Ralph Peterson plays the drums with zen like proficiency, he is a student of himself.
Brent Black / www.criticaljazz.com
Truth be told, upon careful examination Peterson and the drums play each other. There is a unique symbiotic relationship that transcends mere music, Ralph Peterson is a master craftsman. With Alive at Firehouse 12 Vol. 2 Fo' n Mo' The Ralph Peterson Fo'tet Augmented, the sound is nuclear swing. An explosion of rhythmic energy and lyrical passion that may be without equal.
Nuclear swing is not to say there are not some interesting dichotomies here, there are. The opening tune is the Chick Corea classic "Humpty Dumpty" where Felix Peikli and Steve Wilson clearly throw down the gauntlet for the other members of the collective to follow. The flip side may be the straight ahead but dialed back groove of the often covered but seldom played with any real inventiveness version of Stevie Wonder's "Overjoyed." One of the rhythmically charged gems would be "Tears I Cannot Hide" which was originally released in 2002 but has since been reworked into Abakua chant. Afro-Cuban on steroids. Aside from his obvious technical proficiency, Ralph Peterson has developed into one of the finest composers on the scene today.
Drummer, bandleader and teacher finds Ralph Peterson at the top of his game and only one of the handful of legitimate modern jazz triple threats. His eighteenth solo recording may arguably be his finest thus far.
Tracks: Humpty Dumpty; The Lady In Black; The Tears I Can Not Hide; Celia; Chelsea Bridge; Overjoyed; Surrender; Skippy.
Ralph Peterson: Drums; Joseph Doubleday: Vibes; Felix Peikli: Clarinet, Bass Clarinet.
Steve Wilson: Soprano Saxophone; Eguie Catrillo: Percussion