Review by Jean Timmons
Recall the swinging set that left you with a happy feeling during and after the performance then you can imagine a major component of this relatively new release by drummer Pete Zimmer. The quartet, composed of Zimmer, Jeremy Pelt (trumpet & flugelhorn), Avi Rothbard (guitar), and David Wong (bass) engaged an audience at the Jazz Factory in Louisville, Kentucky, in September of 2008 with their hard bop music and the tape was rolling. The performance showcased three Zimmer original compositions and rounded that off with the compositions of Sonny Rollins, Kenny Dorham, and Cole Porter.
Zimmer launched the set with an energetic drum solo to the break for the full quartet. The selection, "Search," is a Zimmer composition and it showcased the quartet's hard driving side-call it hard bop for its polyrhythmic vitality. Sonny Rollins' "Doxy" is tailor-made for a hard bop treatment and it suited these musicians' temperament, especially Zimmer's, on that eve at the Jazz Factory. Pelt opened on flugelhorn, which lightened up the piece for Rothbard's playful guitar solo. Their approach incites that finger snapping, foot-patting reaction.
Besides the high energy, a well-balanced program contributed to the success of this recording. "Summer Somber," a Zimmer composition, allowed Pelt to take center stage and play very lyrically. His playing was infectious as the rest of the band members swung with ease. The guitarist's solo was impressive on this piece as well, but each musician held his own for his moments in the spotlight, throughout. Kenny Dorham's "Una Mas" took the group in a different direction with its Latin-tinged rhythms propelling the music. The remaining two pieces, "Common Man" (Zimmer) and "From This Moment On" (Cole Porter), both enhanced a noteworthy performance. Bravo.