171

Michael Pedicin: Ballads...Searching For Peace

Dan Bilawsky By

Sign in to view read count
Michael Pedicin: Ballads...Searching For Peace 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 visits "Virgo," from Night Dreamer (Blue Note, 1964), and gives a nod toward Hank Mobley—the man that Leonard Feather called "the middleweight champion of the tenor saxophone"—by tackling one of his lesser-known tunes ("Home At Last"). Elsewhere, he tips his cap to Joe Henderson, by occupying the role that Henderson once held on McCoy Tyner's "Search For Peace," and references the aforementioned Coltrane album by borrowing a number from that outing ("You Don't Know What Love Is").

While an all-ballads record, by its very nature, maintains a certain sameness from start to finish, Pedicin largely avoids mood stasis by moving from general balladry to bossa-tinged dwellings ("Home At Last") and music with celestial guitar seasonings ("Few Moments"), before finding his way back. The focus usually falls squarely on Pedicin's pleasing saxophone work, but he receives sterling support from his band, and he generously shares the spotlight with this fine cast of musicians. Bassist Andy Lalasis doesn't simply anchor the harmonic foundation, but he serves as a guide, leading the band from chord to chord with smartly placed trails of notes. Drummer Bob Shomo hides in the shadows, coloring the music with understated brushwork, while guitarist Johnnie Valentino serves as the musical decorator, providing little touches that lend variety to the album's overall picture. The piano chair, alternately occupied by Barry Miles and Dean Schneider, never feels like a revolving seat, as both men bring class and a light touch to the proceedings.

Ballads...Searching For Peace is a respite from the adrenaline-fueled jazz that makes up such a large part of the market, but it's also a platform to present a tenor saxophone veteran that deserves wider recognition.

Track Listing: You Don't Know What Love Is; Blame It On Your Heart; Home At Last; Few Moments; Virgo; Tell Me; Search For Peace.

Personnel: Michael Pedicin: tenor saxophone; John Valentino: guitar; Barry Miles: piano (2, 4, 6); Dean Schneider: piano (1, 3, 5, 7); Andy Lalasis: bass; Bob Shomo: drums.

Title: Ballads...Searching For Peace | Year Released: 2011 | Record Label: Self Produced


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Developing Story CD/LP/Track Review Developing Story
by Edward Blanco
Published: June 26, 2017
Read Lantern CD/LP/Track Review Lantern
by John Kelman
Published: June 26, 2017
Read Inspirations (featuring Matthew Halsall) CD/LP/Track Review Inspirations (featuring Matthew Halsall)
by Phil Barnes
Published: June 26, 2017
Read Unification CD/LP/Track Review Unification
by Troy Dostert
Published: June 26, 2017
Read Crossing CD/LP/Track Review Crossing
by Geno Thackara
Published: June 25, 2017
Read Unit[e] CD/LP/Track Review Unit[e]
by Karl Ackermann
Published: June 25, 2017
Read "Retrorespective" CD/LP/Track Review Retrorespective
by Phillip Woolever
Published: June 15, 2017
Read "Disappearing Day" CD/LP/Track Review Disappearing Day
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: July 21, 2016
Read "Enter the Plus Tet" CD/LP/Track Review Enter the Plus Tet
by Karl Ackermann
Published: October 8, 2016
Read "Celebrating Elvin Jones" CD/LP/Track Review Celebrating Elvin Jones
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: August 11, 2016
Read "Inerrant Space" CD/LP/Track Review Inerrant Space
by Mark Sullivan
Published: August 17, 2016
Read "Iberica" CD/LP/Track Review Iberica
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: March 8, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.