This is the first recording as a leader for trumpeter Jeremy Pelt, a member of the Mingus Big Band and groups led by drummers Louis Hayes and Ralph Peterson. On Profile he is joined by Peterson, tenor saxophonist Jimmy Greene, pianist Robert Glasper, and bassist Gerald Cannon, plus alto saxophonist Jaleel Shaw and guitarist Mike Moreno on one selection each, to perform 7 Pelt compositions and "You Won’t Forget Me", a lovely ballad inspired by vocalist Shirley Horn’s version which featured Miles Davis.
Having seen Pelt perform with the Mingus Big Band and Hayes’ Cannonball Adderley Legacy Band, there was no doubt in my mind concerning Pelt’s ability as a player, but Profile also showcases his composing skills. Claiming Wayne Shorter as an influence, Pelt’s compositions cover a variety of moods and are always fueled by Peterson’s dynamic drumming. My favorites include "Aesop’s Fables" and "Mystique" which are medium tempo waltzes, "The Trivium" and "Pieces Of A Dream" which are up tempo and swing hard, and "Jigsaw", which reminds me of a new millennium "Freedom Jazz Dance" that dances on the cutting edge. Pelt displays a Miles-like lyricism and Hubbard-like aggressiveness throughout the recording. Greene, his front line partner in Peterson’s quintet, complements Pelt with much passion while Glasper and Cannon are solid in their support.
This is a fine debut recording from a young man who is already an in-demand talent on today’s jazz scene, and another fine recording from the Fresh Sound New Talent label. Whether or not Pelt becomes one of the great trumpeters in the history of jazz remains to be seen. I’m just waiting for his next CD.