For nearly 30 years, Ralph Peterson has been one of the distinctive and recognizable drummers in jazz..
Ralph Peterson's new release, The Duality Perspective thus embodies youth and maturity, past, present and future; and diverse stylistic approaches based on a common language. In a bit of word association, Peterson characterizes the young, hungry Fo’tet as “dry ice, so cold it’ll burn you,” and the all-star Sextet as “richly rooted, one foot in the tradition, the other foot in tomorrow.” But as he acknowledges, “Each has a distinct sound and approach, yet they have a commonality at the core.”
Ralph is now considered by many to be a master drummer himself. Peterson’s latest recording, and 16th as a leader, and second on his own Onyx Productions Music Label, features both an All Star Sextet as well as a brand new Fo’tet configuration. Both groups are made up primarily of former and even current students, including Sean Jones, Luques Curtis,, Tia Fuller, Walter Smith III as well as rising stars Victor Gould and Felix Peikli. This project firmly establishes Peterson as a talent scout on par with his mentor, Art Blakey
Of course, as Peterson is quick to point out, there are more than two sides to his musical identity. Besides his incomparable talent behind the drumkit, which has led to collaborations with the likes of Terence Blanchard, Branford Marsalis, David Murray, Roy Hargrove, Jon Faddis, Michael Brecker, Gerri Allen and Betty Carter over a nearly thirty-year career – not to mention being hand-picked by Art Blakey as the second drummer in the legendary bandleader’s Jazz Messenger Big Band until Blakey’s 1990 death.
Ralph is also highly sought after as a clinician and endorser for Mapex Drums, Vic Firth Sticks and Evans Drum Heads.