Jazz trumpeter Jeremy Pelt is blazing a trail with his hot new release, Close to My Heart on MAXJAZZ Records. The music industry is giving the album much well-deserved praise. It is a must have for your music collection. I had the opportunity to ask Jeremy a few questions about the new album and his music. Please welcome Jeremy Pelt to the j-notes Jazz Lounge.
j-notes: Your music has been classified from neo-bop to straight-ahead jazz. How would you describe your sound?
Jeremy Pelt: "Well, my sound comes out of the trumpeters that I admired the most (i.e.. Miles, Freddie, Booker Little, Lee Morgan, Chet Baker, etc.). At this point, I'm interested in finding ways to manipulate my sound as to reflect the nuances of the human voice."
j-notes: You have played in every setting from big bands to quartets? Which is your favorite band setting and why?
Jeremy Pelt: "When Bird and Diz, and Roy Eldridge and countless other musicians came up, they all came to prominence through the big band experience. I feel that big bands teach you a lot. After you've had enough of that experience, I believe it's OK to start thinking more selfishly. And that's where I'm at. I love playing in the "small group" setting because you have a greater sense of individuality. My previous bands have always been sextets and I still dig that, but with this new recording, I felt like something more personal. All of the greats have done a quartet recording, and I wanted to make my presence felt in that arena. Quartet makes you a stronger player."
j-notes: You have traveled extensively this year. Where has been your favorite place to play?
Jeremy Pelt: "I always LOVE London. Particularly, Ronnie Scott's. Portugal was great, too."
j-notes: Will your upcoming tours feature a string section? Will you be coming to the Bay Area in the next year?
Jeremy Pelt: "The thing that I knew coming into this project was that there were certain realities that I'd have to deal with regarding touring with a group of this size and star power! First of all, though I have two past recordings and appear on over twenty others, I'm still not seen as a bandleader by a lot of promoters, booking agents, and club owners. It's truly a frustrating process. My manager and I are working very diligently on making the transition. I'd love to do as many gigs and tours with the string section as possible, but at the end of the day, you still have to pay the band! As for coming to the Bay area, we’re working on coming there in April. You can always find out where I'll be on my website, peltjazz.com."