Valery Ponomarev: Live at Vartan Jazz

The lessons of Art Blakey travel far and wide as disciples like trumpeter Valery Ponomarev carry the musical word. Ponomarev fronts a lively full-bodied quintet, and lucky for him and us, Ben Riley fills this particular drum seat. Ponomarev’s brash, rough around the edges lead on “Autumn In New York” gives the tune a wintry feel rather than one of warm autumnal longing. This tight knit group is a crowd pleaser.