The first tune on this CD is entitled Make Noise!  This song is the title track from his 2017 CD release, and is a considerable hit for Mr. Pelt and company. On this recording, one of the first things you’ll notice is the play of the piano, drum and congas. These three percussion instruments give this song the drive and kick that make this tune rock. No, it is a jazz tune, but it grooves in its subtlety in a way that will make you groove along with it. Archer’s bass underpins the tune through the entire duration of the song, and when Pelt adds his trumpet the song comes ever more alive. Gould’s piano explores the harmonic intricacies of the composition and adds to the depth of the song in an expansive and melodically complex fashion. And the interplay of piano and trumpet wrap around each other in a pleasing and satisfying compliment to each other. Jeremy wanted to come out the gate with a winner, and he succeeded in spectacular fashion.

The third tune Sir Carter is a nine-minute up-tempo excursion into the musical mind of the master trumpeter and his quintet. On this tune Jeremy displays his substantial chops and jazz improvisational imagination and skill. Once again bass, drums and percussion lay the carpet on which the other players frolic. And yet again, Vincente Archer’s bass is superb. He plays with a forceful yet delicate touch that grounds the band and gives the soloist room from which to work freely and yet still be grounded within the confines of the song. The trio of bass, piano and trumpet work wonderfully as the drum not only keeps time but also accentuates the soloists’ improv. During the pianists solo the bass graces the improve in an unobtrusive yet melodic fashion. This is a very tight band that is well rehearsed and attentive to what each player is doing.

Near the end of this tune the tables are turned within the rhythm section. After a complete stop, the piano lays the carpet for the drums from which the drummer lays down a unique solo supported by the percussionist. The piano plays a series of repeated cords and the drums and percussion solo around it. It’s an awesome device and its used expertly in this song. The melody is used as the background, and the drums/percussion take the song to the end. It’s an awesome finish to a delightful song.   Well done.

The fourth song of the album is very interesting tune time signature wise. The song is entitled

Black Love Stories. The time signature is almost a 5/4 but is actually a 3/4 followed by a quicker 3/8. This gives the beat a slight limp, but not in an obtrusive manner, its rather pleasant to listen to. The song begins with Jeremy’s trumpet pensively playing the melody in unison with the piano. A few measures later the piano and drum enter in fully to flesh out the feel of the music. It is beautifully done and has a wonderful slow romantic feel to it, with the drums and percussion adding to the sexy feel of the music in an almost satin fashion. This tune is unhurried and sensuous in feel and form, with the percussion adding to the sexy slow feel of the music. Jeremy’s trumpet is as unhurried and warm as the rest of the music. This song is a quiet afternoon with a familiar loving partner; slow, gentle and quietly relaxed. It’s too beautiful to be called “easy listening” but, it is easy to listen to. All the complexities of a long-term relationship are expressed in this song. It’s a familiar smile, a familiar warm touch, a knowing glance; nothing hurried or hectic. Jeremy has outdone himself in the composing of this song. Well done once again.

Song number seven is called Melody for V.  This is an up-tempo song which at the onset features the piano voice that begins the tune with a quartet of chords followed by the quick drum of Jonathan Barber as they usher the listener into the body of the work. After a few measure the featured instruments become the piano and bass playing in unison, and the drums and congas as they flesh out the song for several measures. Finally, the bass solo of Archer becomes prominent in this tune; his bass is understated yet strong, and he shows that he is not only a sideman, but that he can carry the song as well. His solo is well conceived and relevant to the balance of the tune. As Archer finishes his solo, Jeremy comes in and picks up the melody and does some heavy lifting of his own. The piano of Gould plays a cool energetic counterpoint to Pelt’s lively solo.  This is all done as the drum and conga feed off the melody and one another. This song has a measure of complexity, but it’s simply and beautifully done. It’s a nice treat for a fine album.

Jeremy closes this album with a tune called Chateau d’eau. That’s the name of the streets where he gets his haircut when he visits Paris, and he tells that story as an Intro. This song features the soulful piano work of Gould, and Acevedo’s Congas. This song, more than only other on the album has the most soulful groove on it. It’s a danceable tune; cool and funky. It offers a break from the more cerebral work of the album and just allows band and listener to be swept away by a funky easy groove. It’s short and sweet, and a nice close to a great album. A big “Thumbs Up” for the entire work. Fantastic work!

Well, I’d like to thank you all for the time you took to read this article. I, as usual, really enjoyed listening to the music and writing this article. If you have any questions, comments or suggestions please feel free to leave your input in the space provided.

I’d like to remind you all that N-Motion Entertainment will now be concentrating on bringing live music to great venues for your listening enjoyment. We want to thank all of you who supported us in our “First Friday’s” parties, and we encourage you to come with us on this next phase of our quest to bring you the best “grown folk” entertainment in the Pittsburgh area.

Remember to come to “An Evening with Nick Colionne & Brian Simpson (Special Guest Eddie Baccus Jr.)” on August 25, 2018 at the Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild at 1815 Metropolitan St, Pgh, Pa 15233. Tickets are only $45, and on sale at various sites throughout the city, but they are going fast, so get your asap!

Please keep a lookout for our upcoming “new and improved” website. We’re in the midst of working out all of the bugs and will have it up and running in the very near future. And keep a look out for our improved N-Mo Jazz site as well (Brian’s Corner will have a new look soon too).

Thanks again for taking the time to read this article, and remember, next week “Catch You on The Corner!”

B. B. Suber

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Brian's Corner

Carolyn Perteete: A Sweet Dream

I bought Carolyn Perteete’s CD Insomnia at James Johnson III’s Full Circle CD release party. You see, James is Carolyn’s husband, and after hearing Carolyn sing a beautiful rendition of the Beatles’ Yesterday with James and his band at the party, and also hearing Carolyn sing Soundgarden’s Black Hole Sun on James’ Full Circle disc, I was more than a little intrigued about Carolyn’s CD. Well after hearing the title song on a friend’s car stereo before driving away from the venue, I had to have this CD, and I’m glad I took the time to run back inside to buy it.

Carolyn is not your typical singer. She has a very original sound, and her overall tone and feel might be considered a bit melancholy to some, but this does not detract from her originality or likability, instead, it enhances both. She has a beautiful voice with excellent intonation, timing, and delivery, and her emoting seems organic; as if she deeply feels what she sings. This is what makes her so enjoyable to listen to.

You are drawn into not only the music, but into her experiences that she conveys in the songs that she sings. The album is mostly a collaboration of husband and wife; James wrote most of the music, and Carolyn wrote all the lyrics. The two are wed, not only via matrimony, but they are wed artistically as well.

There is much to like on this venture; its rife with good music, amazing arrangement, beautiful lyrics and beautiful singing. The title track Insomnia, the first song on the album, is a gorgeous love song. It has lovely understated music; only Keyboards, finger snaps, and light percussions accompany the singing of Carolyn. Carolyn’s overdubbed voice sings the harmony and the hook. Two thirds of the way through the track Dwayne Dolphin comes in and plays a nice bass solo, and then bassist Lorenze Jefferson picks up the melody for a few bars, after which the voices return to sing the hook to fade. This tune is classy, quiet, and smooth. It’s a very nice song, and it’s extremely catchy. This song has the potential to be a top seller if it even gets airplay on Sirius or other major radio stations, and there are other songs on the CD that share that same potential.

Keystone St. is a beautiful piece. The music is written by Carolyn and James

, with Carolyn also writing the lyrics (and playing the piano as well). The song is an ode of hope that speaks of being led to a better place. It’s a song of hope, love, and trust combined with a lush sound that is layered with the harmonies of voice, guitar and the subtle organ playing of Cliff Barnes. The vocals become more enthralling and expansive as the lyrics pull you into the song. Carolyn sings her own background, and she also acts as her own choir. It’s simply a very beautiful piece of music and exhibits the many talents of this artist in her own musical environment. An amazing piece.

New Past, is an up-tempo tune about getting over a lost love. It starts off almost quizzically and grows in tone and expression. It’s a simple song that builds in natural fashion as it expands vocally. The vocals lead this song, but the bass of Paul Thompson, and the piano of Danial May as well as percussion, and keyboards play a large role too. The vocals’ harmonies are beautiful and pleasing to the ear. It’s a real nice little song, and it leaves you with a light feeling. The wife/husband tag team are at their finest on this one.

The next song I’d like to talk about is the song Simply. This one starts with the kick drum and percussion. It’s a cute light love song, a light-colored canvas that features keyboard, bass and percussion, and the wonderfully relevant lyrics of Carolyn. Here she sings of why she loves the one she loves and tells of her experiences with him. This song reminds me a little of India Arie in style and flavor, but it’s all Carolyn. As aptly as its title, this is a simple song; not a lot of embellishment or instrumentation, but it’s large on expression and imagery. As the song continues it begins to tug at the heartstrings because Carolyn touches a chord in us that everyone wants to awaken. This woman is a lyricist of the first degree. A truly impressive artist, she seems to experience her emotions in a clear fundamental way that allows her to communicate them to others so that they can see and feel them in themselves.

The next song I’ll talk about is the very next song after Simply, and its entitled Love Song. This song was composed and written all by Carolyn, but James did a beautiful arrangement of the string duet. The song features Carolyn on the piano and Jeff Grubbs on the bass. If there are twins on this album, then its these two songs; Simply and Love Song. No, they don’t sound alike, but they feel alike. If you’re in love, or ever have been in love, then you’ll understand what I’m saying. But firstly, I’d like to talk about the instrumentation of this song. The use of two of my absolute favorite instruments, viola, and cello. They are gorgeously used here, and marvelously arranged, and on this song, these instruments weep; they cry for the lovers that she is singing about, and love lost. This is a powerful tune, and I warn you; don’t listen to it if you’re in a weak mood, you might just pick up the telephone and give someone a call. Absolutely fabulous!

Lastly, I’d like to talk about the last song on the album Better or Worse. Carolyn leaves us with an upbeat winner that will have you patting your foot and nodding your head. Piano and bass lead the song, with percussions (hand claps and tambourine), and bass drum. This song has potential in the greater music market as well. It’s a song of warning to an inattentive lover and a demand for things to improve. Again, it’s an understated song instrumentation wise; it only has the piano of Carolyn, the bass of Jeremy McDonald, and James’ clever percussion, but it sounds like so much more. My only complaint about this song is it’s too short. But, as the old adage says, “keep em begging for more”.

I could say something about every song on this album, and to be honest, this album must be explored patiently. I listen to a lot of hard driving music; it goes hand in hand with my busy lifestyle, so when I come across an album like this, it takes a little time for my mind to slow down and give it proper consideration. You may experience the same kind of thing, but believe me, take the time to listen, and you will not be disappointed. I give this CD my full endorsement. Carolyn sounds like no one else. She is unique and can fit into several genres of music. I look for great things from Carolyn and James. They are a refreshing couple and a great team. I wish them the best.

To further add to Carolyn’s already impressive resume, she has also toured with Sean Jones and performed with Pittsburgh’s own Elevations and others. Check out some of her videos I came across while researching this article: Don’t Know WhyChange the World; at Riverview park w/James Johnson III EsperantoLetter of Resignation /w Sean Jones, Can I Come Over w/ The Bridge on the album Livin Lyfe, The Experience Volume 1; and I Confess /w Elevations, just to name a few.

Well, if you make it this far, I’d like to, once again, thank you for spending the time to read my column. I hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I did writing it. And please tell your friends and family about my weekly writings. I’d love to have them aboard too. Feel free to leave a comment in the comment section, or even drop a name of a band or artist you’d like me to review.

Also, if you are looking for music in general, and jazz music specifically, make sure you make use of http://www.nmojazz.com/. It’s the largest (and fastest growing), Jazz music search engine in the world.

Make sure you look out for N-Motion Entertainment’s First Friday Celebrations. We’ll make sure to keep you posted, and we have some surprises coming up in the near future, so keep your eyes open and an ear to the ground (mind the traffic though).

Thanks again, and as usual, next time “Catch You on The Corner”!

 

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