Album Remarks & Appraisals:
"In the same way that Roy Hargrove's Earfood (Emarcy, 2008) updated Lee Morgan's Cornbread (Blue Note, 1965), so Jeremy Pelt's November updates Miles Davis' Miles Smiles (Columbia/Legacy, 1966). If creativity and art can be evaluated on both the vertical and horizontal, Morgan's and Davis' offerings represent horizontal progressions of the art of jazz into new areas, where Hargrove's and Pelt's are vertical elaborations of those previous collections.
Jeremy Pelt (with his band WiRED) last offered Shock Value: Live at Smoke(MaxJazz, 2007), an exploration of the style Miles generated with Live at the Fillmore East (March 7, 1970): It's About That Time (Legacy, 2001). Pelt returns to a fully acoustic format on November, but this music is no more wooden than Miles' groundbreaking second quintet recordings were.
November is a fully realized post-bop suite, a jazz Also Sprach Zarathustra. "Mata" is five-plus minutes of introduction, a free form recital with no resolution. Here and throughout the disc we can hear the spirit of the late Anthony Tillman Williams, who's drumming for Miles Davis, continues to touch all aspects of jazz percussion almost 50 years later.
Pelt's compositions are all tightly angular and anxious, both probing and airy. His trumpet is tart and sweet, the tone very much his own. The choice of JD Allen on tenor saxophone was a deeply thoughtful one as Allen is one of the finest post bop tenor's performing. As a collection, November is a compelling listening experience from beginning to end. Do you missNefertiti (Columbia/Legacy, 1967)? Not any more." -AllAboutJazz
Down Beat (p.80) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "Pelt's deft compositions make NOVEMBER a rewarding disc that invites repeated listens. They're steeped in modern post-bop, but also evoke a cinematic narrative akin to Wayne Shorter or Bobby Hutcherson."
JazzTimes (pp.68-69) - "As in the past Pelt displays impressive command of his horn, occasionally bringing to mind Freddie Hubbard and Woody Shaw."
Personnel: Jeremy Pelt (trumpet, flugelhorn); J.D. Allen (tenor saxophone); Danny Grissett (piano); Dwayne Burno (bass instrument); Gerald Cleaver (drums); Jeff Hayes, Jeff Haynes (percussion).
Audio Mixer: Katsuhiko Naito.
Recording information: Systems Two Studios, Brooklyn, NY (11/16/2007/11/17/2007).
Author: Jeremy Pelt.
Photographers: Frank Stewart; Jimmy Ryan .
Arranger: Jeremy Pelt.
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 spacious accompaniment in this duo setting. Highly recommended.
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