Composer/arranger Martin Moretto is a member of the legendary Argentine Progressive Tango group and happens to be one of New York's most active Argentinean guitarists, delivering one of the finest self-titled debuts with the his Martin Moretto Quintet. Exploring uncommon territory, the music showcases eight modern jazz compositions containing elements of the Argentine influence. Featuring New York tenor saxophonist Bill McHenry and renowned sideman Phil Markowitz on piano, the ensemble performs brightly, forming a cohesive unit worthy of a world-class designation.
The light and laidback "Uritorco" kicks-starts the music with a McHenry/Moretto sax and guitar chase, leading to a superb solo with nice crashing cymbal accents supplied by drummer Vanderlei Pereira. The intricate "Imagenes" proves to be one of the more challenging charts; loosely structured, it does provide Moretto with plenty of solo space during its ten-plus minutes. The sizzling, samba-tinged "Iguazo" is one of the album's most vibrant up-tempo pieces, touched by a rich and creamy tenor salvo from McHenry, but it's Moretto and Pereira who provide the flavor.
Bassist Santi Debriano makes his presence known with a heavy bowed solo on the dark-toned and mysterious "Otono Y Quebracho," the guitarist's crisp, acoustic finger-picking style coming to the fore. Lending a bit of swing and lively texture to the set, "Golden Eyes" showcases Moretto and McHenry once again, this time joined by some of Markowitz's best piano lines. While the session ends on a lovely ballad, "Nocturno," the defining piece of the set has to be the delicious, Brazilian-styled "El Rey Del Bosque," featuring outstanding solos from practically everyone in the band.
Establishing himself as one of the most gifted young guitarists to arrive recently on the world's jazz stage, Martin Moretto Quintet offers a unique perspective on world and Latin flavors, with a solid session of appealing modern jazz.
Track Listing: Uritorco; Imagenes; Iguazo; Penumbras; Otono y Quebracho; Golden Eyes; El Rey Del Bosque; Nocturno.
Personnel: Martin Moretto: guitar; Bill McHenry: tenor saxophone; Phil Markowitz: piano; Santi Debriano: bass; Vanderlei Pereira: drums.