Rich Pellegrin: Down (OA2 Records, 2019)

February 17, 2019 at 2:36 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Rich Pellegrin: Down

Rich Pellegrin’s third album for OA2 features the brilliant Seattle duo Bad Luck as well as the Mizzou New Music Ensemble (on the alternate version of the album’s title track). Opening piece “Trial” is an instant attention-grabber, filled with complex, stop-on-a-dime arrangements and an overabundant amount of energy. Absolutely fresh and exciting. “Birthright” isn’t quite as explosive or colorful, but it’s still intense in its own way, slowly boiling and featuring an incredible bas solo by Evan Flory-Barnes. “Down” and “Acceptance” both seem semi-mournful, but not entirely, and “Exile” is reserved but gradually buds into a joyful state. For the concluding, alternate version of “Down”, Pellegrin successfully pushed the Mizzou New Music Ensemble out of their comfort zone, making non-jazz-trained musicians improvise, and it sounds completely natural.

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