WBGO Take Five Jason Palmer "Rhyme and Reason"

Jason Palmer, “Waltz For Diana”

A sharp, charismatic trumpeter with a refreshingly playful streak, Jason Palmer has released a succession of strong yet often-underappreciated releases over the last decade. His new double album, Rhyme and Reason, seems likely to garner some serious attention, and not just because it features an ace quartet with Mark Turner on tenor saxophone, Matt Brewer on bass and Kendrick Scott on drums.

“Waltz For Diana,” which has its premiere here, is a case in point. As the title implies, it’s a contemporary response to Bill Evans’ “Waltz For Debby.” But as Palmer explains in his liner notes, it also builds on a vintage Kurt Rosenwinkel composition, “Dream of the Old” (which, in its original iteration, featured Turner). The melody is springy with deft intricacies, and the solos are terrific throughout. Rhyme and Reason is also one of the first projects realized by Giant Step Arts, a nonprofit founded by noted photographer Jimmy Katz.