A recent review in DownBeat describes the trumpeter Jason Palmer as an “exciting player – achieving pinpoint focus in his attack one minute, turning his concrete bebop lines into caramel, sliding through pitches and bending them to his will the next. If Palmer’s music stays close to home, he should go far.”
In this context, “close to home” alludes to previous words about the community that Jason has fostered in his current city. The trumpeter has been a Boston resident for years, and has made numerous contributions to the vitality of the local scene. Every weekend for over a decade, Jason has led the house band at Wally’s Jazz Cafe. He also maintains teaching positions at Berklee College of Music, New England Conservatory, and The Mission Hill School, and serves on the board of JazzBoston. The Boston Phoenix recognized the importance of his presence by nominating his group for “Best Jazz Act” in 2011.
However, Jason’s impact in Boston has not come at the expense of international attention. The trumpeter has performed and/or recorded with some of the most acclaimed artists in the music, including Roy Haynes, Herbie Hancock, Wynton Marsalis, Common, and Ravi Coltrane, among numerous others. Jason was a member of Greg Osby‘s touring group from 2004-2006, and recently became the first trumpeter ever to be hired by Kurt Rosenwinkel. In 2007, DownBeat named him as one of “Top 25 Trumpeters of the Future,” and in 2009, he took home the $10,000 first prize in the Carmine Caruso International Jazz Trumpet Solo Competition.
Over the past year, Jason toured with the Grace Kelly Quintet and The Miles Davis Experience 1949-1959 (a collaboration with Blue Note Records), and completed a weeklong residency with an augmented seven-piece version of the trio FLY. He also released his third album as a leader, Here Today (Steeplechase), featuring the saxophonist Mark Turner, the guitarist Nir Felder, the bassist Edward Perez, and the drummer Kendrick Scott.
Fun fact: Jason made his acting debut in the 2010 film, Guy and Madeline on a Park Bench. Read a review from NPR, who praises Jason’s for “an assured film debut,” and watch a clip featuring Jason here.
Watch a video of Jason’s group performing “Abu Abed” at The Jazz Gallery from last year. The camera work might not be as good as it is on Guy and Madeline on a Park Bench, but it’s worth it when you hear the music.