MUSIC REVIEW

Rich Pellegrin

Three-Part Odyssey

Seattle is a place where jazz can be treated as an experiment, and pianist/composer Pellegrin, who is getting his Ph.D. at the University of Washington, takes a studious approach to his music. This is dense jazz from note one. The opener, "Nothing Comes to Mind," is an atonal but rhythmic exploration, with trumpeter R. Scott Morning and saxophonist Neil Welch sharing an obtuse melody before Pellegrin takes over on the solo, which gets hot and thick, then bleeds into atonality. Unlike much jazz that treads into the avant-garde, Pellegrin makes his explorations palatable. There is a lushness to his playing that invites rather than repels. For instance, "Distant, Distorted You" is oddly melodic, while "Pastiche" has a chamber quality to it, and "Maze" hard bops it to the finish. Pellegrin has taken a usually impenetrable genre and brought some sophisticated accessibility.

 

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