Master of trombone, Phil Ranelin, forms a solid gold union with stellar percussionist Big Black and phenomenal bassist Henry Franklin to create the makings for the fire-filled jazz sucker punch that is Perseverance. The album takes you straight to a low-lit New York City jazz lounge. You can practically taste the smoke hanging in the air. This is Ranelin’s fourth release on Wide Hive Records and it stands on its own two feet.
The smooth-voiced eloquence of Ranelin’s trombone leads the way down rambling corridors of jazz without ever losing its place. Big Black adds well-placed sonic texture, while Henry Franklin holds it down on the bass. The trio is well-matched. Their razor sharp group dynamic couldn’t be tighter.
The fluid warmth of the tracks is undeniable. They speak without saying too much. Ranelin’s trombone work lends an air of exploration without ever allowing the listener to feel lost. The album starts off strong and keeps it up all the way through. The album is bookended by a couple of jazz whoppers that both run around ten minutes long. The initial track, “In Search of the One,” is an upbeat jazz menagerie that manages to make enough liquid changes to keep it interesting all the way through. And the closer “A Tear in Elmina” is a slow-pouring of contemplative melancholy. Perseverance is worth your time. — Shimmy Boyle- Muzikreviews.com Contributor