A firebrand trumpeter with a warm tone, and deft improvisational style, Jeremy Pelt rose to prominence in the early 2000s playing a sophisticated brand of post-bop jazz. He initially drew praise, and well-earned comparisons to icons like Freddie Hubbard and Lee Morgan, by issuing a handful of straight-ahead acoustic dates (2002's Profile and 2008's November). Over the years, he has matured into a richly nuanced performer with an aesthetic that draws liberally from '70s fusion, funk, and Latin traditions (as on 2013's Water and Earth), as well as his own refined modern jazz sensibilities (2015's Tales, Musings, and Other Reveries, and 2016's #Jiveculture). Born on November 4, 1976 in Southern California, Pelt first began playing the trumpet in elementary school, focusing on classical studies. However, it was not until joining his high-school jazz band that he became strongly interested in changing directions and pursuing jazz full-time. This led to studying jazz improvisation and film scoring at Berklee College of Music in Boston, where he earned his B.A. in professional music. Since graduating from college, Pelt has performed and/or recorded with some of the jazz world's most high-profile players, including Roy Hargrove, Ravi Coltrane, Greg Osby, Cassandra Wilson, and the Mingus Big Band, among others. He released his solo debut, Profile, for Fresh Sound in 2002. A year later, he returned with Insight on Criss Cross. From 2003 to 2008, he released several albums for Maxjazz, including the orchestral-accented Close to My Heart, Identity, Shock Value: Live at Smoke, and November, all of which showcased his growing facility on the trumpet and penchant for progressive, harmonically adventurous post-bop and modal jazz. In 2010, Pelt moved to High Note and released Men of Honor, an album influenced by mid-'60s era Miles Davis. Sticking with the same ensemble, Pelt recorded the similarly inclined The Talented Mr. Pelt in 2011, followed by Soul in 2012. The album was celebrated by several magazines and music websites as one of the finest jazz albums of the year. Pelt then returned with two funk, Brazilian, and electronic-infused releases: 2013's Water and Earth and 2014's Face Forward, Jeremy. In 2015, Pelt delivered his 12th studio album, Tales, Musings, and Other Reveries, which featured his two-drummer quintet with percussionists Billy Drummond and Victor Lewis. For 2016's #Jiveculture, Pelt returned to a more straight-ahead acoustic-quartet format featuring Drummond, pianist Danny Grissett, and legendary bassist Ron Carter. Small-group acoustic jazz and Afro-Latin rhythms were also the focus for 2017's Make Noise!, featuring pianist Victor Gould, bassist Vicente Archer, drummer Jonathan Barber, and percussionist Jacquelene Acevedo. An evocative album titled The Artist arrived in 2019; it found the trumpeter drawing inspiration from the work of famed French sculptor Auguste Rodin. ~ Matt Collar
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