“Jazz in the New Harmonic” – A review

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[Music: Review]

In music, harmony implies the optimum blending of voices.

The piano master, David Chesky has produced a set of music on his new album entitled “Jazz in the New Harmonic” that certainly succeeds in making the point.

The voices on this beautiful project include the trumpeter Jeremy Pelt, agreeably the hottest young player on that instrument today; Javon Jackson, an established titan on tenor sax; Peter Washington, veteran master of the acoustic bass and anchored by the sizzling, mellow drums of Billy Drummond.  In this work Mr. Chesky is intent on proving that Jazz, which is often defined as America’s classical music, can be expressed in some formal, classical flavors and still retains its swing.  The listener soon realizes that the “new harmonic” also comes with its “new rhythmic.”

In the opening tune, aptly titled “Jazz in the new harmonic” the band immediately enters into a smooth laidback groove with each instrument making its statement with seemingly structured precision, as Mr.Chesky prods them on with short intricate chords.  Moving from the first tune you quickly realize that you are in a musical classroom (harmony – 101); from then on it is all about the beauty of a sweet conversation between and among instruments.

Trumpeter, Jeremy Pelt, who succeeds in channeling everybody from Miles and Marsalis to Louis Armstrong and Lester Brown, compliments the luscious saxophone tones of Javon Jackson  as they work their groovy way through the tunes. “American Band’s rhythm section, bassist Peter Washington lays down a solid foundation throughout this work while allowing unrestricted room for everyone else, his masterful riffs on “Burnout”, “Grooves” and “Broadway” are gems of structured improvisation. The sweet “licks” of drum master, Billy Drummond, can be savored to satisfaction on “Dukes Groove” and “Transcendental Tripping”; check out his offbeat syncopation. 

Interestingly, it seems that throughout most of this project, Mr.Chesky is content to keep a low profile while fully controlling the orchestration.  He uses his short, intricate chords and riffs to push and prod his players (especially Jackson and Pelt) to engage in intense musical conversation.  He does however take center stage on the album’s final tune “Transcendental Tripping”, delivering a solo laced with astral flavorings.  Letting you know that this music is his brand.

It is obvious that Mr.Chesky’s objective on this work was to deliver a jazz music product with some difference and to that end he may have succeeded.  He knew what he wanted.  He drew up his blueprint and proceeded to turn his band of accomplished musicians loose on the project; the result is indeed “Jazz in the new Harmonic”.

The haunting tones of Javon Jackson’s sax stay in your head.  The blues colored chords from Jeremy Pelt’s muted trumpet vividly invokes the spirit of Miles.  he gently rolling thunder of Peter Washington’s bass wraps around the sweet licks of Billy Drummond’s percussion; something feels different about this harmony.



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