Jeremy Pelt, Tomorrow’s Another Day Review


Jeremy Pelt, Tomorrow’s Another Day Review

by Jeff Becker

Jeremy-Pelt-jazz-sensibilities-cdIn his twenty-fourth album as a leader, trumpeter, and composer, Jeremy Pelt embarks on a daring exploration of soundscapes and rhythms that challenge the boundaries of jazz. Tomorrow’s Another Day is one of Pelt’s most experimental projects to date, marking a significant departure from his previous work and leaning heavily into the dynamic aspects of electronic sounds and modern pop music influences.

Pelt’s ensemble on this record features Jalen Baker on vibraphone, Alex Wintz on guitar, Leighton McKinley Harrell on bass, Allan Mednard on drums, and the innovative Deantoni Parks on drums and programming. Parks, known for his work with Meshell Ndegeocello and André 3000, adds a layer of technological sophistication that propels this album into uncharted territories. Including Frank LoCrasto on Fender Rhodes and piano on selected tracks further enriches the album’s sonic palette.

The album starts with “Ante Meridiem.” Parks and McKinley-Harrell’s groove has hip-hop influences, as Pelt’s composition unfolds with many textures and intensities. Wintz’s guitar playing is excellent. Pelt’s tone and melodic ideas match the contemporary colors of the ensemble, giving a new sound evolving from the lineage of soul jazz through the 70s fusion period, notably influenced by Miles Davis’s Electric Period, to today’s hip-hop jazz.

“No A.I.” is a textured composition by Frank LoCrasto guests with his Fender Rhodes. Pelt’s solo on this track is creative and flows with purpose. The ensemble as a whole is very interactive, and the colors of the vibes and guitar add to the orchestration and modern appeal of the project.  Wintz’s solo especially personifies this with his use of distortion, reverb, and delay during his solo.

“Earl J” is more in line with the contemporary jazz vein, and the ensemble shines the brightness in this setting. Pelt’s incisive solo here is a highlight, brimming with clear ideas and energetic execution. Wintz again brings a compelling voice to the ensemble with his creative accompaniment and soloing.

“Amma Is Here” is a beautifully themed and textured composition that shows Pelt’s gift for writing harmonic progressions and melodies that sound contemporary while being grounded in jazz. The straight-eight feel has a vibe reminiscent of today’s contemporary jazz, as well as the Americana and Folk Jazz styles pioneered by iconic jazz fusion groups and saxophonists known for their melodic and expansive sound. Pelt’s ability to blend these elements is reminiscent of his work with artists like Ben Allison, whose approach to fusion and contemporary jazz creates a sound that echoes the innovative spirit of groups like the Pat Metheny Group.

“Milocraft (It’s a Cartoon World)” shows the harmonic and color possibilities of guitar and vibes. Their pastel voicings frame the contemporary hip-hop-styled feel. Baker and Wintz work well together in not letting their voicings clash and not crowding the accompanying texture too much. This matches Pelt’s lyrical and more space-driven melody and soloing.

“People” offers a darker, more introspective take on the album’s flow. Pelt’s warm, mellow trumpet sound, combined with Wintz’s textured guitar, showcases Pelt’s ability to convey deep emotion through his instrument.

Tracks like “Milocraft (It’s a Cartoon World)” and “Basquiat” further illustrate the experimental nature of this album, with Pelt and Parks co-writing pieces that feature out-of-the-genre rhythms and unconventional structures. The title track, “Tomorrow’s Another Day,” closes the album with a sense of optimism and forward-thinking artistry, encapsulating the essence of Pelt’s vision for the future of contemporary jazz.

While the album’s experimental nature and heavy use of electronics and programming might be a departure for some jazz purists, it undeniably positions Pelt as an artist blending jazz elements with contemporary influences of hip-hop and fusion. Tomorrow’s Another Day is a compelling addition to Jeremy Pelt’s discography, reflecting his tastes as an artist and his commitment to pushing the boundaries of his jazz catalog.

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