Monday, August 18, 2014

Jason Palmer: Places - DownBeat

Jason Palmer

Musicians are no strangers to the road.  Each traveler takes away something different after a stay in a new city, whether it's a year or a night.  Trumpeter Jason Palmer came away with a set's worth of material inspired by the various places he put his luggage down.  But he isn't trying to emulate the music of each location.  There is no oompah to "Berlin" or yodeling on "Bern."  These are internalized trips hashed out in the hours and days between gigs.  Tenor saxophonist Mark Turner and alto saxophonist Godwin Louis fill out the front line of Palmer's sextet here and their tight attack is vital to the soul of this recording.  They are put to good use on nearly every melody, forming a dense, swooping blend.  Palmer is quick with a confident assault, and Turner is powerful throughout.  On "Rising Sign (For Paris)," the horn men weave in and out of each other's message, deftly dancing between a bubbling riff and darting solo lines initially without help from the rhythm section.  Once the band is fleshed out, the horns engage in some rapid-fire lines before stepping aside from drummer Kendrick Scott to demonstrate his high-energy approach.  Guitarist Mike Moreno and bassist Edward Perez are tasked with keeping a spacious, harmonic foundation in lace and they do so admirably.  Moreno is most engaging when he keeps the shifting gears of "Berlin" steady before getting an opportunity to add a little grease to the band's arsenal.

Jason Palmer @ DownBeat

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