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Presents the Fo'tet

Posted on

Presents the Fo'tet

Current Status:
In Season
Ralph Peterson, Don Byron
Blue Note

We gave it an A

Ralph Peterson is one of the most gifted drummers of recent years, and his albums have demonstrated a diligent attempt to go beyond Art Blakey’s standard hard-bop approach. The rough-hewn writing and instrumentation on Presents the Fo’tet recall such Blue Note classics of the ’60s as Eric Dolphy’s Out to Lunch or Grachan Moncur III’s Evolution. More than that, Peterson’s fo’tet — his new band, and easily his best to date — is an ideal showcase for the asymmetrical melodies of ingenious young clarinetist Don Byron. Byron is best known as the only black leader of a klezmer band, a kind of ensemble that plays Yiddish popular music from the early years of this century. You can hear a touch of klezmer whimsy in Byron’s radiant solos and in the richness of his upper register. The sound mix unfairly favors Peterson’s drums, as usual, but he plays so well you don’t mind. A