The Ballad of Ichabod Crane
Sweet Rita Suite, Pt. 2: Her Soul
What's Wrong Is Right
The sound of mid-’60s Miles Davis is all over trumpeter Jeremy Pelt’s fine 2012 release, Soul. (The opening track, “Second Love,” immediately evokes the compositions that Wayne Shorter wrote for Davis’ group.) Pelt has an amazingly pure tone, and his playing is superb throughout. The band members—tenor saxophonist J.D. Allen, pianist Danny Grissett, bassist Dwayne Burno, and drummer Gerald Cleaver—have clearly spent a lot of time playing together. They're excellent soloists, and every note feels both fluid and considered. The two non-originals here are pleasing. Guest vocalist Joanna Pascale does a nice job on Sammy Cahn’s “Moondrift,” where the band provides sensitive accompaniment, and there’s a nicely rendered version of George Cables’ “Sweet Rita Suite Part 2: Her Soul,” which features a muted trumpet statement. Most of the tracks move at a slow to medium pace, but the outfit can shift into high gear with ease; just check out the uptempo burner “What’s Wrong Is Right.” Pelt’s exciting solo is riveting every step of the way, and it might be the highlight of Soul.