By Willard Jenkins, Open Sky Jazz
The first time I caught Ralph Peterson, Jr. live was a 1986 performance by the Blue Note Records band Out of the Blue (OTB). The band, befitting its era as a sort of Young Lions on steroids unit, included Kenny Garrett on alto sax, Ralph Bowen on tenor sax, pianist Renee Rosnes, bassist Robert Hurst, and the explosive drummer Ralph Peterson, Jr. The power and fluid drive of Peterson was nearly overwhelming, in a kind of Art Blakey and Elvin Jones stylistic mashup embodied by one young man from New Jersey. I quickly made a mental note to keep an eye and ear out for this brown-skinned powerhouse with the boundless energy. Read more here.