Saxophonist Michael Pedicin, he of the rich tone and fertile imagination, is on a tear lately. His last three albums are remarkable, exhibiting both his catchy improvisational skill and simple beauty. His 2011 album, Ballads... Searching for Peace (Jazz Hut Records) is that beauty on display and one of the best ballad albums to come a long in a while. Now, Pedicin has crafted an album of varied music, named for his view of how the world should be, Why Stop Now/Ubuntu (Ground Blue Records). I saw the world for the first time maybe two years ...read more
Michael Pedicin, like many a tenor saxophonist, bows at the altar of John Coltrane. Pedicin's work in the past has frequently referenced that iconic figure through theme, spirit, sound and/or song selection, and he continues along a similar path on Why Stop Now/Ubuntu. For his twelfth outing as a leader, Pedicin crafted a program that speaks in different musical tongues but aims to deliver a single message. Ubuntu, as a term and philosophy, is all about humanity, peace, kindness and compassion; these are the qualities that Pedicin aimed to tap into during these performances. ...read more
The tenor saxophone has earned a reputation over the years as the wrecking ball of the reed family, but Michael Pedicin doesn't seem to buy into that line of thinking. While Pedicin can knock down walls and wreak havoc with his tenor if he so chooses, he rarely goes to town in this fashion. He'd rather play the role of the musical soul stirrer than the storming brute and it makes perfect sense, since beauty becomes him. He painted himself as a sensitive soul on Ballads...Searching For Peace (Self Produced, 2011), which served as a tribute to ...read more
Ballads are often consumed as one of many items on a musical tasting menu, but they can also serve as a satisfying meal on their own, when prepared by the right chef. On Ballads...Searching For Peace, tenor saxophonist Michael Pedicin serves up seven satisfying songs from the softer side of jazz, while also paying tribute to some tenors of note. John Coltrane's Ballads (Impulse!, 1963) was the inspiration behind this album, but the dearly departed icon is merely one of several tenor titans to be referenced throughout this recording. Pedicin pays tribute to Wayne Shorter as he ...read more
"To my friend, Michael Brecker, the ruler of it all.. I miss you." That is the last line of Michael Pedicin's dedications on Everything Starts Now... and it is the key to the whole date. Although Coltrane runs deep, the Philadelphia tenor man's formative years (Pedicin studied with Denis Sandole, an instructor of Coltrane's), the love Pedicin has for Brecker and Brecker's sound is palpable throughout the disc.
It's a coin flip as to what Brecker's greatest accomplishment was: the signature sound that has inspired so many young players; or his ground-breaking work with bands as diverse as ...read more