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John Raymond Convinces in Foreign Territory

A fast-rising modernist, trumpeter John Raymond assembles a solid team of musicians for his sophomore release Foreign Territory. Anchored by the resolute Billy Hart on the drums, bassist Joe Martin, and the gifted pianist Dan Tepfer, Raymond delivers a masterful set of multi-textured songs; they swing obliquely and pull you in with disarming ease.

A Freddie Hubbard edge combined with the lyricism of Art Farmer.

He calls his sound and approach “a modern re-imagining of classic / straightahead jazz,” and his ideas tip a hat to Horace Silver (“Rest/Peace”), Irving Berlin (a ruminative “Deeper”) and Lee Konitz (“Adventurous-Lee”).

Raymond has a smoothly polished tone; he’s a convincing instrumentalist with a Freddie Hubbard edge combined with the lyricism of Art Farmer. As a composer, his tunes resonate with poetic flourishes and pleasing off-center melodies.

John Raymond previews his new album Foreign Territory:

The music’s interlocking rhythms are enhanced by the quartet’s improvisational skills, and the abiding trust that Raymond has with his band is evident from the first tune (the title track, it’s also the first ever composition that Raymond wrote on his trumpet).

Yet, it’s the collective sound that gives the music on Foreign Territory its substance, conjoined with Raymond’s authorial confidence that gives his decisive music a seasoned glow.

This article is from the June 2015 edition of ICON Magazine, the only publication in the Greater Delaware Valley and beyond solely devoted to coverage of music, fine and performing arts, pop culture, and entertainment. More information.