On trumpeter Jeremy Pelt’s second CD as a leader he has returned to the studio with tenor saxophonist Jimmy Greene and drummer Ralph Peterson from his first CD, plus alto saxophonist Myron Walden, pianist Rick Germanson, and bassist Vincente Archer to create INSIGHT, his debut on the Criss Cross label. They perform 7 Pelt originals, the lovely ballad "I Wish You Love" a 60s hit for vocalist Gloria Lynne, and Herbie Hancock’s aptly titled "Madness", a faster, looser version than the original on Miles Davis’ NEFERTITI.
Speaking of Davis, in his autobiography he stated that trumpeters love to play with great drummers. Pelt obviously loves to play with Peterson, whose incessant swing, surprisingly placed accents, and take-no-prisoners energy have lifted up many a bandstand and recording session. The sound of the 3 horn front line, Pelt’s writing, and Peterson’s drumming gives this CD the feel of a modern day Jazz Messengers recording. Favorites include "the Ides of March", an uptempo burner with a hip turnaround, the majestic "In My Grandfather’s Words" a hard swinging Monk tribute "Spherical Inclination" and "Sisyphus" another burner featuring some heated trading between Walden and Greene.
The sophomore jinx is not evident here, as INSIGHT is an impressive recording by one of today’s best young jazz musicians. I hear that his next recording will be on an American label. Obviously this is not the early 1980s when record deals were available on major labels to talented young jazz players, but let’s hope he continues to make quality recordings regardless of who he records for.