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Don Peretz: Foremen

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Late on Foremen “A Theme” comes on like a blast of urban cacophony and ends just as abruptly. With this small slice of Ornette Coleman, Don Peretz’s band seems to be saying, “Yeah, we can be tough if we wanna.” Most of the time the drummer’s quartet fronts a friendlier, more accessible side, and Peretz brings a real pop sensibility to his music. The performances (almost entirely originals) and solos are kept short and snappy. His music is full of likable melodies and energetic play. Tunes like the playful “Retro Phlegm” and the electronic-dance-music-influenced “No Train Again” sound like refugee cuts from a Ben Allison/Jazz Composers Collective album. Though somewhat overshadowed by trumpeter Russ Johnson, reedist Christof Knoche contributes plenty to the front line. He even swaps his saxophones and clarinets for the harmonica on the homey opener, “Simple Man.”

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