Album Review: “Over the Edge” by The Pearcy/Gratzmiller Jazz Quintet

Over the last decade, Wayne Pearcy and Aaron Gratzmiller have been busy crafting innovation through the medium of jazz. With their debut album, “Over the Edge,” they aim to bring you back to the dingy, dark basement jazz clubs of yesteryear… back to the stale wooden tables and stiff drinks.


“Over the Edge” Tracklisting:

  1. Beantown Bahp
  2. Poor Man’s Doctor
  3. Blues 88
  4. Over the Edge
  5. Yellow Mood
  6. Something About the Moon
  7. The Defector
  8. You’re Too Nice
  9. Pieces of Mind
  10. Yellow Mood

Opening up with the first lively track, “Beantown Bahp,” I immediately feel like I’ve got a front row table in the room, bobbing my head to the beat and following along with Wayne’s signature trumpet sound. I am able to keep up while still catching moments of pleasant surprise. While dueting with Gratzmiller’s harmonic sax lines on “Yellow Mood,” I’m reminded of the cold winter nights I spent walking the streets of downtown Kansas City. It’s a level of melancholy I just want to swim in.

Gratzmiller and Pearcy dish it out over the span of 10 stellar 18 karat tunes. They’ve got a full quintet lineup with Matt Savage running keys, Greg Toro lighting up on bass, and Fabio Rojas keeping the beat strong.

The Pearcy / Gratzmiller Jazz Quintet pull out all the stops in their debut full length album, blending traditional Bebop sounds with their own contemporary styles to create pure poetry. If modern jazz artists keep putting out records like this, I think we’re going to find the resurgence of the Jazz Club as it once was. Not the overhyped and overpriced new speakeasies, where ordering an Old Fashioned has the potential to sacrifice your ability to make rent. I mean the underground sonic safe havens, where the bartender always remembers your name and your libation. In the meantime, these boys are doing their part to keep that Golden Age sound alive.

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