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Tests Of Time by Ralph Peterson

Back in the ‘80s, drummer Ralph Peterson was a force to be reckoned with and his substantial string of Blue Note sides forged a track record that was nothing short of brilliant. Then things went south and a good deal of time passed with little to be heard from the drummer. Just a few years back Peterson finally made the connection with Criss Cross and things have improved greatly for the drummer and his ability to document his music. Each one of his previous albums for the label has been critically lauded not only for the dazzling drum work of the leader, but for strong original compositions and the opportunity for many up and coming young musicians to get a chance to develop on the bandstand.

Peterson’s latest quintet includes trumpeter Jeremy Pelt, saxophonist Jimmy Greene, piano man Orrin Evans, and bassist Eric Revis. How much they have gelled as a unit over the past year or so is supremely evident on Tests of Time. Taking his cue from the hard bop period of the mid to late ‘60s, Peterson’s tunes here range from burnout numbers like Freddie Hubbard’s "Neo Terra" to the quietly reflective "Ballad For Queen Tiye." Pianist Evans continues to be a revelation as he builds on the legacy of pianists like Andrew Hill, Jaki Byard, and Geri Allen with his own advanced conception. Much the same can be said of both Pelt and Greene as each one had made great strides in consolidating their influences. As for Peterson, he’s as technically amazing as ever and his strong writing gives his music yet still an added dimension of individuality.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Ralph Peterson
  • CD Title: Tests Of Time
  • Genre: Contemporary Jazz / Modern
  • Year Released: 2003
  • Record Label: Criss Cross Jazz
  • Tracks: Respect For Truth, Tests of Time, I Love You, Telepathy, Neo Terra, Ballad For Queen Tiye, Prayer For Columbine, When I Fall In Love, Question, Cheryl, Dark Prince
  • Musicians: Ralph Peterson (drums), Jeremy Pelt (trumpet), Jimmy Greene (tenor and soprano sax), Orrin Evans (piano), Eric Revis (bass)
  • Rating: Four Stars
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