All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

171

Michael Pedicin: Ballads...Searching For Peace

Dan Bilawsky By

Sign in to view read count
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

Blame It On Your Heart

Blame It On Your Heart

Michael Pedicin
Ballads... Searching For Peace

You Dont Know What Love Is

You Dont Know What Love Is

Michael Pedicin
Downtown Found

Pelican

Pelican

Michael Pedicin
Everything Starts Now...

CD/LP/Track Review
Interviews
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
As It Should Be: Ballads 2

As It Should Be:...

Self Produced
2017

buy
Why Stop Now/Ubuntu

Why Stop Now/Ubuntu

Self Produced
2013

buy
Live @ The Loft

Live @ The Loft

Jazz Hut Records
2012

buy
Ballads...Searching For Peace

Ballads...Searching...

Self Produced
2011

buy
Everything Starts Now...

Everything Starts...

Self Produced
2007

buy
You Don't Know What Love Is

You Don't Know What...

Self Produced
1996

buy

Related Articles

Read Love & Peace CD/LP/Track Review
Love & Peace
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 20, 2018
Read La Saboteuse CD/LP/Track Review
La Saboteuse
by Chris May
Published: February 20, 2018
Read Memories of Maynard CD/LP/Track Review
Memories of Maynard
by Nicholas F. Mondello
Published: February 20, 2018
Read Cosmic Playground CD/LP/Track Review
Cosmic Playground
by Don Phipps
Published: February 20, 2018
Read For Gyumri CD/LP/Track Review
For Gyumri
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: February 19, 2018
Read Sextet (Parker) 1993 CD/LP/Track Review
Sextet (Parker) 1993
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 19, 2018
Read "Kami Fusen" CD/LP/Track Review Kami Fusen
by John Sharpe
Published: October 12, 2017
Read "To the Bone" CD/LP/Track Review To the Bone
by Geno Thackara
Published: August 22, 2017
Read "Moonlight Vision" CD/LP/Track Review Moonlight Vision
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: August 28, 2017
Read "Beauty & Truth" CD/LP/Track Review Beauty & Truth
by Karl Ackermann
Published: March 13, 2017
Read "The Willisau Concert" CD/LP/Track Review The Willisau Concert
by John Sharpe
Published: October 24, 2017
Read "Book Of Sound" CD/LP/Track Review Book Of Sound
by Gareth Thompson
Published: December 8, 2017