Jeremy Pelt – The Art of Intimacy, Vol. 1 (2020) [FLAC 24bit/44,1kHz]

Jeremy Pelt – The Art of Intimacy, Vol. 1 (2020)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/44,1 kHz | Time – 52:19 minutes | 481 MB | Genre: Jazz
Studio Master, Official Digital Download | Digital Booklet, Front Cover | © HighNote Records

Jeremy Pelt’s unquenchable curiosity has made him one of the most multi-faceted of jazz artists. Whether it be as a leader, a sideman, an accompanist or a composer, Pelt has investigated nearly every aspect and genre in jazz – from electric to eclectic, from Be-Bop to Free-Bop. Here Pelt joins forces with the legendary George Cables on piano and Peter Washington laying down the bass lines.

All but one tune on the setlist are slow numbers but this is not your father’s ballad record. Each member of the trio is able to pour some old wine into new bottles, aware of and perhaps shaped by the past but operating very much in the moment. Together with Cables’ lush voicings and solid tone and Washinton’s always-inspired bass lines and solos, Pelt’s new recording sets a high bar for all trio recordings that follow in the remainder of 2020.

Jazz trumpeter Jeremy Pelt has explored a variety of settings on his albums, from driving acoustic hard bop to electrified funk and even electronic music. With 2020’s dusky The Art of Intimacy, Vol. 1, he shifts gears yet again, settling into a drummerless trio format on a warmly attenuated set of ballads. The album is stark contrast to his ambitious 2019 effort, The Artist, which found him drawing inspiration from the sculptures of Auguste Rodin. Where that album showcased his ear for harmonically expansive post-bop in the vein of Woody Shaw, here he strips his approach down to the essentials. Joining him are two highly regarded jazz veterans, pianist George Cables and bassist Peter Washington. Both players have a long association with the trumpeter, including Washington being the godfather of Pelt’s son and Cables having known him since right after he graduated from Berklee in the late ’90s. The trio bring all of that musical and life experience to bear here on a mix of originals and lesser-played standards. The album opens with Pelt’s deceptively straight-forward “Love Is Simple.” Built around a lyrical, twice-repeated eight-bar phrase, the song nonetheless affords the band plenty of room to stretch out. From there, they wrap themselves in the languid glow of the Rodgers and Hart classic “Little Girl Blue,” with Cables framing Pelt’s fuzzy trumpet lines in delicately reharmonized chords and Washington offering a warm bowed solo. Similarly enveloping are Pelt’s Harmon-muted songs, including “Always on My Mind” (the Johnny Green/Norman Newell song, not the Willie Nelson tune) and the soulful Lee Adams and Charles Strouse composition “I’ve Just Seen Her” from the 1962 musical All American. Elsewhere, they offer a far-eyed and bluesy reading of Cables’ “Ebony Moonbeams” and cull ever richer emotional veins out of Lucky Thompson’s “While You Are Gone.” Pelt and Washington even pare down to a duo for the wryly improvised and painterly slow-blues “Ab-o-lutely.” A perfect example of the less-is-more philosophy, The Art of Intimacy, Vol. 1 maximizes the personal and musical connections between Pelt and his trio bandmates. ~ Matt Collar

Tracklist:
01. Love Is Simple (5:54)
02. Little Girl Blue (7:18)
03. Always on My Mind (6:02)
04. I’ve Just Seen Her (4:01)
05. Then I’ll Be Tired of You (4:36)
06. Ebony Moonbeams (6:49)
07. While You Are Gone (5:53)
08. Ab-o-lutely (8:02)
09. I’ll Never Stop Loving You (3:48)

Personnel:
Jeremy Pelt (trumpet)
George Cables (piano)
Peter Washington (bass)

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