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Victory Jazz Quartet: Origin

Dan McClenaghan By

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Most of the jazz fusion groups of the 1970s threw more instruments into the mix than flugelhornist Al Moretti does on Origin. His Victory Jazz Quartet finds Moretti with his horn, fronting a simple rhythm section—keyboard, bass and drums.

Fusion evolved from trumpeter Miles Davis' In a Silent Way (Columbia Records, 1969), sparkling music woven with a tight tapestry of instrumentation, featuring three keyboardists. Moretti's pared-down approach allows the music more breathing room.

The title tune opens the disc on a repeated four note bass riff from Chico Huff. The sparkle is supplied by master keyboardist Ron Thomas. Moretti blows a warm and precise flugelhorn through swirling backdrop of groove and mystery; and drummer Glenn Ferracone lays down a tight time and a slew of idiosyncratic accents.

"Storm King" travels a darker terrain—ominous and furtive, and "High Time" departs from the fusion muse with a sound that could pass for a bright Hugh Masakela tune, straight out of Soweto. "Let Me Tell Ya" says get up and dance with to Chico Huff's infectious groove; and "Streamin' Though" sounds as if its floating in the clouds.

Then things get weird, in an excellent way, on the fifteen minute closer "Mystic Traveler/Orbit." Opening on an eerie synthesizer/keyboard drone than migrates into an implacable groove. Ron Thomas shines, and where In a Silent Way seemed at times like a journey through a field of stars, this tour de force sounds as if it's skirting the galaxy, going in the direction of the dark matter, or perhaps driving deep into the galactic core, in the direction of the black hole.

Origin, from Al Moretti and his Victory Jazz Quartet, is an enticing take on the fusion sound.

Track Listing: Origin; Storm King; Sunrise; High Time; Let Me Tell Ya; Streamin' Through; Rue Song; Mystic Traveler/Orbit.

Personnel: Al Moretti: flugelhorn, synth; Ron Thomas: Keyboard; Chico Huff: electric bass; Glenn Ferracone: drums.

Title: Origin | Year Released: 2013 | Record Label: Vectordisc Records


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