April 28th, 2011 | Album reviews

Lisa Strouss

Austin Peralta “Algiers”
(from Endless Planets out now on Brainfeeder)

Brainfeeder is a label of ever-expanding invention, the cosmic heir to the pioneering spirit of Impulse! Records and Strata-East. Like those jazz giants before them, Brainfeeder thrums with a collective energy, synthesizing each artist’s unique sound and story into a single, shared cosmology. To those reared only on squelching electronics, Austin Peralta’s Endless Planets must seem to exist somewhere out on the periphery of that universe: pure, instrumental jazz beyond even Ras_G’s solar-myth approach. Peralta picked up piano at age 5 and was already touring internationally while the rest of us were grappling with the intricacies of parallel parking. Endless Planets is the 20-year-old’s first album released stateside, and one that more readily recalls jazz history written by Charles Mingus and Max Roach than records spawned in the alternate reality of Madlib’s Yesterdays New Quintet. More often than not, Endless Planets laces up its desert boots and treads the same territory as McCoy Tyner’s Sahara, sandy winds blowing hot across “Capricornus” and “Algiers.” Peralta strikes with speed, fast-fingered flourishes bubbling up from the currents of “The Underwater Mountain Odyssey” and a sweet solo sapping “Ode to Love.” But Peralta also knows when to recede into the background of his band, which has the young, eminently talented Zane Musa on alto sax, Ben Wendel on tenor and soprano sax, Hamilton Price on bass and Zach Harmon on drums. There are celestial electronics courtesy of Strangeloop and the Cinematic Orchestra, too, but Endless Planets isn’t about bridging electronic music and jazz. For Peralta, and Brainfeeder, they’re one in the same.

Miles Clements