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Like many of today's young artists, the performers on this album carry with them experience from playing in groups outside of jazz. You hear the influence of rock, pop, soul and R&B. Jazz purists might that this infects jazz with unwelcome and unneeded influences. The fact is that to survive, jazz needs to attract new listeners from each succeeding generation. Albums like this hopefully will draw in some of those who otherwise might not listen to jazz.
Tenor sax man and flutist Dan Moretti, bassist Marty Ballou, Marty Richards on drums and Bruce Bartlett on guitar work diligently to provide musical variety under the ever widening jazz umbrella. They succeed with a play list of standards, originals and jazz compositions. Catch the ear is the operative phrase. This is not background music nor can one reap the benefits of what they are doing without paying close attention. First, there are the charts which promote improvisation and spontaneity. Second there's the work of the soloists, especially the modern tenor of Moretti who is as daring as a trapeze performer. He can be appropriately pensive and impressionistic on such cuts as Monk's "Ruby My Dear" and dissonant with technique that takes away one's breath on Hank Mobley's "Tenor Conclave". Following an elaborate introduction, Moretti picks up his flute which gently flutters over Marty Ballou's bass and percussive insertions by Marty Richards on the classic "Tenderly". The lead off track, "Ain't No Sunshine", with Moretti's sax taking on a soul demeanor sit a top Bartlett's electric chords and is a perfect lead in to almost an hour of energetic, well constructed jazz that has both character and substance. Recommended.
Track Listing: Ain't No Sunshine; Tenderly; Bag's Groove; Bostic; Ruby My Dear; Tenor Conclave; Rhythm a Ning; Ascendant; Walkin
Personnel: Dan Moretti - Tenor & Soprano Sax/Flute; Marty Ballou - Bass; Marty Richards - Drums; Bruce Bartlett - Guitar
I love jazz because anything is possible; it has few rules and the best jazz breaks those ones. I prefer free improv because it doesn't really have any rules at all.
I was first exposed to jazz in my teens (in the late sixties).
The first jazz record I bought was Filles de Kilimanjaro by Miles Davis, shortly followed by Extrapolation by John McLaughlin.
My advice to new listeners is to listen as widely as possible and not to make snap judgments--stick with it.