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Jeremy Pelt: Face Forward, Jeremy

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Electric music is nothing new to Jeremy Pelt, two of whose mid-2000s efforts for MaxJazz mined the fertile possibilities of fusion. But with last year’s Water and Earth and now Face Forward, Jeremy, both featuring the same basic band, the trumpeter seems to have upped his commitment to the form. As he demonstrated with his longstanding acoustic quintet, which turned out such gems as Men of Honor, few artists take the working-band concept as seriously as Pelt.

The electric group includes soprano and tenor saxophonist Roxy Coss, keyboardist David Bryant, bassist Chris Smith and drummer Dana Hawkins. For all the electronic and programming effects involved, the music on Face Forward, Jeremy has a decidedly natural flow. While traces of fusion-era Miles are imprinted on the chord schemes and in certain grooves, the songs here are neither derivative nor nostalgic for that bygone era.

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