Jazz Corps's Tommy Peltier Delivers Love, Women and Song
An eclectic mix of rock, bop, pop, classical and jazz, Tommy Peltier's 'Love, Woman and Song' is an unexpected sonic adventure from the former jazz cornet virtuoso turned vocalist.
"The concept for this solo album was to be free and explore many genres," explains Tommy. "With the subjects love, the women in my life and music, made it pretty easy, that's the story of my life. Touching on different types of music made it more interesting and fun."
Five of the songs from Tommy's debut CD have accompanying dance videos with The Rudy Perez Performance Ensemble currently posted on his website.
The story of Tommy Pelier is a fascinating one, starting out in the early 1960's as a premier jazz cornet player in the celebrated jazz ensemble The Jazz Corps and then having to switch to vocals due to an injury. The Jazz Corps were formed in 1963, the name inspired by President Kennedy's creation the Peace Corps. The groups credo: Jazz without borders is true freedom. (A CD of early recordings titled 'Jazzheads' was eventually released in 2010.) Howard Rumsey, who owned The Lighthouse club in Hermosa Beach, CA hired the band on a regular basis. Live recordings of The Jazz Corps at The Lighthouse were eventually issued on CD. In 1966 Pacific Jazz took the band into the studio with guest jazz giant Rashaan Roland Kirk and recorded their debut album entitled 'The Jazz Corps under the direction of Tommy Peltier featuring Roland Kirk'. The album featured Freddy Rodrigues on reeds, Lynn Blessing on vibes, Bill Plummer on bass, Maurice Miller on drums, Peltier on cornet and Kirk on tenor, flute, manzello and stritch. Downbeat magazine at the time raved about the group's talent: "This is a group that could appeal to the youngsters of the flower generation as well as listeners of longer standing. It is a group of today, combining essences and aspects of Ornette Coleman, Miles Davis, and The Beatles and nonspecific Latin elements. With Kirk in fine form, this is an album to which you should open your ears and hearts." The album was reissued by EMI on CD in 1994.
"Toward the end of the '60s, do to an internal injury to my right side, I could no longer play the trumpet," Tommy related. "My great love for 25 years was to be, no more. Needless to say this was a heartbreaker. Encouraged and inspired by my friend Judee Sill and others, I started singing and playing guitar. Since I never sang before, it came out like I played horn, different. This was a new beginning and I've been enjoying it ever since."