Jeremy Pelt Quintet | Jazz Showcase | Jazz | Chicago Reader

Jeremy Pelt Quintet Soundboard Recommended

When: Thu., Sept. 22, 8 & 10 p.m., Fri., Sept. 23, 8 & 10 p.m., Sat., Sept. 24, 8 & 10 p.m. and Sun., Sept. 25, 4, 8 & 10 p.m. 2011

As much as jazz is a soloist's music, many of its most dramatic advancements (and its greatest recordings) were made by bands working as a unit, from Louis Armstrong's Hot Fives to the Miles Davis Quintet with Wayne Shorter and Herbie Hancock. But these days the difficulty of earning a living as a professional jazz musician makes it harder than ever for a bandleader to hold a steady lineup together; most players work in several groups and are frequently on the road, and sidemen are constantly tempted to break away and lead projects of their own. New York-based trumpeter Jeremy Pelt leads an empathetic quintet that's been together since 2007, and though it's yet to warrant a place on the list of jazz's all-time best bands, it's already one of the best currently active mainstream groups. On this year's The Talented Mr. Pelt (HighNote) the group sounds like a throwback to the early-60s Blue Note roster, albeit one that has thoroughly absorbed every technical innovation since then. Pianist Danny Grissett, bassist Dwayne Burno, and drummer Gerald Cleaver (who played two sets of ferocious free jazz with Craig Taborn and Lotte Anker a couple weeks ago at the Hungry Brain) are a powerhouse rhythm section, creating a deep pocket for the front line of Pelt and tenor saxophonist J.D. Allen, two of the most exciting horn players working today. The album is fantastic—it was beautifully recorded by Rudy Van Gelder—but where this group really shines is onstage. —Peter Margasak

Price: $20

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