Pete Zimmer: Road Taken


Road Taken


Pete Zimmer (drums)


Common Man (Tippin' Records 1101)

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Pete Zimmer (drums),

Michael Rodriguez (trumpet), Joel Frahm (tenor sax), Toru Dodo (piano), John Sullivan (bass)


Composed by Pete Zimmer


Recorded: Brooklyn, NY, February 24-25, 2003


Rating: 95/100 (learn more)

About half of the 2009 Grammy Awards went to independent artists and labels. Now more than ever, a musician or group cannot wait patiently for a major record company to come calling. Pete Zimmer put out Common Man on his own newly formed label in 2004, after unsuccessfully shopping the demo around. His impressive quintet has garnered positive reviews and growing word-of-mouth ever since.

The ballad "Road Taken" shows off the talented drummer's composing abilities. Trumpeter Michael Rodriguez plays the poignant, rather uplifting theme alternately with Joel Frahm's tenor. Bassist John Sullivan contributes to the dreamy mood with a lovingly lyrical bowed solo. Rodriguez follows with a notably gorgeous sound, and a confidently relaxed authority and technical facility. Pianist Toru Dodo plays a radiant improvisation ranging from wistful to earnestly expressive. Frahm then undertakes a daring statement that restlessly explores various tonal effects and phrase structures, displaying the adventurous influences of both Joe Henderson and Wayne Shorter. If you somehow had initial reservations as to the beauty and originality of the theme, the reprise should put them to rest. "Road Taken" is a polished work of art. Pete Zimmer may not be taking the road less traveled stylistically with his quintet, but it is a securely confident and rewarding unit in the mode of Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers.

Reviewer: Scott Albin


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